Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Thursday, December 27, 2012
12/27/12 at 3:04 AM
1909 - Football approved
It was long before football became an obsession when members of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association voted 52-31 to retain the sport that evolved from the British game of rugby. The sport had become brutal by the end of the 19th century and, according to an Internet report on the game's history, had been responsible for 18 deaths and 180 serious injuries by the early 20th century. Among the rules changes the group decided on was one that prohibited the locking of arms by players in an effort to clear the way for the ball carrier.
1975 - Mine explodes, floods
An explosion in a large coal mine in northeastern India triggered flooding that trapped at least 372 miners. More than 10 hours after the disaster, only four bodies and no survivors had been pulled from the mine 160 miles northwest of Calcutta. Officials said it would be a miracle if anyone survived the explosion or drowning. The blast caused a nearby abandoned water-filled mine to collapse, flooding the working shaft. An official said the abandoned shaft had been out of use for 30 years and served as the water supply for the nearby town of Dhanbad.
1985 - Air passengers killed
Bloody attacks with hand grenades and assault rifles by seven Palestinian guerrillas left 17 dead in assaults on passengers on Israel's El Al on TWA and Pan American airlines in Rome and Vienna airports. Five of the seven attackers also were killed by police and security personnel. Police in Rome said the four attackers at the Leonardo da Vinci Airport were Palestinian, and Vienna police said the three there were Palestinians who carried Moroccan passports. The guerrillas were believed to be trying to avenge Israel's airstrike on PLO headquarters in Tunisia.
1991 - Navy base to close
The closure of the Navy's Subic Bay base in the Philippines by the end of 1992 - ending nearly a century of American military presence there - was announced after officials failed to agree on terms for a lease extension. The Philippine senate recently had rejected a new 10-year lease for Subic in return for $203 million in annual aid. The closure would mean the loss of jobs by thousands of Filipinos. The base also was home to about 5,800 troops and 4,500 dependents. The talks broke down over several issues, including Manila's refusal to allow nuclear weapons aboard ships calling at Subic.
The sprawling Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the northern Philippine province of Zambales was a U.S. naval base until 1992. AP file