2008: Seasonal Wal-Mart employee Jdimytai Damour, 34, of Jamaica, Queens, is trampled and killed by a throng of impatient shoppers, who break down the doors to the Valley Stream (New York) Wal-Mart, anxious to take advantage of the store’s Black Friday sale prices.
2005: Ronald MacDonald, 22, of Manchester, New Hampshire, is arrested for stealing money from a safe at a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant.
2005: Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, 63, an eight-term Republican congressman, resigns from office and pleads guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud. Prosecutors say Cunningham admitted receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes, including checks totaling over $1 million, cash, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations. As a member of the House Appropriations subcommittee that controls defense dollars, Cunningham secured contracts worth tens of millions of dollars for those who paid him off.
1995: U.S. president Bill Clinton signs a $6 billion bill that puts an end to the federal 55 mph speed limit.
1979: An Air New Zealand DC-10 carrying 257 people crashes into the side of Mt. Erebus while on a sightseeing tour over Antarctica.
1942: A spark from a match ignites an artificial palm tree at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, resulting in a fire that kills 492 people, making it the deadliest nightclub blaze in U.S. history. Three of the exits had been permanently locked on the orders of owner Barney Welansky, who is later convicted of multiple counts of wanton and willful manslaughter.
1898: The 291-foot side paddlewheel steamship Portland—sometimes referred to as the “Titanic of New England”—sinks off the Massachusetts coast during one of the most destructive storm in New England history. The ship comes to rest in 460 feet of water in an area now part of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, a tract of ocean about the size of Rhode Island between Cape Ann and Cape Cod.