1. 1970: The National Guard kills four at Kent State
An anti-war protest ends badly as the National Guard opens fire on a crowd of protesters, 3 killing four people on this day back in 1970 at Kent State University. There had been significant protesting going on in regards to the anti-Vietnam War, as well as the United States invasion on Cambodia for the quite some time. Just two days before the shooting, the National Guard was called in to disperse the crowds that had gotten violent and started to vandalize. The guards responded with tear gas and riot shields to get thing under control. There was another gathering scheduled to take place on this day around noon, and even university officials did everything they could to cancel the rally, including sending out as many as 12,000 leaflets about the cancellation, over 2,000 protesters still arrived before noon. The Guardsmen proceeded to fire tear gas canisters into the crowd, but it had little effect as the the protesters just lobbed the canisters right back at them. This would go on for some time, and at approximately 12:24 pm, Sgt. Myron Pryor allegedly started shooting with his .45 hand gun and of the 77 other Guardsmen in the group, 22 said they had also fired their weapons. Over 67 shots were fired on the unarmed crowd, with four receiving fatal wounds, leaving eight others severely wounded and one paralyzed.
2. 1979: Margaret Thatcher is sworn in as Britain’s first female Prime Minster
On this day in 1979, Margaret Thatcher becomes Great Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Thatcher had been the leader of the conservative party and vowed to make some major changes when she was put into office. She gradually reduced the rights of the trade unions and began privatizing industries such as gas, water, and electric, as well as drastically cutting back on government expenditures. She earned the nick name “Iron Lady” because of her no nonsense attitude and willingness to go to battle with anyone. Her main focus upon entering office was to dismantle socialism in Great Britain, and that’s exactly what she did. Though the unemployment rates were lower than they had ever been Thatcher was re-elected in 1983. She went on to get re-elected for a third term in 1987 before she resigned as the Prime Minister in 1990.
3. 2002: Plane crashes into crowded city in Nigeria
Pilot error is said to be the cause in a horrific accident that takes place in Kano, Nigeria on this day back in 2002. The British Air Carrier One-Eleven (BAC 1-11) took off from the Kano airport headed for Lagos, which was only a short 2 hr flight, with 69 passengers and 8 crew members on board. But as the pilot took off he overshot the runway, and rather than stopping and starting over he just continued through the grassy area. According to onlookers, the plane was immediately struggling once it got airborne and almost immediately the engines failed and the plane crashed into a nearby neighborhood killing 64 passengers and 7 crew members. Because of the crash there was also a significant explosion that killed more than 78 innocent bystanders. It was later determined that dust in the engines caused them to fail, so had the pilot not attempted to take off after overshooting the runway all those people would still be alive.