Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/02/12 at 2:34 AM
1993 - Drug lord killed
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, 44, one of the world's most wanted men, was shot to death in a rooftop gunbattle with police and soldiers in Medellin. Escobar, whose hideout had been exposed by tracing telephone calls he made, including one to a son, had reigned over a global cocaine empire for a decade. A $6.2 million bounty on Escobar's head would be shared by the widows and orphans of the gang's victims, including 500 police officers, President Cesar Gaviria said. Authorities said Escobar and a bodyguard fired at troopers who raided their two-story house. Gaviria said Escobar's death "is a step toward the end of drug trafficking" and shows "it is possible to defeat evil."
1994 - GM recall dropped
The government announced that it had agreed to drop an expected recall case against General Motors pickup trucks in a deal in which GM agreed to spend more than $51 million on safety and research. Transportation Secretary Federico Peña, who had said the trucks were unsafe because their fuel tanks were mounted outside the vehicle frames, said GM's safety and research programs would save lives immediately. "Proceeding with the recall process would have taken years in court," Peña said. About 9 million of the trucks were built between model years 1973 and 1987 and sold under Chevrolet and GMC nameplates.
1997 - Student kills three
Three students were killed and five were wounded when a 14-year-old student inserted ear plugs, drew a gun from a backpack and opened fire on a morning prayer group at a high school in West Paducah, Ky. The boy, who had warned a week earlier that "something big's going to happen," surrendered when Ben Strong - a pastor's son and leader of the prayer circle - grabbed him although he still had three spare clips of ammunition and four other guns. He had told curious classmates the guns he brought to school were props for a science project. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
1998 - Gates makes pledge
Billionaire computer mogul Bill Gates announced he and his wife, Melinda, who became interested in world health after visiting developing countries, would give $100 million to immunize children. "Our program has a simple goal to make vaccines you and I take for granted available to children regardless of where they live," Gates said at a news conference.
Pablo Escobar in 1991. AP file