This Day in Failure: November 19

2008: The CEO’s of the Big Three Automakers — Alan Mulally of Ford, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Richard Wagoner of GM — appear before the House Services Financial Committee seeking support for a $25 billion taxpayer funded bailout package. During the hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, tweaks the three CEO’s, asking the executives to “raise their hand if they flew [to Washington] commercial…. Let the record show, no hands went up. Second, I’m going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet … and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up,” says Sherman, who later remarks: “There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses.”

2002: The oil tanker Prestige cracks in half and sinks in 12,000 feet of water 133 miles west of Spain and Portugal, spilling at least three million gallons of Russian fuel oil into the Atlantic ocean. In the week before the disaster, both Spain and Portugal refused to allow the already damaged single-hull tanker into their respective territorial waters, where the Prestige’s cargo could have been offloaded to another vessel, possibly preventing the massive spill.

1990: Rock duo Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Grammy award for Girl You Know It’s True, on account of being exposed by their producer for not singing on the album.

1959: The Ford Motor Company announces it is ceasing production of its unpopular Edsel model.

1919: The U.S. Senate rejects the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 55 in favor, 39 against, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.