Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Saturday, November 24, 2012
11/24/12 at 3:33 AM
1986 - Silver Eagle popular
The initial supply of 1.4 million American Eagle silver dollars was snatched up within hours after being offered by bulk dealers who ordered an additional 250,000 of the coins. The same demand was involved a month earlier for the gold American Eagle coins. The silver and gold eagles were sold for the market price of their bullion content - the silver for $5 an ounce and the gold for $380 per ounce. The Mint allocated 50,000 coins each to 28 bulk purchasers, far below the demand.
1993 - Brady bill passed
After a battle of more than six years, Congress approved the Brady handgun control bill and sent it to President Bill Clinton, who said the approval was "a wonderful Thanksgiving present for the American people." The new law was signed a few days later by Clinton as its namesake, James Brady, watched from his wheelchair. Former Press Secretary Brady was severely wounded by a gunshot in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan and had campaigned for gun control since the mid-1980s. The Brady bill, which requires background checks on handgun buyers, was first introduced in Congress in 1987.
1999 - Ferry sinks, 300 die
A ferry boat in the Yellow Sea off the coast of China caught fire in the midst of a storm and sank as it turned around to head back to shore while sending distress signals. Only 36 of the 300 plus passengers and 40 crew members survived. The 9,000-ton vessel was headed from the Shandong province city of Yantai to Dalian in a fierce storm with strong winds and heavy snow when the fire started, possibly from a leaking fuel tank on a car. Fierce waves and wind prevented other boats from getting close to the ferry.
2010 - Ex-congressman convicted
A jury that deliberated for 19 hours found former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay guilty of money laundering and conspiring to commit money laundering involving the funneling of $190,000 in corporate donations to Texas Republican legislative candidates in 2002. DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress, later was sentenced to three years in prison but remains free on an appeal bond. "This is an abuse of power. It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent," DeLay told reporters.
President Clinton signs the Brady bill as former Reagan Press Secretary James Brady watches. AP file