This Day in Failure: July 20

2009: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues a press release responding to press reports suggesting that the USDA spent over a million dollars on 2 pounds of sliced ham, noting that the “2 pound frozen ham sliced” called for in the contract referred to the size of the packaging, and that it purchased “760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191 million, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.” Drudge Report responds by claiming that ham can be purchased at Food Lion for 79 cents a pound.

1977: A flash flood hits Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 80 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

1944: Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, the driving force behind this day’s plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, brings a briefcase bomb to a briefing attended by the German dictator. After Stauffenberg leaves the room the bomb explodes, fatally wounding some of the 24 individuals at the meeting. Yet Hitler survives with no more than superficial injuries—abrasions, burns, blisters and cuts, as well as burst eardrums.