2011: Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrades the U.S. credit rating—from its top rank of AAA to AA+—for the first time in history, reporting that it made the move because of political gridlock in Washington and the U.S. Congress’ failure to seriously address the country’s long-term fiscal problems.
2008: The Wall Arch in Arches National Park, Utah—a natural sandstone structure (33 feet tall and 71 feet across) that was a favorite of photographers—collapses, a victim of gravity and erosion.
2006: U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis is fired by his cycling team, and the Tour de France says it “no longer considers him champion” of the 2006 Tour, after a second doping sample tests positive for higher-than-allowable levels of testosterone.
2004: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C.
2001: Miles Byrne, caddie for golfer Ian Woosnam, is fired after oversleeping and missing Woosnam’s tee time at the Scandinavian Masters in Sweden. Two weeks earlier, Byrne cost Woosnam a two-stroke penalty in the British Open after he failed to count the golfer’s clubs.
1991: An investigation is launched by Democratic congressional leaders to find out if the release of American hostages held by Iran during the Carter administration was delayed so that the transfer would take place under the watch of Ronald Reagan/George Bush.
1978: A National Airlines Boeing 727-235 crashes in Escambia Bay while attempting to land in Pensacola, Florida. The plane comes to rest in twelve feet of water; 55 of the 58 people on board survive.