This Day in Failure: January 22

2020: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.”
—U.S. President Donald Trump, on the risk posed by coronavirus 2019. A little more than two months later, on March 26, 2020, the United States surpasses China as the country with the most COVID-19 cases in the world.

2011: Professional bowler Tom Daugherty, 35, sets a record for the worst score in the history of televised Professional Bowling Association events, posting a 100 in the semifinals of the PBA Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daugherty takes the disastrous game in stride (“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be on SportsCenter’s not top 10 plays,” he says), but still finishes third in the tournament, taking home a career-best $50,000. However, his disastrous game overshadows the near-perfect performance of opponent Mika Koivuniemi, who posts a 299 and goes on to win the tournament and its $250,000 first prize.

2010: A woman taking an art class at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art falls and damages the Picasso painting The Actor, opening a six-inch vertical tear in the canvas.

2009: Jason Stinson, head football coach at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville, Kentucky, is charged with reckless homicide in the death of sophomore lineman Max Gilpin, who collapsed from heatstroke at a practice on August 20, 2008, and died in a hospital three days later. A second player was also hospitalized following the practice in question, during which coaches reportedly withheld water. This marks the first time a criminal charge is filed in such a case against a high school or college coach in the U.S.

2008: The Center for Public Integrity and the Fund for Independence in Journalism jointly release a study finding that President Bush and top administration officials like Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Colin Powell issued at least 935 false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Bush led the pack with 231 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s alleged link to al-Qaida. Powell totals 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and ten linking Iraq and al-Qaida.

2008: Freeskier Billy Poole, 28, of Missoula, Montana, dies in Utah’s Wolverine Cirque while filming a sequence for an action film. Poole plans to air approximately 100 feet over rocks jutting out of a steep angled slope, but comes up short and slams into a rock that is six-feet-tall and at a 45-degree angle to his trajectory.

1998: The Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, pleads guilty to federal bombing charges and receives a life sentence without parole. Over a 17 year period, Kaczynski was responsible for 16 bombings that killed three people and injured 23 others.

1973: Heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier loses a bout for the first time in his professional career. The victor? George Foreman.

1959: In what is now known as the Knox Mine Disaster, the Knox Coal Company’s River Slope Mine (near Pittson, Pennsylvania) is flooded by the Susquehanna River, entombing a dozen men and causing extensive property damage. The disaster occurs because company management ordered its miners to illegally dig past the so-called safety stop line, leaving only a thin layer of rock that proves insufficient to support the weight of the ice-laden river. Billions of gallons of water pour into River Slope and other nearby mines, and it takes three days to partially plug the hole in the riverbed.