Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 3:13 AM
1975 - NYC airport bomb
Flying glass and steel shot like shrapnel into scores of holiday travelers when a bomb exploded in a coin-operated locker in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport. Eleven were killed, and at least 75 were injured by the blast that blew a 10-by-15-foot hole in the concrete ceiling and closed the airport for more than 24 hours. Bomb threats were telephoned to at least 10 other U.S. airports, and passengers were evacuated from terminals in Washington, Cleveland and St. Louis while searches were conducted. No other bombs were found. Police said the toll would have been much greater if the time bomb had gone off a few minutes earlier when 147 passengers from two flights picked up their luggage.
1989 - 'Boat people' battle
Thousands of Vietnamese "boat people" battled with riot police in Hong Kong, using Molotov cocktails, homemade swords and stones to attack security forces trying to search for weapons. About half of the 3,227 boat people at the Chi Ma Wan Detention Center were facing forced repatriation to Vietnam after being denied refugee status. The government said they did not qualify as refugees because they sailed into the British colony to seek a better life, not to flee persecution. Several demonstrations developed after 51 boat people were forcibly repatriated earlier in the month.
1997 - Mass chicken killing
Fearing the spread of "bird flu," Hong Kong government workers, farmers and vendors began the slaughter of an estimated 1.2 million chickens blamed for a virus that had killed four people. The killing teams threw the carcasses into plastic garbage bags, tossed in capsful of lime and sealed the bags for disposal in government-run landfills. The slaughter was ordered after discovery of the influenza virus A H5N1 among chickens on a farm and 13 people were confirmed to have flu.
1998 - Khmer Rouge: Sorry
Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea apologized for the deaths of an estimated 2 million people during their 1970s regime and asked Cambodians to forget the past. Samphan, 71, and Chea, 67, were flown by helicopter from a former rebel stronghold to Phnom Penh to, in effect, surrender to Prime Minister Hun Sen after he pledged that they would not face trial for crimes against humanity. But King Norodom Sihanouk would not approve amnesty.
A Vietnamese man who fled his Communist homeland clings to a barbed wire fence at a Hong Kong camp for Vietnamese boat people in May 1989. Associated Press file