On this day in 1944 the largest naval engagement in recorded history occurred with the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The United States had successfully used their "island hopping" strategy to regain lost territory from the Japanese. They were now ready to wrestle the Philippines back under their control. The Japanese lacked experienced pilots so they employed kamikaze attacks in force for the first time. The American Navy was caught off guard and lost many ships, but Japanese air power was crippled for the rest of the war.
On this day in 1994 Susan Smith reports that her car was stolen by an African-American man with her two small children still in the back seat. As it turns out, Smith used the car jacking story to cover up the fact that she drove her car intentionally into a lake in order to drown her kids. She was involved with a man who did not want children. So rather than let them live with their father, she thought that killing them would allow her to continue her relationship with her new man. She confessed 9 days later under the weight of her own guilt.
On this day in 1854 Lord Cardigan lead the famous "charge of the light brigade" against a heavily defended Russian position during the battle of Balaclava. The order was a result of a misunderstanding and confusion amongst those who gave the orders to attack. The heavy Russian guns destroyed Cardigans men, but the British spun the story to portray Cardigan (who survived) as a hero. Because of his celebrity, and the fashion sense he picked up in Russia, the cardigan sweater is named after him.