Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Saturday, December 22, 2012
12/22/12 at 2:51 AM
1934 - Okemah banks robbed
Outlaw Raymond Hamilton, called the Southwest's worst killer, led a gang of six robbers in a perfectly executed robbery of two of the three banks in Okemah of about $17,000. The robbers arrived in Okemah before dawn, broke into the First National and Okemah National Banks and awaited the arrival of employees who were forced to open the safes. Hamilton, who had escaped from death row, was captured a few months later and executed.
1963 - Ship burns; 935 saved
The Greek cruise ship Lakonia, loaded with 1,036 passengers and crew members on a cruise promoted as "A Christmas you will remember and talk about the rest of your life," caught fire 180 miles north of Madeira in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. At least 935 survived in life boats and were rescued by other ships in the area. Many of the passengers claimed that crew members panicked, fought for the lifeboats and left passengers to save themselves.
1989 - Record-setting cold
A deep freeze snapped temperature records in more than 125 cities from the Rockies to the East Coast, including Tulsa, making it one of the worst cold spells on record, the National Weather Service said. The temperature dipped to minus 47 in the southeastern Montana town of Broadus - the coldest spot in the lower 48 states. Tulsa shivered as a temperature of 6 below zero shattered records for the day and the month and kept residents bundled up and indoors. But that record didn't last long - the mercury dipped to a bone-chilling 8 below zero the next day. Nationwide, thousands of homes were without heat or electricity because of outages caused by overdrawn current, ice on power lines and other problems.
2010 - 'Don't ask' repealed
President Barack Obama signed a law repealing what was known as the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for homosexuals in military services. Repealing the 17-year-old policy, the president said, "This law I'm about to sign will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend." The new law allowed gays for the first time to serve openly. "We are a nation that welcomes the service of every patriot ... a nation that believes that all men and women are created equal," the president said. The old policy had forced gays to hide their sexual orientation or face dismissal.
President Barack Obama gives a thumbs-up after signing "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation. AP file