This Day in Failure: August 19

1980: A Saudi Airlines Lockheed L-1011 makes an emergency landing in Riyadh after passengers start a fire while cooking with a portable butane stove. When the plane reaches the end of the runway it bursts into flames, and all 301 people aboard are killed.

1951: Eddie Gaedel, 3 feet 7 inches tall, makes his one and only major league baseball appearance, pinch-hitting for the St. Louis Browns in the bottom half of the first inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers’ pitcher, Bob Cain, throws four pitches over Gaedel’s head, and the crowd roars with laughter as Gaedel walks to first base.

1848: Ending months of rumors, a story in the New York Herald confirms that gold has been discovered in California. Hordes of Easterners would heed the call to “Go West” in search of their fortune, though few speculators would find the riches they were seeking.