This Day in Failure: September 22

2008: In a sit-down interview with CBS Evening News’ Katie Couric, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden tries to make a historical comparison between the competency of today’s political leaders and those of yesteryear, saying: “When the stock market crashed [in 1929], Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.” Unfortunately for Biden, Herbert Hoover was president when the stock market crashed, and television wasn’t introduced to the public until 1939.

2006: In Lathen, Germany, human error causes a high-tech “maglev” train to smash into a maintenance car on an elevated test track at 125 mph, killing 23 people—the first fatalities on a magnetic levitation train.

1993: An Amtrak train en route to Miami derails near Mobile, Alabama, after the Mauvilla, a towboat pulling six barges of coal and wood, strikes a rail bridge and knocks the tracks out of alignment by three feet. Several minutes later, Amrak’s Sunset Limited comes down the tracks at 70 miles per hour, hits the misplaced tracks and derails. Three locomotives and the first four passenger cars plunge into the swamp below, killing 47 people.

1927: Heavyweight boxing legend Jack Dempsey knocks down Gene Tunney in a re-match of their 1926 title fight, but delays the referee’s count by not retreating to a neutral corner. As a result, he loses a possible KO and ends up losing the fight.