On This Day, December 2nd
1. 2001: Enron files for bankruptcy
It was on this date in 2001 that one of the largest corporate scandals in United States history began when the Enron Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Enron was a Houston, Texas based energy trading company that started in 1985 when two major gas companies merged together. Over the next 15 years, Enron was extremely successful to the point that it was ranked seventh on the Fortune 500 Top U.S. Companies list with an annual revenue over $111 billion, and more than 21,000 employees. However, the year 2000 sparked a downward spiral that couldn’t be stopped and by November 30th, 2001, the companies stock had dropped from $90.75 per share down to $0.26 in just over one year. Enron executives had the plan to save the company with a $8.4 billion buyout from Dynegy, but that fell through and forced the company to file bankruptcy. Thousands of people lost their jobs due to this and to make matters worse, Enron liquidated billions in pensions plans so not only were they unemployed, but they also lost their retirement.
2. 1975: Archie Griffin won his second consecutive Heisman Trophy
Winning the Heisman Trophy is the greatest single achievement for a college football player (well that and being signed to the NFL). It’s something that usually takes all four years of college plays to earn that level of respect and notoriety. So you can image how excited Archie Griffen must’ve been when he became the first and only player to win the Heisman twice when it was announced that he’d won on this date in 1975. To make it even more impressive, he did it in consecutive years in both 1974 and 1975. Griffin played for the Ohio State Buckeyes under head coach Woody Hayes, who was initially hesitant to put Griffin into the game. But it ended up being unwarranted because Griffin went out and put 239-yard performance the game. He earned the nickname “Tank” from his childhood football coaches because he was relentless and very difficult to bring down. The Tank ended up being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals the following year where he went on to play seven seasons.
3. 1942: Nobel Prize-winning physicist created first nuclear chain reaction
It was on this date in 1942 that the first controlled nuclear chain reaction took place at the University of Chicago under the control of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi. While Fermi was researching and experimenting with the technology, he soon realized the potential military applications and the dangers involved with that. So he decided to compose a letter to President Roosevelt to inform him of these dangers, and interestingly it was hand delivered by none other than Albert Einstien. That letter led to the development of American Atomic Bomb program known as the Manhattan Project.