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August 8, 1993 – Word from Mogadishu – an ambush by Somali rebels took four U.S. soldiers, the worst casualty toll so far since their arrival in Somalia the previous December. The American troops were escorting a convoy near Mogadishu when one vehicle hit a landmine. According to eyewitness reports, it left an 8 foot wide crater in the middle of the road. Gunmen then opened fire with bullets and grenades and the six vehicle convoy was reinforced by Egyptian and Pakistani troops as well as U.S. helicopters. But three U.S. soldiers were killed at the scene and a fourth died later in hospital. As of news time, the four soldiers killed had not been identified by the Pentagon.
At the Earthquake Center in Golden Colorado, the Richter scale recorded a magnitude 8.1 temblor, centered just off the coast of Guam. First reports said there was heavy damage and about 40 injuries and a tsunami warning was posted.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill – the drama over President Clinton’s budget was heating up. The first epic battle of Clinton’s Presidency turned out to be a game of inches. And like a football game, the fight over the Federal budget was full of squabbles, skirmishes and political fighting. But in the end, it wound up being a victory for the President, with the tie-breaker vote coming from vice-president Al Gore. Despite that, promises came from the opposition to be back and fight another day.
And floods in the Midwest were taking their toll. The Mississippi River was scene of the worst flooding in recent memory, with towns along the river’s path, flooded and with levees crumbling. Despite frantic sandbagging, efforts almost came to nothing as people saw flood waters rising quickly and at an alarming rate. But some towns were miraculously spared – even though reports of additional rain in the forecast cast a sober reality over the scene, rather than one of relief.
And a new phrase was entering our lexicon: Going Postal. Seems Post office employees were suffering from stress at alarming rates and taking it out on fellow workers. These modern times . . .
And that’s just a tiny slice of what happened this day and this week ending August 8, 1993 as reported by ABC radio’s World News This Week and Hourly News.