This Day in Failure: May 22

2010: In a commencement speech to graduates at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, Today show news anchor Ann Curry ticks off the names of famous Wheaton alumni, including Rev. Billy Graham, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and horror movie director Wes Craven. Unfortunately for Curry, the aforementioned alums attended a different Wheaton College, a Christian school in Illinois with the same name. "I am mortified by my mistake, and can only hope the purity of my motive, to find a way to connect with the graduates and to encourage them to a life of service, will allow you to forgive me," wrote Curry in an open letter posted on Wheaton's Web site.

2009: Dozens of schoolgirls from Yeshiva Shaare Torah—an ultra-Orthodox private school in Brooklyn, New York—are posing for a class photo atop a sidewalk grate in front of the school when the grate gives way, sending the students plummeting 12 feet to the concrete below. Thirty-four girls are injured, and the Yeshiva is issued a violation for failing to maintain the structure.

2009: A United Airlines flight carrying Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers is forced to make an emergency landing at Pittsburgh International Airport after the pilot reports a problem with the plane’s hydraulics. The Airbus 319 was en route from Washington D.C. to Chicago.

2007: In the middle of the government’s annual week-long “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign, President George W. Bush is photographed driving a pickup truck without wearing a seat belt.

1967: A fire breaks out in the furniture department on the fourth floor of L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium. With no sprinklers and no alarm system the fire spreads quickly and 322 people are killed, most of the fatalities due to smoke inhalation.

1960: A magnitude 9.5 earthquake strikes Chile, killing 5,700 people.

1939: Italian leader Benito Mussolini signs the “Pact of Steel” with German leader Adolf Hitler, formally uniting Fascist Italy with Nazi Germany in a military alliance.