This Day in Failure: February 19

2020: “I think it’s going to work out fine. I think when we get into April, in the warmer weather, that has a very negative effect [on COVID-19]. So let’s see what happens, but I think it’s going to work out fine.”
—U.S. president Donald Trump, on the soon-to-explode conoravirus outbreak, which leads to widespread deaths and staggering economic damage.

2008: The Dallas Mavericks sign Keith Van Horn, 32, to a $4.3 million contract in order to facilitate a trade with the New Jersey Nets. The Mavericks and Nets need Van Horn (whose contract pays him $75,439 per day) to make the eight-player trade conform to NBA salary requirements. Never mind that Van Horn had not played in the league since the 2005-06 season and was only eligible to be traded because he “forgot” to file his retirement papers two years earlier.

1942: U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order #9066, which gives the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.

1847: A rescue team reaches the Donner Party in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains finding only 45 of the original 89 pioneers still alive. Trapped in the mountains for several months the group resorts to cannibalism to survive.