2007: Despite being 41-point underdogs, Stanford defeats the University of Southern California, 24-23, at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, snapping the Trojans’ 35-game home winning streak.
2003: Famed “bear whisperer” Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard are attacked and eaten by a grizzly bear in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. Two years earlier Treadwell—the founder of Grizzly People, a grassroots organization devoted to preserving bears and their wilderness habitat—had appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. During the show the host quipped: “Is it one day going to happen [that] we read a news article about you being eaten by one of these bears?” The studio audience howled but Letterman proved prophetic.
2002: A 15th-century life-size marble statue of Adam by Venetian sculptor Tullio Lombardo—part of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection—topples over and breaks into dozens of pieces after its pedestal suffers a structural failure.
1990: An egregious officiating error in a college football game between Colorado and Missouri gives Colorado five downs during its last drive, the fifth of which the Buffaloes use to score the game-winning touchdown as time expires. The 33-31 road victory propels Colorado to a share of the 1990 national title, while Missouri stumbles to a 4-7 record.
1972: A train driven by an inebriated crew derails at 75 mph near Saltillo, Mexico, killing 208 people and injuring hundreds of others. After finding the inebriated engineer alive (and drunk), survivors attempt to lynch him before authorities whisk him away to safety.
1958: The NFL’s Detroit Lions trade quarterback Bobby Layne—who led the team to three league titles, in 1952, ’53 and ’57—to the then-lowly Pittsburgh Steelers. Layne lashes out at the organization, allegedly saying: The Lions “will not win for 50 years.” True to Layne’s prediction (now referred to as “The Curse of Bobby Layne”), the Lions fail to win a championship over the course of the next five decades.