Two planes Collide Over Germany

A Russian Tupolev 154 collides in midair with a Boeing 757 cargo plane over southern Germany on this day in 2002. The 69 passengers and crew on the Russian plane and the two-person cargo crew were all killed. The collision occurred even though each plane had TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) collision-avoidance equipment onboard and […]

Coal Mine Explosion Kills 111 In China

A gas explosion in a Chinese coal mine kills 111 workers on this day in 2002. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this tragic incident is that it was not unique. Poor safety regulations in China have long made mining there an extremely hazardous occupation. In the first five years of the 21st century, there […]

“The Bourne Identity,” Featuring Famous Mini Chase Scene, Is Released

In one of the most memorable scenes in the film “The Bourne Identity,” released on this day in 2002, the amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) drives a vintage Austin Mini Cooper through the traffic-heavy streets of Paris to evade his police and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) pursuers. As the film begins, Bourne, an elite […]

Doughnut Truck Thief Arrested

On this day in 2002, Clint Messina, 21, of Lacombe, Louisiana, is arrested and charged in the attempted murder of a police officer after driving into a patrol car while attempting to flee from sheriff’s deputies. Soon after, police discovered that he was already a wanted man. At about 3:30 a.m. on March 27, Messina […]

Michael Skakel Convicted Of 1975 Murder In Greenwich

On this day in 2002, 41-year-old Michael Skakel is convicted in the 1975 murder of his former Greenwich, Connecticut, neighbor, 15-year-old neighbor Martha Moxley. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the wife of the late U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, was later sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. On October 30, 1975, Moxley was […]

Lew Wasserman Dies

In the words of Jack Valenti, the longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA): “If Hollywood is Mount Olympus, Lew Wasserman is Zeus.” Wasserman, an agent and studio executive who was arguably the most influential mogul in Hollywood for some 40 years after World War II, died on this day in 2002, […]

Chandra Levy’s Remains Found

The remains of former Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy are found on this day in 2002, over a year after the 24-year-old was last seen at a health club. The bone remains, discovered by a man walking through Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, were identified through dental records. A sweatshirt, sneakers and a […]

Spider-Man Is First Movie To Top $100 Million In Opening Weekend

Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire in the title role, the eagerly awaited comic book adaptation Spider-Man was released on Friday, May 3, 2002, and quickly became the fastest movie ever to earn more than $100 million at the box office, raking in a staggering $114.8 million by Sunday, May 5. After a […]

Nigerian Aircraft Crashes In Crowded City

On this day in 2002, an EAS Airline plane crashes into the town of Kano, Nigeria, killing 148 people. The Nigerian BAC 1-11-500 aircraft exploded in a densely populated section of the northern Nigerian city. The Executive Airline Services twin-engine plane took off from Kano at about 1:30 p.m. with 76 people on board headed […]

Former NBA All-Star Indicted

On May 1, 2002, former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams was indicted on a series of charges, including aggravated manslaughter, in connection with the shooting death of limousine driver Costas Christofi at Williams’ estate on February 14. Williams enjoyed a successful NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets from 1990 to 1999, when […]