December 4, 1999 – Waiting to hear from Mars, while down on earth; Winter. Bad weather and poor visibility was blamed for a highway accident which claimed the lives of 14 in New Mexico. It was part of a Winter storm which blanketed the Southwest in ice and snow. In Los Angeles, it was hurricane-force winds uprooting trees and toppling power lines, creating another kind of havoc.
In Worcester Massachusetts it was sub-zero temperatures being at least part of the cause for a warehouse fire which claimed the lives of six firefighters, trapped inside the burning building while searching for homeless living inside.
In Seattle, the infamous WTO Summit and the subsequent violent protests collapsed – not from throwing rocks and teargas canisters, but from a failure to agree on various points during the talks.
FYI (thanks Wikipedia):
The WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 was a meeting of the World Trade Organization, convened at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, USA, over the course of three days, beginning Tuesday, 30 November 1999. A week before the meeting, delegates admitted failure to agree on the agenda and the presence of deep disagreements with developing countries. Intended as the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations that would have been called “The Millennium Round”, the negotiations were marred by poor organization and controversial management of large street protests. Developing country representatives became resentful and uncooperative on being excluded from talks as the United States and the European Union attempted to cement a mutual deal on agriculture. The negotiations collapsed and were reconvened at Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.
So there you have it – that, and a whole lot more happened on this December 4, 1999 – thanks to CBS Radio’s Hourly News.