2011: The Seattle Seahawks defeat the St. Louis Rams 16-6, thereby winning the NFC West division and becoming the first team in NFL history to go to the playoffs with a losing record (7-9).
2009: Former New York Giants wide receiver Mark Ingram, 43, is arrested by federal marshals nearly a month after disappearing on the same day he was scheduled to begin a seven-year, eight-month prison sentence for money laundering. Ingram chose to become a fugitive because he wanted to watch his son Mark, a star running back for the University of Alabama, play in the Sugar Bowl. But the elder Ingram is arrested at a motel in Auburn Hills, Michigan, just as he is sitting down to watch the game on television. Adding insult to injury, Alabama goes on to lose to the Utah Utes, 31-17.
2006: An underground explosion at the Sago Coal Mine in Upshur County, West Virginia, traps a dozen miners, and only one man survives the disaster. In the two years prior to the incident the mine is cited 273 times for safety violations, including 16 violations classified as “unwarrantable failures” (a designation reserved for serious safety infractions for which the operator has already been warned, or which shows “indifference or extreme lack of care,” according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration).
1984: Zenith Radio Corp. announces it will stop selling Beta-format videocassette recorders and start selling VHS, becoming the first of many companies to switch to VHS. The two formats had been battling it out since the late 1970s.
1811: Senator Timothy Pickering (Massachusetts) becomes the first senator to be censured when the Senate approves a censure motion against him by a vote of 20 to seven. Pickering is accused of publicly revealing secret documents communicated by the president to the Senate.