1822 – Alexander Pearce and five others escape Macquarie Harbour

Alexander Pearce was a convict in the Macquarie Harbour “secondary punishment” penal colony when he and seven others made their escape. Being sent to “secondary punishment” means that these men, who had already been convicted in Britain and transported to Van Diemens Land, and had then misbehaved sufficiently to be singled out for additional punishment in harsher conditions.

The other convicts: Alexander Dalton, Thomas Bodenham, William Kennerly, Matthew Travers, Edward Brown, Robert Greenhill and John Mather. Brown and Kennerly soon gave up and turned back. They were recaptured by the Macquarie Harbour authorities and died in the prison infirmary. The authorities more or less gave up the search at this point, reasoning that the elements or the natives would kill them. They were wrong about this, but just how wrong they wouldn’t know for more than another year.

Referenced in:
A Tale They Won’t Believe — Weddings, Parties, Anything

1973 — Jim Croce dies in a plane crash

Probably best known for his singles, Operator, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim, Time in a Bottle, and his biggest hit, Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Croce was a American singer-songwriter who enjoyed a too-brief fame in the early Seventies.

His career was tragically cut short when he and his close friend and frequent collaborator Maury Muehleisen died when the light aircaft they were flying in crashed en route between Natchitoches, Louisiana, and Sherman, Texas.

Referenced in:
Air Crash Museum — The Dead Milkmen

2001 — George W. Bush announces the War on Terror

Nine days after the 9/11 attacks, George Bush gave his country what so very many of them were crying out for: a rallying cry, a cause and an outlet for vengeful bloodlust. The War on Terror – which has, nine years on, failed to achieve almost any of its stated goals (but which conspiracy theorists allege has achieved a number of its unstated goals) – has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

Referenced in:
Self-Evident — Ani DiFranco