Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
12/26/12 at 3:49 AM
1947 - Record snow in NYC
It wasn't officially labeled a blizzard but it had all the effects of one, a reporter wrote about a storm that paralyzed the northeast and left 58 dead, many of whom died of heart attacks while trying to clear snow. A record 25.8 inches of snow fell in 16 hours in New York City and a blanket of snow covered eight other states and Washington, D.C. Mayor William O'Dwyer ordered 100,000 city workers to report to work to help wherever necessary in clearing streets and restoring services.
1995 - Villages transferred
Dozens of West Bank villages were turned over to the Palestinian Authority by Israel in a smooth transfer of power. In all, Israel pulled out of 10 villages where it had troops stationed and handed over another 50 smaller villages near Hebron and Ramallah where the army had no permanent presence. Delighted residents at Dahariya, south of Hebron, served coffee and gave olive branches to the departing Israeli troops. When PLO police arrived in buses, they raised the once-banned Palestinian flag at the former Israeli military headquarters.
2000 - Seven workers slain
Michael McDermott, 42, who was upset about his wages being garnisheed by the Internal Revenue Service, killed seven co-workers at Edgewater Technology Inc. in Wakefield, Mass., before sitting down in the office lobby and calmly waiting for police. As they approached, McDermott's only words were cryptic: "I don't speak German." McDermott, armed with a rifle, a shotgun and a pistol, killed four women and three men in the accounting department of the Internet consulting company, including two hiding in a closet. Investigators found bomb-making chemicals, blasting caps and magazines of explosives in his apartment the next day. McDermott was sentenced to seven life terms without possibility of parole.
2004 - Quake kills 223,000
One of the most powerful earthquakes ever sent 20-foot tidal waves to ravish thousands of miles of eight Asian countries. More than 223,000 people in 11 Asian countries were killed and about 50,000 were missing. Hundreds of thousands more were left homeless. The strength of the quake, which was estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, has been reported from 9.0 to 9.15 on the Richter scale, making it one of the four strongest in a century. Scientists said it lasted about 10 minutes and caused the planet to vibrate.
Michael McDermott, 42, who killed seven co-workers is led into court in Malden, Mass. AP file