This Day in Failure: November 1

Rocky  Denver  Nuggets Mascot

2013: The Denver Nuggets’ typically energetic mascot, Rocky, appears to hang lifeless as he is lowered (by wire) from the rafters of the Pepsi Center prior to the team’s home opener vs. the Portland Trail Blazers. Upon reaching the floor he collapses, unconscious, and leaves the game to receive medical attention. Without Rocky’s support the Nuggets go on to lose, 113-98.

2008: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin unwittingly takes a prank call from a Canadian comedian posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The comedian, Marc-Antoine Audette, speaks in an exaggerated French accent and drops numerous hints that the conversation is a joke, yet Palin does not pick up on them. At one point in the call—which is recorded and later broadcast on a Quebec radio station—Audette refers to Canadian singer Steph Carse as Canada’s prime minister. Palin fails to correct him and even offers generic praise for Carse, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Canada’s prime minister is Stephen Harper.

2008: Donald Peters, a 79-year-old retired hat factory worker, purchases two Connecticut Lottery tickets at his local 7-Eleven as part of a 20-year tradition he shares with his wife Charlotte. Later in the day, Donald suffers a fatal heart attack while working in his yard. Weeks go by and Charlotte, 78, considers discarding the tickets before finally checking the numbers at the grocery store, where she discovers that one of the tickets is a $10 million winner. “He passes away and she wins a lot of money. He’d be very mad,” says Brian Peters, one of the couple’s three children. "He’d say, ‘Figures!’"

1998: The APL China—a massive container ship 906 feet long and 131 feet wide—slips into port in Seattle, having lost 407 of its 1,300 fully-loaded containers, making this, in monetary terms, the worst shipping disaster in maritime history. En route from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, China encounters “normal” waves up to 80 feet high and at least one “freakish” wave up to 105 feet high, subjecting the ship to “parametric rolling,” whereupon almost one-third of the giant containers fall overboard and countless others are smashed.

1950: During the renovation of the White House, two Puerto Rican nationalists storm the temporary (and security challenged) residence of President Harry S. Truman. While the president and his family escape unharmed, one officer and one would-be assassin are killed.