This Day in Failure: August 29

2005: Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States, makes landfall as a Category 4 storm near New Orleans, Louisiana.

2004: Brazilian distance runner Vanderlei de Lima is attacked by a spectator while running the Olympic marathon, the final event of the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. At the time of the incident, De Lima has a 30-second lead with just four miles to go. He resumes running, still in the lead, but ultimately finishes third behind Stefano Baldini of Italy, who takes home the gold, and Meb Keflezighi of the United States, who wins the silver medal. At the closing ceremonies the International Olympic Committee awards De Lima the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship.

1949: The U.S.S.R. detonates its first atomic bomb, a twenty kiloton blast that is comparable to the first U.S. test, which occurred four years earlier in July 1945. The Russians’ successful test marks the start of the Cold War; the next month president Harry Truman announces that the threat of a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers is now a reality.