American anarchists, Vanzetti and Sacco were executed for murder. (1927) Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco were convicted of murdering two men in South Braintree, Massachusetts, during a robbery. Both declared their innocence, and there were worldwide demonstrations in their defense. In 1961, Sacco's gun was tested using modern forensic techniques and was determined to be the murder weapon, but no substantial evidence was ever found to prove Vanzetti's guilt or innocence.
Saddam Hussein made a television appearance with Western "visitors" in an attempt to stop the Gulf War. (1990) The visitors were actually Western hostages, and the appearance provoked worldwide outrage.
The first case of West Nile virus in the US was diagnosed in New York City. (1999) Seven people died from the brain-swelling disease, and an inordinate number of dead crows were reported. The virus had only been seen previously in the Middle East and Uganda.
Former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose was banned from baseball. (1989) Rose, who was managing the Cincinnati Reds baseball team at the time, was banned for gambling on baseball games.
The Freckleton Air Disaster occurred, killing 61 people. (1944) The US Air Force B-24 bomber hit the Holy Trinity Church of England School in Freckleton, England. Of the 61 killed, 38 were children. The plane crashed trying to land during a storm.
The first photographs of Earth were taken from space. (1966) NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 took the photographs while orbiting the moon.
Famous cookbook legend Fanny Farmer opened her cooking school. (1902) Farmer opened the Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston, Massachusetts. She became a culinary celebrity when she introduced the concept of using standardized recipe measurements in cooking. She also became an educator, teaching doctors about the importance of nutrition in treating the sick.
An Austrian girl, Natascha Kampusch, escapes after eight years of captivity. (2006) Natascha Kampusch was abducted when she was just 10 years old by Wolfgang Priklopil. She escaped after eight years of physical and sexual abuse. Priklopil kept her captive in a windowless basement. He committed suicide shortly after her escape.
The first automobile tire chain was patented. (1904) Harold D. Weed, who worked for the Marvin and Casler Company machine shop in Canastota, New York, was given the patent for the non-slip gripping chains that keep tires from skidding in icy winter weather.
The first mid-air refueling took place, helping to set an endurance flight record. (1923) Lt. John P. Richter and Capt. Lowell Smith refueled the De Havilland DH-4B, a two-seat biplane bomber. The two were able to set a new flight endurance record of 37 hours.