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This Day in History

1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Calicut, India becoming the first European to reach India by sea

1609 Shakespeare’s Sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by publisher Thomas Thorpe

1639 Dorchester Massachusetts forms 1st school funded by local taxes

1862 US President Abraham Lincoln signs into law the Homestead Act to provide cheap land for the settlement of the American West (80 million acres by 1900)

1864 Spotsylvania campaign in US Civil War ends after 10,920 killed or injured

1867 British parliament rejects John Stuart Mills’ proposals on women’s suffrage

1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patent the first blue jeans with copper rivets

1896 The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris falls on the crowd resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others

1916 Saturday Evening Post cover features Norman Rockwell painting

1927 At 7:40 AM, Charles Lindbergh takes off from New York to cross the Atlantic for Paris, aboard Spirit of St Louis (1st non-stop flight)

1927 Saudi Arabia becomes independent of Great Britain in the Treaty of Jeddah

1932 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland on her journey to become the 1st woman to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic

1990 Hubble Space Telescope sends its 1st photographs from space

2013 The Church of Scotland votes to allow openly gay men and women to be ministers

2013 Yahoo purchases Tumbler for $1.1 Billion

2015 Journal Nature publishes findings of the oldest human-made tools from Kenya’s Turkana basin - 3.3 million years, 1st found to pre-date the Homo genus

2015 5 major world banks (JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup, RBS and UBS) fined US$5.7bn for manipulating currency markets - some of the largest ever fines

Movies & TV

1891 History of cinema: The first public display of Thomas Edison’s prototype kinetoscope to members of the National Federation of Women’s Club

1973 25th Emmy Awards: Waltons, All in the Family & Mary Tyler Moore win

1993 274th & final “Cheers” episode on NBC

1995 CBS News fires co-anchor Connie Chung

2015 David Letterman, after 33 years, hosts the “Late Show with David Letterman” for the last time


1967 BBC bans the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” because of drug references

1979 Elton John is the 1st western pop star to tour USSR

1983 “Every Breath You Take” single released by The Police (Billboard Song of the Year 1983)

1992 Rap singer raps 597 syllables in under 60 seconds


1900 II Summer (Modern) Olympic Games open in Paris (last 5 months)

1920 Policemen raid the Cubs’ bleachers & arrest 24 fans for gambling

1930 University of California dedicates $1,500 to research on prevention & cure of athlete’s foot

1960 Baseball game in Milwaukee postponed due to dense fog

1983 American heavyweight boxer Larry Holmes beats countryman Tim Witherspoon by split decision to retain his WBC title at the Dunes Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas

1991 Chicago Bull Michael Jordan, named NBA’s MVP

2003 The reality series “America’s Next Top Model”, created by Tyra Banks, debuts on UPN


1908 Jimmy Stewart, American actor (Mr Smith Goes to Washington, It’s a Wonderful Life), born in Indiana, Pennsylvania (d. 1997)

1913 William Hewlett, American engineer and businessman (co-founder Hewlett-Packard), born in Ann Arbor, Michigan (d. 2001)

1915 Moshe Dayan, Israeli Military Leader and politician, born in Degania Alef, Ottoman Empire (d. 1981)

1944 Joe Cocker, English rock vocalist (With a Little Help from My Friends), born in Sheffield England, (d. 2014)

1944 Dietrich Mateschitz, Austrian businessman and co-creator of Red Bull energy drink, born in Sankt Marein im Mürztal, Styria, Austria

1946 Cher [Cherilyn Sarkisian], American singer and actress (I Got You Babe, Jack Lalane, Mask), born in El Centro, California

1958 Ronald Prescot Reagan Jr, LA, TV host (Ron Reagon Show) and son of Ronald and Nancy Reagon

1958 Mike Stefanik, American auto racer (9 NASCAR Modified Championships), born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts (d. 2019)

1959 Bronson Pinchot, American actor (Perfect Strangers, Beverly Hills Cop), born in NYC, New York

1966 Mindy Cohn, LA, actress (Facts of Life)

1971 Tony Stewart, American race car driver

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