2011: Rookie driver JR Hildebrand crashes into the wall on the final turn of the 200 lap Indianapolis 500, allowing Dan Wheldon to speed past and drive into Victory Lane. Hildebrand’s crumpled car slides across the finish line while hugging the wall, giving the 23-year-old Californian a second-place finish.
2010: Los Angeles Angels first baseman Kendry Morales hits a walk-off grand slam to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1, but slips after jumping into a crowd of teammates celebrating around home plate. Morales suffers a badly broken left ankle, which requires surgery to repair.
2009: Frenchman Charlie Girard, 28, is rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter 130 miles east of Massachusetts after calling to report being too fatigued to continue his quest to row from Cape Cod to France. Girard had been at sea for 10 days when he aborted his third (and final) attempt at breaking the trans-Atlantic record of 62 days 19 hours.
2009: Karine Ruby, 31, a former Olympic snowboarding champion, dies after falling into a crevasse on France’s Mont Blanc.
2006: Coors executive/pitchman Pete Coors is arrested in Golden, Colorado, for driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to obey a traffic control device.
2004: The Brockton (Mass.) Rox—a minor league baseball team based 25 miles south of Boston—schedules Grady Little Appreciation Night for this date and plans a promotion that includes the distribution of 1,000 Grady Little bobble-arm dolls. The doll’s right arm moves up and down (mimicking the signal a manager gives to summon a relief pitcher from the bullpen), something the former Boston Red Sox manager failed to do early enough in a year-earlier loss to the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. The promotion is canceled after the team is besieged by angry phone calls from Red Sox fans still frustrated by Little’s mistake.
2003: Art framer William H. Bailey accidentally leaves a portfolio containing a Picasso drawing and a Sophie Matisse study of Picasso’s Guernica in a New York City subway station. Bailey offers a $1,000 reward and the works are returned four days later after being found by a sidewalk book vendor.
2003: An interview with heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson airs on Fox TV’s The Pulse, during which Tyson denies he raped Desiree Washington in 1991 but claims he would like to do so now: “I just hate her guts.... I wish I did now. But now I really do want to rape her,” said Tyson.
1985: Thirty-nine people are killed and over 400 are injured during a pre-game riot at the European Cup final at Heysel Stadium in Brussells. Video surveillance of the violence between fans of Liverpool and Italy’s Juventus of Turin allows authorities to extradite 26 British fans to stand trial in Belgium.
1914: In heavy fog, Norwegian coal freighter Storstad collides with the Empress of Ireland on Canada’s St. Lawrence River, killing 1,073 people. Storstad slices through Empress’ hull, then makes matters worse by failing to reverse engines after the crash. By continuing to proceed directly ahead the Storstad crushes countless passengers on board the Empress and forces the damaged ship—which sinks in 14 minutes—onto its side.