Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
12/11/12 at 2:32 AM
1928 - Hoover plot discovered
Two men were arrested by Buenos Aires police in a raid on a house that was believed to be the headquarters of a plot against the life of American President-elect Herbert Hoover who was scheduled to visit Argentina a few days later. Police said they confiscated seven bombs, a number of small arms, a large quantity of ammunition, counterfeit money and a map showing where Hoover would visit. Two teen-aged girls who were found at the house were released to their parents. Several other persons, believed to be trouble-makers, had been taken into custody to be held until after Hoover's visit. Hoover was spending his time before his March inauguration getting acquainted with the people and problems of other American republics.
1946 - U.N. site donated
Six square blocks of expensive New York City land valued at $8.5 million were offered to the United Nations for its world headquarters by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. The offer was accepted unanimously two days later by the U.N. assembly. Rockefeller told the U.N. that he had 30-day options on the land between 42nd and 48th Streets along the East River that contained a number of expensive apartment buildings and would buy it for donation if the U.N. wanted it for a headquarters site. The city donated adjacent streets and East River frontage land valued at $2 million.
1998 - Mars spacecraft blasts off
A NASA spacecraft blasted off on a 416-million-mile journey to Mars in search of water on the red planet. The Mars Climate Orbiter was followed on Jan. 3 by the Polar Lander and both unmanned spacecraft that had the same goal: follow the water. NASA's space science chief, Ed Weiler explained "If you want to look for life, either fossilized life or even extant life on another planet, you have to follow the water." The orbiter was to reach Mars in September with a mission to serve as a radio-relay station for the Polar Lander that was to burrow into the ground to analyze the soil. But the orbiter never reached its goal, apparently because of human or software error.
2002 - Intelligence post recommended
A congressional report found that intelligence agencies failed to protect Americans from the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers because they were poorly organized, poorly equipped and slow to pursue clues that might have prevented the attacks. The top recommendation by the House and Senate intelligence committees was the creation of a national intelligence director's position in an attempt to break down bureaucratic walls that prevented agencies from sharing information on terrorists.