This Day in Failure: January 15

2009: US Airways flight 1549 (en route from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina) encounters mechanical trouble almost immediately after takeoff when the Airbus 320 collides with a large flock of birds and the “double bird strike” causes the failure of both of the plane’s jet engines. Unable to make it back to LaGuardia or reach any other airport, the pilot lands the plane in the near-freezing waters of the Hudson River. No one suffers life-threatening injuries and all 155 passengers and crew members are evacuated safety.

1975: President Gerald Ford, in his first state of the union address, warns, “I've got bad news and I don’t expect any applause.” Ford’s bad news was that the union was being overcome by a recession, rampant unemployment, and inflation.

1919: A five-story-tall cylindrical metal tank filled with over two million gallons of molasses explodes under pressure at 529 Commercial Street in Boston. A tidal wave of molasses spreads in all directions at an estimated thirty-five miles per hour, buckling elevated railroad tracks, destroying buildings, and killing twenty-one people. Structural defects in the tank combined with unseasonably warm temperatures contributed to the disaster, which is now known as the Great Boston Molasses Flood.