June 17, 1994 — The Most Famous Low Speed Car Chase In History
18 years ago today, the most famous low speed car chase in history took place on California Interstate 405. If for some reason you weren’t one of the 95 million or so people watching it while it happened, here’s a recap. A fugitive, OJ Simpson and his friend, Al Cowling took off in OJ’s white Ford Bronco leading the police on a chase through the streets and freeways of Los Angeles. OJ eventually surrendered at his Brentwood, CA home after over an hour of pursuit.
The cause of the chase? Earlier in the day the LAPD had announced they were looking for Simpson as the lone suspect in the deaths of his ex wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman. When Simpson heard the news, he fled, leading police and the nation in one of the oddest live TV events ever. More people in the United States tuned in for the OJ Simpson car chase (95 million) than watched the Super Bowl (90 Million) that year.
I remember this day like the back of my hand. I lived in Gaylord, and it was 97 degrees that Friday. I stayed the night in an air conditioned hotel room and watched the whole thing on TV like everyone else did. I still can hear the Police officer on TV say the person of interest in the case was “OJ Simpson” and could hear the audible gasps and whistles from the media. It was a bombshell no one had anticipated.
Here’s a great recap of the events of the night.