1. 1972: Terrorists take hostages at the Olympics
It was on this date in 1972 at the Munich Olympics a terrorist group dressed as Olympic athletes stormed the apartments of 21 Israeli athletes and officials. It was reported that six men, that belonged to the terrorist group known as Black September, jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village. Guards apparently saw the men jump over the fence but it was common for athletes to jump the fence when returning to their apartments. Because the men wore Arab nation track suits the guards paid them no mind. It was also reported they sneaking in with a group of unsuspecting athletes from Canada that had been out on the town. The men carried duffel bags full of guns over the fence and then used stolen keys to enter the apartments that housed the Israelis. A small skirmish took place where some of the people inside managed to escape, however there was a few casualties and the terrorists took 9 hostages. The group then demanded the release of 234 prisoners that were said to consist mainly of Arab terrorists, but they were refused. Eventually it was agreed the group, along with the hostages, would be airlifted to the Furstenfeldbruck airport where a plane would be waiting to take them wherever they wanted to go. German law enforcement and government officials plotted an ambush with sharpshooters and tactical teams but it didn’t go according to plan. Once the ambush started the terrorists turned their guns on the hostages, one throwing a grenade into the helicopter that held five tied up hostages. In the end there was 17 casualties that day, three of which were part of Black September.
2. 1975: Assassination attempt on President Ford
A secret service agent thwarts as assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford on this date in 1975. He apparently saw a loaded .45 caliber semi automatic handgun in the hands of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme pointed directly at the President when he reached out and wrestled it way from her. It was later reported that she had attempted to pull the trigger of the gun but it had failed to fire. Fromme was a known disciple of known cult leader, Charles Manson, and had intended on making a statement about environmental pollution with the assassination. The attempt took place in Sacramento, California at the public grounds of the State Capitol building. Fromme would plead not guilty to the charge of attempted assassination on the President. Her defense was that even though the gun she carried contained bullets, it wasn’t cocked and therefore she had no intentions of shooting. Her pleas fell on deaf ears and she was soon sentenced to life in West Virginia’s Alderson Federal Correctional Institution.
3. 1957: Famous novel “On The Road” published
It was on this date in 1957 that famous author Jack Kerouac released his second novel, On the Road, which becomes an instant classic. It is considered to be one of the defining novels of the counter culture and postwar beat movements of the 1950’s. Kerouac apparently wrote the novel in just three week which was based of the travels he and his friends had experienced. The book would explore the hippie inspired, free ranging drug use of two buddies, Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise and their cross country wanderings. One of the motto’s of the book was “never trust anyone over 30”, which interestingly Kerouac was 35 at the time the book was released.