This Day in Failure: January 5

2011: Two Republican lawmakers—veteran Texas Rep. Pete Sessions and freshman Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick—fail to show up for the swearing-in session for the 112th Congress. (At the time of the swearing-in, the lawmakers were at a party in the Capitol Visitors Center.)

2009: Abilene Christian’s women’s basketball team defeats Texas Women’s 147-143 in quadruple overtime, with the 143 points scored by Texas Women’s breaking the NCAA record for most points by a losing team. The Division II schools also combine to break the NCAA record for points in a game (261, set by St. Joseph’s [Indiana] and Northern Kentucky in 1988). The 112 points the two teams score during the four overtimes is also an NCAA record, as is Abilene Christian’s 58 in overtime.

2009: The phone bank at New York State’s unemployment claims office shuts down and its online filing system crashes as tens of thousands of jobless New Yorkers try to call or log in at once in anticipation of an approaching filing deadline.

2009: Waterford Wedgwood PLC, the United Kingdom-based maker of classic china and crystal, files for bankruptcy protection after attempts to restructure the struggling business or find a buyer fail.

2005: The NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-84, worsening Minnesota’s record to 0-4 when facing an expansion team for the first time.

2004: Cleveland resident Elecia Battle, 40, notifies police that she picked the winning numbers for a $162 million lottery jackpot but lost her purse, dropping it outside the Quick Shop Food Mart where she purchased the ticket. Her announcement prompts locals to conduct a search for the missing ticket in sub-freezing temperatures. Later she admits that she lied about losing the winning ticket and drops her lawsuit to block payment of the 11-state Mega Millions prize after the ticket’s true owner comes forward to claim the money.

1920: The New York Yankees baseball club announces its purchase of George Herman “Babe” Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $125,000 in cash and $300,000 in loans. Through the remainder of the 20th century the Yankees win 39 American League pennants and 26 World Series titles. Meanwhile, the Red Sox go 86 years without a World Series title, finally vanquishing the “Curse of the Bambino” in 2004.

1643: Anne Clarke of the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a divorce from her adulterous and absentee husband, Denis Clarke. Denis abandons his wife and refuses to return, leaving the Quarter Court of Boston no choice but to grant the first legal divorce in the American colonies.