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This Day In History: May 20

This Day in History

1498: Portuguese explorer and navigator Vasco da Gama becomes the first European to reach India by the sea route, landing in Calicut (now Kozhikode).
1862: Pres. Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, granting free family farms in the West to settlers.
1902: Cuba gained its independence from Spain.
1922: On the first noteworthy attempt to climb Mt. Everest, British explorers attain a record height of 8225 m (26,985 ft).
1927: Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh leaves Roosevelt Field, NY, in his plane Spirit of St. Louis to begin the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
1932: Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland, Canada, for Ireland to begin the first solo transatlantic flight by a woman.
1961: The "Freedom Rides" are launched from Washington, DC, across the deep South to protest segregation in interstate transportation.
2002: Formerly part of Indonesia, East Timor becomes fully independent.

Today's Birthdays

1768: Dolley Madison, U.S. first lady (Guilford County, NC; died 1849)
1799: Honoré de Balzac, novelist (Tours, France; died 1850)
1806: John Stuart Mill, economist/philosopher (Britain; died 1873)
1844: Henri Rousseau, painter (Laval, Mayenne, France; died 1910)
1881: Sigrid Undset, novelist/poet (Norway; died 1949)
1890: Allan Nevins, historian (Camp Point, IL; died 1971)
1899: John Marshall Harlan, jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Chicago, IL; died 1971)
1908: James Stewart, actor (Indiana, PA; died 1997)
1915: Moshe Dayan, Israeli general/public official (Israel; died 1981)
1936: Anthony Zerbe, actor (Long Beach, CA)
1944: Joe Cocker, singer (Sheffield, England)
1946: Cher, singer/actress (El Centro, CA)
1958: Ron Reagan, journalist, TV talk show host, son of former Pres. Reagan (Los Angeles)
1959: Bronson Pinchot, actor (New York, NY)
1972: Busta Rhymes, rapper (Brooklyn, NY)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 20, 2007 7:25 AM.

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