On This Day September 29
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1941 – The Babi Yar massacre of nearly 34,000 Jewish men, women, and children begins on the outskirts of Kiev in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The two-day bloodbath becomes a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust.
1988 – NASA launches the so-called “Return to Flight Mission” — the first space shuttle launch since the devastating Challenger explosion that claimed the lives of all seven crew members in January 1986. STS-26 marks the seventh flight for shuttle Discovery.
1995 – President Bill Clinton posthumously awards voting rights advocate Willie Velasquez the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Velasquez and the organizations he founded are credited with dramatically increasing political awareness and participation among the Hispanic communities of the Southwestern U.S.
2005 – New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released from a federal detention center after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the leaking of the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame.
2008 – Congress fails to pass a $700 billion bank bailout plan, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting nearly 780 points — at the time, the largest single-day point loss in history. The free fall follows the bankruptcies of Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers, Savings and Loan bank Washington Mutual and the Fed’s pledge to extend an $85 billion bailout for insurance provider AIG.
1976 – Enjoying a little target practice during his own birthday party, rock and roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shoots his bass player, Norman “Butch” Owens, in the chest. Twice! Owens survives and sues Lewis.
2004 – Keith Moon’s five-piece silver Premier drum kit, custom-made for The Who drummer in 1968, sells for £120,000 ($215,772 U.S.) at Christie’s auction house in London to an American collector, setting a world auction record for a set of drums.