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On this day in history ...

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  • 1519: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets out from Spain with 270 men and 5 ships on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia. Magellan is killed en route, but one of his ships goes on to circumnavigate the world.
  • 1664: Maryland passes the first anti-amalgamation law to stop the intermarriage of English women and black men.
  • 1784: "Packet and Daily", the first daily publication in America, appears on the streets.
  • 1873: A financial panic hits the NY Stock Exchange when the high-flying bond dealer Jay Cooke grants too many loans to the railroads. Panic spreads to Europe as London and Paris markets crash and the New York Stock Exchange closes for 10 days.
  • 1881: Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding James A. Garfield, who had been assassinated.
  • 1904: Orville and Wilbur Wright fly a circle in their Flyer II.
  • 1932: Gandhi begins a hunger strike against the treatment of untouchables.
  • 1946: The first Cannes Film Festival is held.
  • 1952: Scientists confirm that DNA holds hereditary data
  • 1954: The first FORTRAN computer program is executed; Roger Bannister receives Britain's Silver Pears Trophy for cracking the 4-minute mile.
  • 1958: Rev. Martin Luther King is stabbed by a deranged woman during a book signing on 125th St. in Harlem. King survives.
  • 1967: The 963-foot passenger ship Queen Elizabeth II launches.
  • 1970: Luna 16 lands on the moon's Mare Fecunditatis and drills a core sample.
  • 1973: In their so-called "battle of the sexes," tennis star Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 6-3, at the Houston Astrodome.
  • 2003: Latvians endorse membership to the EU.


    Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the "battle of the sexes."

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