Ten years ago
NASA released video taken aboard Columbia that had miraculously survived the fiery destruction of the space shuttle with the loss of all seven astronauts; in the footage, four of the crew members can be seen doing routine chores and admiring the view outside the cockpit. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by its ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of the words “under God.” The Food and Drug Administration announced that every bottle of ephedra would soon bear stern warnings that the popular herb could cause heart attacks or strokes, even kill. (The government banned ephedra in Feb. 2004.)
Five years ago: President George W. Bush told a White House news conference the country was not recession-bound; Democratic candidate Barack Obama said the economy was “on the brink of a recession” and blamed economic policies espoused by Bush and Republican presidential contender John McCain. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told his Turkish counterpart that Turkey should end its offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq as soon as possible. Deposed Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (TAHK’-sin SHIN’-uh-wah) returned to Thailand from 17 months in exile to face corruption charges. Mike Smith, lead singer for the British band Dave Clark Five, died outside London at age 64.
One year ago: Republican Mitt Romney won presidential primary victories in Arizona and Michigan. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, announced she would not seek re-election, citing what she called the increasingly polarized climate of Washington. Angela Castro, 88, an elder sister of Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro, died in Havana. <B><P>
(Stations: “Bobb’e J. Thompson” is correct)