Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Monday, January 28, 2013
1/28/13 at 2:36 AM
1982 - General rescued
American Brig. Gen. James L. Dozier was rescued from his kidnappers in Padua, Italy, after 42 days in the custody of a group of terrorists known as the Red Brigade. Police commandos broke down a door to a second-floor apartment and pounced on a gunman who was pointing a pistol at Dozier's head. "If they (the commandos) hadn't been so fast, the story would have had a different ending," Italian Interior Minister Virginio Rognoni said; the rescue took only 90 seconds. The general was seized in his Verona apartment on Dec. 17 by terrorists disguised as plumbers. His wife was bound and gagged but left behind. Dozier, 52, was the highest-ranking American at the NATO base in Verona.
1986 - Challenger explodes
The space shuttle Challenger blew apart 74 seconds after it lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., sending schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe and six astronauts to fiery deaths eight miles from the space center. A special commission appointed by President Ronald Reagan blamed the failure on a leaking O-ring seal in a solid-fuel rocket. The space shuttle program was grounded during the commission's investigation and flying did not resume until Sept. 28, 1988, with the flight of the shuttle Discovery. In addition to McAuliffe, the crew included Francis Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka and Gregory Jarvis. A Tulsa Union elementary school was named in memory of McAuliffe.
2009 - House OKs stimulus bill
President Barack Obama's huge $819 billion stimulus bill was approved by the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 244-188, with Republicans unanimous in opposition, including the four from Oklahoma. Rep. Dan Boren, Oklahoma's lone Democrat in Congress, was the only Sooner to vote for the package. The Senate approved the bill 60-38 on Feb. 13, with Oklahoma's two Republican senators voting against it.
2010 - Bernanke confirmed
The Senate confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was first nominated by President George W. Bush and nominated for a second four-year term by President Barack Obama. "Bernanke fiddled while our markets burned," huffed Richard Shelby, of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, during debate on his confirmation. But supporters credited him with preventing the Great Recession from turning into the second Great Depression.