This Day in Failure: August 26

2010: The Federal Aviation Administration proposes a record $24.2 million penalty for American Airlines, saying the company put passengers in danger by flying 14,000 flights with planes that didn’t meet safety standards. In 2008, the airline canceled more than 3,000 flights while fixing electrical wiring on its jets.

2008: Republican senator Ted Stevens, 84, wins Alaska’s GOP primary, beating six challengers and capturing 63 percent of the vote, in spite of facing federal corruption charges for lying on Senate disclosure reports to conceal more than $250,000 in home renovations and gifts from executives at an oil services company. Stevens goes on to proclaim the upcoming November election (versus Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat) a “piece of cake,” ignoring the fact that three fellow state lawmakers, all Republicans, are already in federal prison as a result of the corruption investigation.

2008: The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs release veteran placekicker Jay Feely just one day after signing him to a one-year contract.

1985: The Yugo—a tiny, unassuming $3,990 car with no radio, air-conditioning, or glove compartment—goes on sale at 50 dealerships in the northeastern United States. On this day, Yugo America sells 1,050 vehicles, and the Yugo goes on to become the fastest-selling first-year European U.S. history. Its popularity is short-lived, however, and today it is regarded as one of the worst (and ugliest) cars ever sold in America.

1980: Workers at Harvey’s Resort and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, discover a nearly 1,500-pound bomb disguised as a copy machine, which includes a ransom note demanding $3 million in exchange for instructions on how to defuse the device. Experts attempt to disassemble the bomb using robots, but are unsuccessful and the bomb explodes, demolishing the already evacuated hotel.

1957: The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel, which suffers from slow sales and a surprising amount of negative publicity during its three-year existence.