26th August
It was on this day...
1980 The Case Of The 1000 Pound Bomb Found In A Nevada Casino...

Harvey's Resort and Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nevada: The bomb had been disguised as a copying machine and had been installed in the executive suite. Attached to it was a ransom demand for $3mn.

The hotel was evacuated while the bomb squad investigated but it wasn't just a case of cutting the red or the blue wire as movie legend has it... The control box had 28 switches.

The ransom note said that the cash should be delivered by helicopter, but when the FBI contacted the helicopter by radio (expressly forbidden in the ransom terms) the extortionist refused to give details on how to dismantle the bomb.

From a nearby hotel, bomb experts tried to disassemble the bomb using robots but were unsuccessful. The bomb exploded. The hotel was destroyed. Nobody was killed.

John Waldo Birges and his girlfriend Ella Williams with two other men, were eventually charged with the crime.

Birges had gambled away a large sum of money at the hotel and was looking for revenge.

Birges had stolen the TNT in the bomb from a construction site. He was given 20 years.

The hotel was eventually rebuilt.

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1980
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1847 Liberia, a colony in western Africa for freed US slaves, is proclaimed an independent republic.

1883 Krakatoa, an island in Indonesia, erupts causing tidal waves that kill thousands.

1974 Charles Lindbergh dies in Hawaii, aged 72.

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