Today is a day marked by a coup and assassination in Latin America, the then-largest American oil spill and transportation disasters.
Argentina’s Descent into the “Dirty War”
On this day in 1976, a right-wing coup d’état that overthrew Argentinian President Isabel Perón. A military junta was installed in her place that remained in power until December 1983. From Wikipedia:
Although political repression (the so-called “Dirty War“) began long before the coup, it was heavily extended after the event and resulted in the “disappearances” of between around 9,300 and 30,000 persons, depending on sources. The coup had been planned since October 1975, and the United States Department of State learned of the preparations two months before its execution.
Today this day is commemorated as a Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice.
Assassination of El Salvador Bishop Romero
See Mar 24: Oscar Romero Assassinated By Death Squad. Romero was beatified in 2015.
Exxon Valdez Spills Millions of Gallons of Oil in Prince William Sound
On this day the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound spilling up to 38 million gallons of oil in what was then the worst oil spill in U.S. History. It has since been surpassed by the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Mont Blanc Tunnel Fire Kills 38
A Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire in the the Mont Blanc Tunnel, a highway tunnel conneccting Italy and France in the French Alps. The fire burned for two days and reached temperatures of 1000°C, killing 41 people, mainly the drivers trapped in the tunnel during the fire.
One of the dead was Pierlucio Tinazzi, an Italian security guard who entered the tunnel on his motorcycle using breathing equipment after emergency services had given up. He is credited with saving at least 10 of the 12 survivors before succumbing to the intense heat.
Germanwings Pilot Kills 150 in Suicide Crash
Germanwings Flight 9525 en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf deliberately crashed into the French Alps after co-pilot Andreas Lubitz took over control and descended into the mountain. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed.
On the Bright Side . . .
Pink Floyd Releases Dark Side of the Moon