This Day in Failure: December 4

2008: The Ushuaia, a luxury Antarctic cruise ship, hits a rock and runs aground on the Antarctic Peninsula during a trip to observe penguins, whales and seals. Eighty-two passengers and five crew members are evacuated.

2005: With the NFL’s Detroit Lions losing 21-9 in the fourth quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Detroit’s Ford Field, a spry fan makes a spectacle of himself by running up, down and across the aisles of the stadium while brandishing a “Fire Millen!” sign. After the individual is tackled and escorted out, TV cameras show Lions general manager Matt Millen chuckling over the incident. From that day forward (until his dismissal on September 24, 2008), the chant of “Fire Millen!” becomes de rigueur, not just at Ford Field, but at sporting events across the state of Michigan.

2003: The New York Times erroneously reports the death of dancer/actress Katharine Sergava, 94, on its obituary page. The obituary is based on one published in The Daily Telegraph of London five days earlier.

1991: Pan American World Airways—founded in 1927 and one of the world’s leading airlines thru the 1970s—ceases operations.

1977: Jean-Bedel Bokassa (1921-1996), former military leader of the Central African Republic, crowns himself emperor of the Central African Empire in a ceremony that costs more than $20 million. He effectively bankrupts his impoverished nation and is exiled less than three years later.