This Day in Failure, December 14
2008: Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television (an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo), shouts [in Arabic] “This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss, you dog!” and throws his shoe at President George W. Bush during a news conference held in Baghdad just 37 days before the end of Bush’s presidency. The shoe whizzes past Bush’s head and hits the wall behind him. Then al-Zeidi pulls off his other shoe and fires it at Bush, shouting, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt.
2008: An overcrowded 28-ton wooden-hulled ferry, the Maejan, encounters strong waves and currents and capsizes a half-mile from its destination in the northeastern Philippines. More than half of the hundred-plus passengers and crew drown in the chilly water.
2005: Holocaust deniers Heath and Deborah Campbell of Holland Township, New Jersey, celebrate the birth of their first child, naming the boy Adolf Hitler Campbell. The couple goes on to have three more children, naming their two daughters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell (the latter in honor of Schutzstaffel head Heinrich Himmler), and a son, Hons Campbell. Heath says he named his firstborn after Adolf Hitler because “no one else in the world would have that name.”