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April 27, 2005

April the Twenty-seventh

This day in history:

April 27, 1942

Striking just before 5am, a tornado that had traveled from the nearby town of Claremore struck Pryor, Oklahoma. Some Witnesses remember cattle, telephone poles, rooftops and a bakery truck and its driver carried across the sky by the tornado. The truck and driver were never found. When it was over 53 were dead and more than 400 injured. Many died in collapsing buildings and one man, hiding under a car, drowned as  floodwaters washed through town. Damage to one of the city's hospitals made recovery even more difficult.

While only lasting two minutes, the tornado is on record as Oklahoma's fifth deadliest.

April 27, 1986

Ending his shift at Central Florida Teleport, a company that uplinks services to satellites, John R. MacDougall, 25, parked the dish in a position to keep rain from building up, which also left it pointing directly at Galaxy 1, the satellite HBO used. John's day job, as a satellite TV dealer was going bust because of HBO's high fees and new policy of scrambling. The temptation too much, John grabbed the character generator and sent the following message to Galaxy, overriding HBO's signal:


And thus the urban hero was born.

The pirated signal began at 12:32 a.m. and lasted 4 ½ minutes.

Eventually caught by the FCC, Captain Midnight was given a $5,000 fine and one year's probation.

Posted by Danny Carlton at April 27, 2005 08:40 AM

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For bonus points, who remembers the movie that Captain Midnight interrupted with his message?

Posted by: basil at April 27, 2005 08:45 AM

It's in the links I provided, so it'd be easy to cheat. In all honesty, today was the frist I heard of him. It is an interesting story.

Posted by: Danny Carlton at April 27, 2005 09:05 AM

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