Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Friday, April 17, the 107th day of 2009. There are 258 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1492 - Christopher Columbus receives a commission from Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.

* 1521 - Papal nuncio Cardinal Aleander cross-examines Martin Luther over his beliefs and views on the Catholic Church at the Diet of Worms, where he is excommunicated.

* 1835 - Conrad Martens, known for his paintings of Sydney Harbour, arrives in Sydney aboard the Beagle with naturalist Charles Darwin.

* 1876 - Onkaparinga Steeplechase, later called the Great Eastern Steeplechase, is first run in South Australia.

* 1960 - US rock star Eddie Cochran dies in a car crash while on tour with Gene Vincent in Britain.

* 1961 - Attempt to invade Cuba by 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles fails at the Bay of Pigs.

* 1970 - Astronauts of Apollo 13 splash down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft.

* 1993 - A federal jury in Los Angeles convicts two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten black motorist Rodney King; two other officers are acquitted. …

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