1770 – James Bruce discovers what he believes to be the source of the Nile.
1851 – Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville is published in the USA. Born at #6 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan, the third child of a merchant in French dry goods, his father Allan Melville moved his wife and three children to 55 Cortlandt Street, staffed with a cook, nurse, houseman, and later a governess. Melville’s formal education ended abruptly after his father died in 1832, leaving the family in financial straits. Melville briefly became a schoolteacher before he took to sea in 1839 as a common sailor on a merchant ship. His best known works include Typee, a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick
1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.
1910 – Aviator Eugene Burton Ely performs the first takeoff from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia. He took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.
1914 – The Ottoman Empire declares war against Britain, France, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro during the early months of WWI.
1940 – WWarII: In England, Coventry is heavily bombed by German Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral is almost completely destroyed.
1960 – Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
1969 – Apollo program: Launched on November 14th, Apollo 12 was a mission that lasted ten days following the triumphant voyage of Apollo 11 a few months earlier.
Their mission had several objectives…to perform a survey of the landing site and to collect geological samples. They landed near the unmanned Surveyor III which landed on April 20, 1967, at the Mare Cognitum portion of the Oceanus and collected a few parts from it to take back to earth for study. This second landing mission also included getting a better understanding of work in the lunar environment and developing further techniques for proper landing on the moon’s surface.
The crew consisted of Mission commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, Lunar Module Pilot Alan L. Bean and Command Module Pilot Richard F. Gordon who remained in lunar orbit. for just over one day and seven hours Some of the experiments included the Soil Mechanics Investigation which studied the properties of the lunar soil and the Solar Wind Composition Experiment collected samples of the solar wind for analysis on Earth.
1979 – Iran hostage crisis: US President Jimmy Carter issues Executive order 12170, freezing all Iranian assets in the United States in response to the hostage crisis.
1991 – American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103.
1765 – Robert Fulton, American engineer, invented the steamboat (d. 1815)
He is buried in Trinity Church yard.
1840 – Claude Monet, French painter (d. 1926)
1908 – Joseph McCarthy, politician (d. 1957)
1947 – Buckwheat Zydeco, American accordion player (d. 2016)
Stanley Dural, Jr., better known by his stage name Buckwheat Zydeco, was an American accordionist and zydeco musician. He was one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success
1948 – Charles, Prince of Wales
1954 – Condolezza Rice, American political scientist, academic, and politician and painist and W’s Secretary of State
1915 – Booker T. Washington, educator, essayist and historian (b. 1856)