This Day in Failure: March 13

2020: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
—U.S. President Donald Trump makes this statement to the media when asked if takes responsibility for the federal response to the coronavirus 2019 outbreak.

2012: Encyclopaedia Britannica announces that it will no longer produce a print version of its flagship publication, making the 32-volume, $1,395 edition that the Chicago-based company put out in 2010 its last. Encyclopaedia Britannica was first published in 1768, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sales of the encyclopedia peaked in 1990, at 120,000 copies.

2008: An Air National Guard jet mistakenly drops a 22-pound, non-explosive practice bomb on the Canyon Creek apartment complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma, damaging the foundation and knocking out power in one of the apartments.

2008: Speaking by video conference with U.S. military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan about the challenges posed by war, corruption, and the poppy trade, U.S. President George W. Bush says: “I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed. It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks.”

1964: Residents of a Queens, New York neighborhood fail to call the police or come to the aid of Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese, 28, as she is stabbed to death by Winston Moseley during the course of two separate attacks. The term Genovese Syndrome is now used to describe an attitude of indifference towards fellow human beings.

1943: Henning von Tresckow, first staff officer of Field-Marshal Fedor von Bock, asks a member of Adolf Hitler’s entourage, Lieutenant-Colonel Heinz Brandt, to take a package aboard Hitler’s plane and deliver it to Colonel Hellmuth Stieff in German Army High Command after the aircraft lands. The package, which resembles two bottles of Cognac, is in fact two parts of a bomb, which is set to go off mid-flight. For reasons that remain a mystery, the explosive device fails to detonate, allowing Hitler to escape the assassination attempt. After Hitler’s safe arrival is confirmed, Fabian von Schlabrendorff flies to German High Command in Berlin and retrieves the package from Colonel Brandt, replacing it with two bottles of cognac.