On This Day: Cameroon lake releases gas killing more than 1,700

On Aug. 21, 1986, gas released from a volcanic lake in the remote mountains of Cameroon killed more than 1,700 people and injured 500.
By UPI Staff   |   Aug. 21, 2017 at 3:00 AM
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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1831, Nat Turner launched a bloody slave insurrection in Southampton County, Va., leading to the deaths of 60 people. Turner, an educated minister who considered himself chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery, was hanged.

In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The painting by Leonardo di Vinci was recovered in 1913.

In 1935, Benny Goodman's nationally broadcast concert at Los Angeles' Palomar Theater was such a hit that it often has been referred to as the kickoff of the swing era.

In 1940, exiled Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City on orders from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

In 1951, the United States ordered construction of the world's first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus. The vessel was retired in 1985.

In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States.

Crews aboard the International Space Station captured this view of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. Photo courtesy NASA

In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. was assassinated as he stepped from a plane at the Manila airport.

In 1986, gas released from a volcanic lake in the remote mountains of Cameroon killed more than 1,700 people and injured 500. It became known as the Lake Nyos disaster.

In 1994, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon was elected president of Mexico.

In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush said that while no decision had been made whether to go to war against Iraq he believed a "regime change" would be "in the best interest of the world."

File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

In 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, assessing the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, in a mostly flu-free time of year, said there had been 522 reported deaths from confirmed cases of the illness and 7,963 people hospitalized.

In 2011, Libyan rebels, with NATO support, stormed into Tripoli and seized control of Moammar Gadhafi's besieged country, setting up their own government at the end of a three-day battle.

In 2013, a U.S. military judge sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving classified documents to the WikiLeaks whistle-blower site. Manning, with credit for time already served, would be eligible for parole in seven years. In 2016, President Barack Obama pardoned Manning, who was by then going by Chelsea Manning.

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