This Day in Failure: January 30

2020: During an appearance on Fox Business Live, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims coronavirus will be good for American jobs, saying, the outbreak “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.” Two months later, first time claims for unemployment hit 6.6 million, surpassing the 3.3 million claims from a week earlier, setting back-to-back records that shatter the one-week record of nearly 700,000 claims set in 1982.

2020: “We think have it under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment.”
—U.S. president Donald Trump, seeking to downplay the threat of COVID-19, soon to be a global pandemic

1968: The Dallas Cowboys draft 6-4 wide receiver David McDaniels in the second round, due in large part to his 4.40 40-yard dash time, recorded on a track at Mississippi Valley State University. At training camp, McDaniels looks slow compared to the defensive backs and is re-timed at 4.73 seconds, at which point the team finds out that the college track is short by a yard-and-a-half. Later, the Cowboys save face by trading McDaniels to the Chicago Bears—a team that also timed him at 4.40—for a second round pick. To this day, all NFL scouts measure to make sure the course in question is exactly 40 yards.

1976: An arsonist sets a wardrobe closet ablaze at the Wincrest Nursing Home in Chicago, Illinois. Although the building itself sustains minor fire and water damage, 23 people die from smoke inhalation.

1962: Two members of the Flying Wallendas high wire act are killed and one is paralyzed from the waist down when the group’s seven-person pyramid collapses during a performance at the State Fair Coliseum in Detroit, Michigan.

1835: Andrew Jackson survives the first assassination attempt of a U.S. president when Richard Lawrence fires two pistols at Jackson inside the House chamber of the Capitol building. Both guns misfire and Lawrence is quickly subdued and arrested.