ON THIS DAY in 1971, LANSA Flight 508 exploded in midair over the Peruvian rainforest. Of the 93 aboard, only 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke survived after falling 10,000 feet while still strapped to her seat. In 2000, the incident was the subject of Werner Herzog’s TV documentary, WINGS OF HOPE.
ON THIS DAY in 1971, D. B. Cooper parachuted over Washington state from a hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines jet with $200,000 in ransom money. In 1981, THE PURSUIT OF D.B. COOPER, starring Robert Duvall and Treat Williams, dramatized this event.
ON THIS DAY in 1971, Khmer Rouge forces attacked the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, killing 44. Subsequent events in the aftermath of this attack were depicted in the 1984 film, THE KILLING FIELDS, with Sam Waterston.
ON THIS DAY in 1971, a riot began at a state prison in Attica, New York, eventually resulting in the deaths of 39 prisoners. In 1980, the made-for-TV movie, ATTICA, starring George Grizzard, Morgan Freeman and Charles Durning, documented this four-day event.