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1978 World Cup Soccer Fix The 1978 World Cup tournament was held in Argentina during the era when a brutal military junta ruled the South American country. Fearing for their safety, two of the world's best players (Holland's Johann Cruyff and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer) both boycotted the tourney. The most controversial match pitted the host Argentines versus Peru. The Peruvians were already mathematically eliminated. Argentina had to win by at least four goals to overtake Brazil in the pool standings and qualify to meet the Dutch in the final. Peru put forth an effort so dismal in a 6-0 defeat that the Peruvian players bought newspaper ads in Lima to insist the match hadn't been fixed. Years later, after the junta was toppled, documents indicated that about $50 million was paid by the Argentine government to top Peruvian soccer officials to get the desired result. Argentina defeated Holland in the final.
Tags: soccer  1978  World  Cup  Argentina  Peru 
Added: 12th November 2009
Views: 1837
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Posted By: Lava1964
James Bulger Murder Case 1993 One of the truly shocking crimes of the late twentieth century was the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool, England. His killers were two 10-year-olds, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who committed the crime for no discernible reason. James wandered away from his mother, Denise, at the New Strand Shopping Centre on February 12, 1993. His mutilated body was found on a nearby railway line two days later. Thompson and Venables, who had skipped school, were photographed by a security camera leading Bulger away. They took Bulger two miles from the mall where they tortured him and bludgeoned him to death with bricks, stones, and an iron bar. The killers then placed the child's corpse on the railway tracks to make Bulger's death appear to be an accident. They were charged with Bulger's abduction and murder on February 20. The twosome were found guilty on November 24, 1993, thus becoming the youngest people ever to be convicted of murder in England. The trial judge sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for 'very, very many years to come,' recommending a minimum term of eight years. Shortly after the trial, the Lord Chief Justice ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of 10 years, which would have made them eligible for release in February 2003 when they were both 20. The outraged British public felt the sentence was far too lenient. The editors of The Sun newspaper began a petition asking Home Secretary Michael Howard to increase the killers' time in custody. The petition eventually topped 300,000 signatures. This campaign was successful. In 1995 Howard announced the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of 15 years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008 when they would be 25 years old. In 1997, the Court of Appeal ruled that Howard's decision was unlawful, and the Home Secretary lost his power to set minimum terms for life-sentence prisoners under 18 years of age. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have since ruled that, though the parliament may set minimum and maximum terms for individual categories of crime, it is the responsibility of the trial judge, with the benefit of all the evidence and argument from both prosecution and defense council, to determine the minimum term in individual criminal cases. After a parole hearing in June 2001, Thompson and Venables were released on a 'life licence' after serving just eight years. The hearing concluded that 'public safety would not be threatened by their rehabilitation.' An injunction was imposed after the trial, preventing the publication of details about the boys, for fear of reprisals. The injunction remains in force, so their new identities and locations cannot be published (although this ruling only applies to the United Kingdom). They walk among us today, protected by legal anonymity. Meanwhile the hapless James Bulger remains two years old forever...
Tags: murder  James  Bulger  Jon  Venables  Robert  Thompson  Britain 
Added: 15th December 2009
Views: 1959
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Posted By: Lava1964
Niagara Falls Dries Up - 1848 The photo below is an aerial view of what Niagara Falls usually looks like. But for a period of about 40 hours on March 29-31, 1848 Niagara Falls stopped. No water flowed over the great cataract for the first time in recorded history. Not surprisngly people went a little nuts. Niagara Falls was already a big tourist attraction by 1848. Villages sprouted on both the U.S. and Canadian sides of the river to accommodate the sightseeing throngs. Residents also built waterwheels to harness the Niagara River’s power to run mills and drive machinery in factories. An American farmer out for a stroll shortly before midnight on March 29 was the first to notice something. Actually, he noticed the absence of something--the thundering roar of the falls. When he went to the river’s edge, he saw hardly any water. Came the dawn of March 30, people awoke to an unaccustomed silence. The mighty Niagara was a mere trickle. Mills and factories shut down because the waterwheels had stopped. The bed of the river was exposed. Fish died and turtles floundered about. Brave—or foolish— people walked on the river bottom, picking up exposed guns, bayonets and tomahawks as souvenirs. Was it the end of the world? Perhaps it was divine retribution for what some folks thought was a U.S. war of aggression against Mexico? In an age of religious revivals, theological explanations abounded. Fearing the end of the world, thousands of people filled special church services praying for the falls to start flowing and the world to continue, or for salvation and forgiveness of their sins as the Last Judgment approached. Because communications were haphazard in 1848, no one knew why the falls had stopped. But from Buffalo, NY word eventually arrived that explained the bare falls and dry riverbed. Strong southwest gale winds had pushed huge chunks of ice to the extreme northeastern tip of Lake Erie, blocking the lake’s outlet into the head of the Niagara River. The ice jam had become an ice dam. And just as news traveled inward, news also traveled outward. Thousands came from nearby cities and towns to look at the spectacle of Niagara Falls without water. People crossed the riverbed on foot, on horseback and in horse-drawn buggies. Mounted U.S. Army cavalry soldiers paraded up and down the empty Niagara River. It was a potentially hazardous act for there was no telling when the rushing waters might return. One entrepreneur used the hiatus to do some safety work. The Maid of the Mist sightseeing boat had been taking tourists on river rides below the falls since 1846, and there were some dangerous rocks it always had to avoid. Since the river had ceased running and the rocks were in plain sight, the boat’s owner sent workers out to blast the rocks away with explosives. March 30 was not the only dry day. No water flowed over the falls throughout the daylight hours of March 31. But that night a distant rumble came from upriver. The low-pitched noise drew nearer and louder. Suddenly a wall of water came roaring down the upper Niagara River and over the falls with a giant thunder. The ice jam had cleared. To the relief of the locals, the river was running again.
Tags: Niagara  Falls  dries  up  natural  history 
Added: 21st March 2011
Views: 2026
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Posted By: Lava1964
1932 NFL Championship Game One of the most important games in the history of the National Football League was the 1932 NFL Championship Game. It provided many firsts: Most significantly it was the NFL's first championship game--and it was the first NFL game to be played indoors. Prior to 1933 there was no official league championship game. The league title went to the team with the best record--which was often disputed because teams did not play anything resembling a balanced schedule. In 1932, both the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth (OH) Spartans had six wins and a loss. By rule, tie games were ignored in the standings. Portsmouth had four ties and the Bears had six! During the regular season, both games between the Bears and Spartans had ended in ties. With the NFL's blessings, the Bears and Spartans agreed to play a one-game tie-breaker at Chicago's Wrigley Field on December 18. However, a forecast of a blizzard and minus-40-degree temperatures prompted the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, an arena more suited for hockey than football. Dirt from a recent circus was spread on the arena's concrete floor to form somethin akin to a regular gridiron. The cozy confines forced some playing rules to be revised. Because there were only 80 yards between the goal lines, as soon as a team advanced the ball beyond midfield, it was moved back 20 yards! The goalposts were moved from the endline to the goal line (where they stayed until 1974). Also, because the field was ten yards narrower than usual, before every play from scrimmage the ball was placed between hashmarks ten yards from the sideline. Chicago won the game 9-0, all their points coming in the fourth quarter on a controversial forward-pass touchdown and a safety. (The touchdown play caused the NFL's passing rules to be modernized the following season.) Not long afterward the Spartans moved to Detroit and became the Lions. The game was a huge success and inspired the NFL to split itself into two divisions and hold an annual championship game between the divisional champs. That system determined the NFL champion each year until the Super Bowl era began in 1966.
Tags: football  NFL  1932  Championship 
Added: 14th January 2012
Views: 1791
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Posted By: Lava1964
Brittanie Cecil - Hockey Fan Fatality At any high-quality hockey game, pucks flying into the crowd at great speeds are a common occurrence. Injuries to fans occasionally happen. Only once in the long history of the NHL has a spectator been killed as a result of being struck by a puck. The victim was Brittanie Cecil, who ironically had been given her ticket to the game as an early 14th birthday present. Brittanie, an athletic girl from West Alexandria, OH, was watching the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Calgary Flames at Columbus' Nationwide Arena on March 16, 2002. A slapshot by the Blue Jackets' Espen Knutsen was deflected by the Flames' Derek Morris. It went over the glass behind the net, striking Brittanie in the left temple. Play carried on as the players were unaware of having inadvertently caused any serious injury. Although Brittanie had suffered a skull fracture, she walked on her own power to a first-aid station before being taken to Columbus Children's Hospital in an ambulance. Her only visible injury was a gash on her forehead. At the hospital, she suffered an initial seizure and was admitted, but the next day she appeared to be recovering. Brittanie was both communicative and ambulatory, and had no complaints of pain or dizziness. A CT-scan, however, had failed to catch a torn vertebral artery, resulting in severe clotting and swelling of the brain. On March 18, she developed a high fever and lost consciousness. She died nearly 48 hours after being struck, at 5:15 p.m. on March 18, 2002, two days before her 14th birthday. Brittanie's funeral cortege drew a procession of more than 150 cars. Attending the service was Blue Jackets' general manager Doug MacLean who spoke on behalf of the team. Knutsen and Morris, the two players who combined for the fatal slapshot, expressed remorse following Brittanie's death. Morris, who deflected the puck, explained, "You try to say, 'It happens all the time,' but you can't. I don't know how many times pucks get deflected over the glass, but it doesn't make it any better. You can always say, 'It's not my fault,' but you always feel like it is, a little." Knutsen was given the option of sitting out the next game by Blue Jackets coach Dave King. He chose to play, telling reporters, "I think about it all the time. It was a terrible accident, and I cannot get it off my mind." Knutsen was so shaken by what had happened that he could not handle meeting Brittanie's family until 2010--eight years after the accident. The following season, the NHL mandated that safety netting be installed in every arena to protect spectators seated behind the goal nets. This move was initially greeted with hostility by longtime hockey fans who didn't want their view of games obstructed and who further perceived the netting as an overreaction to a freak accident.
Tags: accident  hockey  fan  puck  Brittanie  Cecil 
Added: 6th April 2012
Views: 819
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Posted By: Lava1964

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