On This Day: Typhoon Fengshen capsizes ferry, killing hundreds

On this date in history:

In 1788, the U.S. Constitution became effective when it was ratified by a ninth state, New Hampshire.

In 1945, Japanese defenders of Okinawa surrendered to U.S. troops.

In 1964, Ku Klux Klan members killed three civil rights activists — James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — and hid their bodies in unmarked graves. An informer led the FBI to the three men’s graves 44 days later.

In 1972, Hurricane Agnes hit the eastern U.S. seaboard, killing 118 people over a seven-state area.

In 1982, John Hinckley Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shootings of U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three other people who were also wounded. Hinckley has been in a hospital in Washington, with permission in recent years to spend time outside the institution with his family.

In 1985, international experts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, conclusively identified the bones of a 1979 drowning victim as the remains of Dr. Josef Mengele, a Nazi war criminal, ending a 40-year search for the “angel of death” of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

In 1990, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Iran, killing up to 50,000 people.

In 1997, Cambodia announced the capture of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.

In 2000, NASA announced that its Mars Global Surveyor had spotted grooved surface features, suggesting a relatively recent water flow on the planet.

In 2004, Connecticut Gov. John Rowland resigned during his third term amid a corruption scandal. Rowland, a Republican, later pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge and spent 10 months in a federal prison.

In 2005, a Mississippi jury convicted 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

In 2008, nearly 1,400 people, most of them on a ferry that capsized, were killed in Typhoon Fengshen in the Philippines.

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a law making it a crime to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

In 2011, a RusAir passenger plane flying from Moscow to Petrozavodsk in rain and fog crashed on a highway near an airport and broke apart in flames. Forty-four people died, eight survived.

In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated James Comey, a Justice Department official during the George W. Bush administration, to head the FBI. Comey was sworn-in in September and was later fired by President Donald Trump in 2017.

In 2017, Romania’s Parliament ousted Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu in a no-confidence vote six months after he assumed office. The action came after the Social Democrat Party accused Grindeanu of failing to undertake economic reforms.

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