Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
8/01/12 at 3:02 AM
1914 - World War I begins
World War I was under way. Imperial Germany declared war on Russia, which was allied by treaty with Britain and France. On the side with Germany were Turkey and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, gave the Germans the excuse for ultimatums that finally exploded into war.
1971 - Bangladesh funds raised
An overflow crowd of about 40,000 fans attended two benefit concerts featuring two former Beatles and others at Madison Square Garden in New York City to raise funds for refugees from East Pakistan. Producers estimated $250,000 was raised by the afternoon and evening Concerts for Bangladesh, but a set of records commemorating the event was even more successful, reportedly raising more than $11 million for the starving people. In addition to former Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the concerts also featured Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, Billy Preston and Tulsan Leon Russell.
1972 - Skyjackers detained briefly
A group of hijackers that included an escaped murderer dressed as a priest as well as two other men, two women and three children was detained in Algiers where the $1 million ransom the group had collected in Miami was seized and later returned to the U.S. The hijackers also were released after a few days. The hijackers boarded a Miami-bound Delta Airlines DC-8 in Detroit and commandeered the plane before it reached Miami, where other passengers were released and the ransom money was delivered. One of the hijackers, identified as George Wright who had escaped in 1970 from a New Jersey prison where he was imprisoned for murder, carried a hollowed out Bible with a gun in it. He was found in Portugal in 2011 but his extradition to the U.S. was refused.
1976 - Flash flood kills
Helicopter crews were evacuating survivors of a flash flood that was triggered by heavy rain, sending a wall of water sweeping down the steep and narrow Big Thompson Canyon near Loveland, Colo., killing at least 145. The water surged down the canyon where 2,500 to 3,500 people were believed to be, many in tents or campers.
A section of highway was washed out by a flash flood in Big Thompson Canyon, Colo., in 1976. Associated Press file