On this day
Columbus signed a pretty important contract.
On April 17th, 1492, Christopher Columbus signed a contract with Spanish monarchs to sail west and find a new trade route to the Indies. His goal was to convert people to Catholicism, and Columbus was promised 10% of all riches found and the governorship of any new lands encountered! It’s safe to say this signing set Columbus off on what’s still known as one of the most remarkable explorations of all time.
Benjamin Franklin passed away.
Benjamin Franklin - US Founding Father - made huge contributions to science, literature, and politics. He was key in drafting the US Constitution and securing French support for the American Revolution, too. He died on April 17th, 1790, at the age of 84, leaving behind a legacy of intellectual curiosity and public service.
The first world title found an owner!
On April 17th, 1860, British boxer Tom Sayers fought against American pugilist John Heenan in a brutal two-hour, 27-minute fight near Farnborough, England. The fight ended in a draw and was acknowledged as the first world title bout. However, the police had to stop the fight due to the severity of the injuries sustained! Ouch!
Rocking and Rolling Stones!
In 1964, iconic rockers the Rolling Stones released their first LP (which was self-titled). The album featured a mix of covers of blues and R&B songs and original compositions along the way. The album's roaring success helped launch the band's career and establish them as one of the most important and influential rock bands in history. And, at the time of writing, they’re still going!!
A landmark mission for NASA.
NASA’s space Shuttle Columbia flight STS-90, was launched from Cape Canaveral on April 17th, 1998. It was the 90th space shuttle mission, and its main focus was to study neurological changes during space flight at an elliptical orbit between 255 and 287 kilometers above Earth. Seven people took flight that day - impressive stuff!
Special Days Falling on April 17thThere's plenty to celebrate on April 17th - and at the least, we think you should consider observing these holidays!
National Bat Appreciation Day
Bats are acrobats of the air! However, these fascinating creatures sometimes get undeserved bad press. With over 1,200 species, bats contribute to the ecosystem and do humans a favor by devouring up to 1,000 mosquitoes an hour!
National Ellis Island Family History Day
This is a celebration when family members are encouraged to learn more about their ancestors - especially if they’ve grown up in the US and have immigrant roots. For 32 years, between 1892 and 1924, four million people immigrated to the USA via the Ellis Island Inspection Station.
International Haiku Poetry Day
Ever written a haiku before? Today’s the day to give it a go! It’s a three-line poem that doesn’t have to rhyme. It’s quirky, it’s minimalist - and people all over the world take part each April 17th.