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Today in History

1579 English navigator Francis Drake lands on the coast of California at Drakes Bay, names it “New Albion”

1631 Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal

1775 Battle of Bunker Hill (actually it was Breed’s Hill)

1789 French Revolution: During the meeting of the Estates-General, the Third Estate proclaims itself the ‘National Assembly’

1837 Charles Goodyear obtains his 1st rubber patent

1839 King of Hawaii Kamehameha III issues Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is later established

1856 Republican Party opens its 1st national convention in Philadelphia

1863 Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford chartered (1st accident insurer)

1882 Tornado kills 130 in Iowa

1885 Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC aboard French ship `Isere’

1894 1st US poliomyelitis epidemic breaks out in Rutland, Vermont

1901 The College Board introduces its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT

1915 The League to Enforce Peace is organised at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with William Howard Taft as president; its program anticipates the League of Nations

1928 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland to become 1st woman (passenger) to fly Atlantic (as a passenger in a plane piloted by Wilmer Stultz)

1947 Pan Am Airways chartered as 1st worldwide passenger airline

1950 1st kidney transplant (Chicago)

1963 Supreme Court rules against Bible reading/prayer in public schools

1970 Edwin Land patents the Polaroid camera

1972 Five men arrested after trying to bug Democratic National Committee office in Watergate Complex, Washington

1988 Microsoft releases MS DOS 4.0

1994 O.J. Simpson doesn’t turn himself in on murder charges, LA police chase his Ford Bronco for 1½ hours before he eventually gives up (seen live on national TV)

2003 Moneyball, a book about the 2003 Oakland Athletics baseball team and GM Billy Beane’s sabermetric approach, inspired by Bill James, is published

2008 First day of legal same-sex marriage in California

2017 Bill Cosby trial for aggravated indecent assault declared a mistrial after jurors couldn’t reach a verdict

Movies & TV

2018 “The Incredibles 2” sets a box office record for an animated release, earning $180 million its opening weekend


1967 “Somebody To Love” by Jefferson Airplane peaks at #5

1971 Carole King’s album “Tapestry” goes to No. 1 on US album charts and stays there for 15 weeks

1973 Dolly Parton records her song “I Will Always Love You” (later huge hit for Whitney Houston) for RCA in Nashville

1978 “Cheeseburger In Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett peaks at #32


1953 Most runs scored in 1 inning (17 by Red Sox)

1954 Rocky Marciano beats Ezzard Charles by unanimous points decision in his 3rd world heavyweight boxing title defence at Yankee Stadium, NYC

1962 US Open Men’s Golf, Oakmont CC: Jack Nicklaus wins his first major title by 3 strokes in an 18-hole playoff with Arnold Palmer


1910 Red Foley, American country singer (Mr Smith Goes to Washington), born in Blue Lick, Kentucky (d. 1968)

1943 Newt Gingrich, American politician (Rep-R-GA, 1979-99) and Speaker of the House (1995-97), born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

1943 Barry Manilow [Barry Alan Pincus], American singer/pianist (Mandy, I Write the Songs), born in New York City

1980 Venus Williams, American tennis star considered one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis, born in Lynwood, California

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