Today in history
Sep 16 1498
Tomas de Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, dies in Avila, Spain. More than 2,000 heretics were burned to death and 9,654 otherwise tortured under his aegis before all the Jews were expelled in 1492. In 1836, vandals break into Torquemada's tomb, cremate the bones, and scatter his ashes upon the winds.
Sep 16 1920
A horse-drawn carriage parked at the corner of Wall and Broad streets suddenly explodes just past mid-day. 100 pounds of dynamite hurls 500 pounds of steel shrapnel into a crowd of New Yorkers, killing 40 and wounding almost 300 others. No one is ever charged in the world's first car bombing.
Sep 16 1968
Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon appears on the NBC comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and asks "'Sock it to me'?"
Sep 16 1985
Art Scholl, Hollywood's greatest aerobatics pilot, loses control of his Pitts S-2A biplane over the Pacific Ocean during the filming of Top Gun. Before heading off to the Danger Zone in the sky, Scholl's last words were "I have a problem -- I have a real problem."
Sep 16 1999
Disney Infoseek executive Patrick Naughton travels to the Santa Monica pier to meet a 13-year-old girl he was attempting to seduce via an Internet chatroom called "dad&daughtersex." The girl was actually an undercover cop. Disney fires Naughton almost immediately after the news breaks; the executive later pleads guilty to the charge of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor.