Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Sunday, February 10, 2013
2/10/13 at 2:51 AM
1973 - Huge gas tank explodes
The world's largest liquefied natural gas tank exploded on Staten Island, N.Y., while it was being cleaned, killing all 43 workers who were trapped inside. The eight-story-high, 600,000-barrel tank owned by Texas Eastern Cryogenic Inc. had developed leaks about a year earlier, and the company had been "purging it of gas" by leaving it open to the air. A Texas Eastern spokesman said the atmosphere in the tank had been tested for an explosive mixture before the workers entered, but none was found.
1997 - Top soldier suspended
Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney, the Army's top-ranking enlisted soldier, was suspended after being accused of sexual harassment by a retired female sergeant major who had been on McKinney's staff. Sgt. Maj. Brenda Hoster said in a television interview that McKinney asked her for sex, and grabbed her and kissed her in a hotel room in Hawaii during a business trip. Five other women later claimed McKinney, 46, had pressured them for sex. McKinney, the first black soldier to serve in the top enlisted post, later was acquitted of 18 counts of sexual harassment but was convicted of obstruction of justice.
2005 - N. Korea admits nukes
For the first time, North Korea announced publicly that it had manufactured nuclear arms for "self-defense," claiming they were needed "to cope with the Bush administration's ever-more undisguised policy to isolate and stifle" the north. The North Korean Foreign Ministry also said that it would stay away from disarmament talks. President George W. Bush's administration had urged the north to give up its nuclear plans to make life better for its impoverished people.
2009 - Satellites collide
Two Russian and American communication satellites collided over Siberia in the first-ever crash of two spacecraft in orbit. "We knew this was going to happen eventually," said Mark Matney, a scientist at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The crash involved an Iridium commercial satellite and a Russian satellite believed to be nonfunctioning.
Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney in 1996. AP file