1279 – A Mongolian victory in the Battle of Yamen ends the Song Dynasty in China.
1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis of France sights land around area of Carolinas.
While his place of birth in a small village south of Florence or in Lyon France is debatable, what is not is that Giovanni da Verrazzano (1485-1528) was said to always considered himself a Florentine. A navigator by profession, he jumped at the chance to work aboard the Pensee as it embarked for the coast of America around 1508 when he was in his early twenties. Fifteen years later in 1523, King Francis 1 of France commissioned Verrazano to explore the coast from New Found land to Florida seeking new trading routes to the Far East. Within four months Verrazano had four ships set to sail, but after a series of weather and mechanical setbacks, the Dauphine was the only vessel to reach the coast of present day North Carolina. In the upcoming days and weeks he sailed north stopping in New York Harbor, which he described as a lake and mentioned the Lenapae Indians living there. His third voyage ended with his death, as one version tells it he was killed and eaten by the natives. Another story says the Spanish executed him at sea for piracy.When the bridge was in the planning stages there was a big push to name the bridge after Verrazzano. Robert Moses was against the idea for two reasons, ” It’s too long a name and I never heard of the guy”.
It is intended that a reconstructed La Dauphine will cross the Atlantic to arrive at New York Harbor, possibly in time for the five hundredth anniversary of the European discovery of the harbor by Verrazano on April 17, 2024.
1644 – 200 members of Peking imperial family/court commit suicidein loyalty to the Emperor
1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.
1883 – Jan Matzeliger invents first machine to manufacture entire shoe
1918 – Congress authorizes time zones & approves daylight saving time
1928 – “Amos & Andy” debuts on radio
1931 – Nevada legalizes gambling
1932 – The Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened.
1942 – FDR orders men between 45 & 64 to register for non-military duty
1965 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was discovered by then
teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction. Georgiana was a brig-rigged, iron hulled, propeller steamer of 120 horsepower (89 kW) with a jib and two heavily raked masts, hull and stack painted black. Her clipper bow sported the figurehead of a “demi-woman”. (wiki)
1969 – Chicago 8 indicted in aftermath of Chicago Democratic convention
1973 – Dean tells Nixon, “There is a cancer growing on the Presidency”
1978 – 50,000 demonstrate in Amsterdam against neutron bomb
1987 – PTL leader Jim Bakker resigns after sex scandal with Jessica Hahn
1994 – Largest omelet made with 160,000 eggs in Yokohama Japan
1995 – 5 die by poison gas in Japanese subway
2013 – NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity discovers further evidence of water-bearing minerals
1589 – William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony for 30 years
1813 – David Livingstone, Scotland, explorer (found by Stanley in Africa)
1888 – Josef Albers, German/US graphic artist/painter/writer (Bauhaus)
1904 – John J Sirica, US federal judge
1947 – Glenn Close, Greenwich Ct, actress (The Big Chill, Fatal Attraction)
1955 – Bruce Willis, Penna Grove NJ, actor (Moonlighting, Die Hard)
1924 – American poet e.e. (Edward Estlin) Cummings marries first wife Elaine Orr. The marriage lasts less than 9 months.
1996 – Winnie Mandela divorces Nelson after 38 years of marrage
1644 – Chongzhen, last Ming Emperor of China, commits suicide
2005 – John De Lorean, American automobile engineer (b. 1925)
2008 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction author and inventor (b. 1917)
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