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Today in History: Sports, movies and more

1497 Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci leaves for his first voyage to the New World (disputed)

1503 Christopher Columbus discovers Cayman Islands

1752 Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his kite-flying experiment

1775 Second Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and issues paper currency for 1st time

1775 Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia names George Washington Supreme Commander

1865 Confederate President Jefferson Davis captured by Union troops at Irwinsville Georgia (US Civil War)

1869 Golden Spike driven, completing the 1st US Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah and connecting the Central Pacific Railroad with the Union Pacific

1872 Victoria Woodhull becomes 1st woman nominated for US presidency by Equal Rights Party at Apollo Hall, NYC

1908 1st Mother’s Day observed (Philadelphia)

1940 Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister

1994 Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s 1st black president


1963 Decca signs Rolling Stones on advice of Beatle George Harrison

1994 Barbra Streisand begins 1st concert tour in 30 years


1967 Hank Aaron only inside the park HR (vs Jim Bunning)

1970 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Bobby Orr scores famous OT winner as Boston beats St. Louis Blues, 4-3 for 4-0 series sweep; Bruins its first title since 1941

1993 Bill Walton is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

1997 Chicago Cubs turn baseballs 68th triple play (vs SF Giants)

2002 Anaheim Angels crush the Chicago White Sox 19-0. The Angels join the 1923 Indians, 1939 Yankees and 1950 Red Sox as the only teams to beat two opponents by 19 or more runs in the same season

2018 Rafael Nadal breaks John McEnroe’s record for successive set wins on a single surface (49 on carpet) with 6-3, 6-4 win over Diego Schwartzman at the Madrid Open (clay)

TV & Movies

1973 Bruce Lee collapses in Golden Harvest studios in Hong Kong and is rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where doctors diagnose him with cerebral edema

1983 TV sitcom “Laverne & Shirley” last airs on ABC-TV

1996 “Twister” disaster film written by Michael Crichton starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton premieres


1899 Fred Astaire, American tap dancer, presenter and actor (Easter Parade, Swingtime), born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1987)

1960 Bono, rocker (U2-Joshua Tree), born in Dublin, Ireland

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