2008: The Washington Huskies football team is defeated by the California Golden Bears 48-7, thereby becoming the first 0-12 team in Pac-10 history.
2003: Navy defeats Army 34-6 in the annual football game between the two rival service academies, making Army (0-13) the first team in NCAA history to lose 13 games in a single season.
2000: Milwaukee’s six-lane Daniel Webster Hoan Bridge nearly collapses during rush-hour traffic after its steel beams crack and a section sinks three to five feet. The next day engineers discover that the bridge is supported by a single steel girder—one that was found to be cracked six months earlier.
1997: Hans Rezac, Michael Kearns, Ray Miller and Steve Mulholland attempt the first four-way skydive over the South Pole, jumping out of a plane at 8,000 feet, the air temperature at -100 degrees Fahrenheit. Kearns is the sole survivor (thanks to a safety device that deploys his chute when he fails to open it manually), making this the worst civilian skydiving accident in 30 years. Altitude-induced hypoxia, the difficulty in discerning up from down over the flat, white ice, and a faster-than-normal free fall in the thin air are considered possible contributing factors to the accident.
1917: The largest explosion in the pre-nuclear age occurs when the French munitions ship Mont Blanc collides with the Belgian steamship Imo in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Loaded with 2,300 tons of picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, and 35 tons of gasoline, the blast kills 1,600 people and destroys a large portion of the city of Halifax.
1907: In Monongah, West Virginia, an explosion at a coal mine owned by the Fairmont Coal Company kills 362 coal miners, making it the deadliest mining accident in U.S. history. Through the early 1900s, West Virginia had the highest mine death rate of any state.