On this day in 1973 country-rock singer Gram Parsons (he wrote "Love Hurts") dies of a combination of tequila and morphine. His death inspired two of his friends to commit one of the greatest rock and/or roll crimes of all time. Phil Kaufman, Parson's road manager, entered a pact with singer that if one of them died the other would cremate their remains and spread them over Joshua Tree National Park. So Kaufman and a roadie named Michael Martin stole Parson's body at the airport in a borrowed hearse and drove it into the Mojave wasteland. They proceeded to douse the vehicle in gasoline and light it on fire. Because stealing a body wasn't a crime in California, both men were fined $300. They paid off the debt by hiring the band Bobby Picket and the Cryptkeepers to perform a benefit concert. They played their hit "Monster Mash" over and over again.
On this day in 1995 the infamous Unabomber Manifesto is published in many of the nation's more prominent newspapers after the author said the bombings would stop if they would publish his thoughts. The Unabomber was responsible for killing three people and injuring another 23 by sending bombs through the mail over a 15 year period. As it turns out Ted Kaczynski was recognized by his brother for being the author of the crazy rant and was captured by the FBI the following April.
On this day in 1881 President James Garfield dies from his gunshot wound that he received two months prior. The official cause of death was blood poisoning, probably brought on by the wonderful doctors of the day. He was shot in the back by an angry office seeker.
On this day in 1988 American Greg Louganis wins the gold medal in springboard diving. The previous day during qualifying Louganis hit his head on the diving board and received a cut that required stitches. He finished his next two dives that night to qualify for the finals. I remember watching this with my family when it happened. It was a weird feeling to see a dude hit his head so hard and overcome something like that to win.