A Blast From The Past

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Nov. 24, 2001 at 5:45 AM

Today is Nov. 24.

Accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in a Dallas jail on this date in 1963. We said "accused" because Oswald was never tried and convicted in the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, the Warren Commission would later rule Oswald was in all probability the killer, although conspiracy theories still abound. The more colorful ones include the Mafia and Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant launched the Battle of Chattanooga (Tenn.) on this date in 1863 after bringing in reinforcements. Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg had been confident that he and his troops were in an impregnable position on Lookout Mountain. They were wrong. Union forces overran the Confederate encampment and Bragg himself barely escaped capture.

A middle-aged man whose ticket was made out to "D.B. Cooper" hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, to Seattle on this date in 1971. Somewhere south of Seattle early the following day, he parachuted from the plane with the $200,000 in ransom he'd collected from the airline -- and was never heard from again.

Several thousand dollars of the ransom money was found in February 1980 along the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash. But no sign of "D.B. Cooper."

It was on this date in 1985 that Arab commandos forced an EgyptAir jetliner to Malta and began shooting passengers, fatally wounding two. 57 other people died when Egyptian commandos stormed the jet, bringing the hijacking to a bloody end.

And Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire on this date in 1874. Without barbed wire, farming of the Great Plains might have been near impossible.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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