This Day in Failure: December 5

2010: A launch rocket carrying three Russian navigation satellites fails to reach orbit after blasting off from Baikonur cosmodrome, and the satellites fall into the Pacific Ocean 1,500 kilometers northwest of Honolulu. The failure is an embarrassing setback for Russia’s attempt to put a satellite navigation system in place to rival the United States’s Global Positioning System.

2008: Las Vegas judge Jackie Glass sentences O.J. Simpson, 61, to at least nine years in prison for leading a group of armed men into a room at Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where they planned to take sports memorabilia from dealers Bruce Fromong and Al Beardsley. Glass makes a point of saying the sentence is not “payback for anything else,” referring to Simpson’s acquittal 13 years earlier in the slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.

2004: Paolo Diogo, 29, a recently-married soccer player for Servette, vaults himself up onto a metal perimeter fence to salute fans after setting up a teammate’s goal during his club’s 4-1 win over Schaffhausen in the Swiss Super League. Failing to notice that his wedding ring is caught in the barrier, Diogo proceeds to jump down, leaving the ring and most of his finger behind. To add insult to injury, Diogo is booked by the referee for the length of his celebration before being whisked off to a Zurich hospital, where surgeons find themselves unable to reattach the severed digit.

1952: A mass of stagnant air settles over London, trapping a toxic mix of dense fog and black coal smoke that reduces visibility to less than a foot within two days. Thousands of Londoners die from suffocation before wind provides relief from the killer fog four days later.

1933: The Twenty-first amendment to the Constitution is adopted, bringing an end to Prohibition, which had substantially failed to prevent the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol in the United States.