we live in a slightly mad world

Aug 10 1628

To assist in the war with Poland, Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus builds a magnificent warship, the Vasa, with 64 bronze cannon on two tiers. But on its maiden voyage, the lower gunports are accidentally left open, and the ship immediately sinks to the bottom of Stockholm harbor. The ship remains submerged until it is raised in 1961 to become a tourist attraction.

Aug 10 1966

Last words of James French, sent to the Electric Chair by the state of Oklahoma: “How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? FRENCH FRIES.”

Aug 10 1969

Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson. They take some of their victims’ blood and smear HEALTER SKELTER on the refrigerator door.

Aug 10 1972

Paul McCartney and his wife Linda are arrested in Sweden after postal officials intercept a parcel of hashish addressed to their band, Wings.

Aug 10 1989

Disgruntled postal worker John Merlin Taylor blows his wife’s brains out with a .22 Ruger, then drives to his job at the Orange Glen post office in Escondido, California. There he kills two coworkers on the back loading dock, then wounds another inside before blowing his own brains out.

Aug 10 1996

Heated by the sun, powerlines begin to sag in Oregon. Somehow this triggers a series of failures which cascades throughout the Western states. Four million people lose electrical service in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Texas. It is probably the worst power outage in US history.