12th April
It was on this day...
1981 Space Shuttle (Columbia) Launches For First Time

It took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Piloted by Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young. It was a 54 hour mission and involved 36 orbits of the planet. It landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 14.

The space shuttle was the first reusable manned space aircraft in history.

It was on this day...
1633 Galileo Galilei Convicted for Belief That Earth Goes Round Sun

It was heresy at the time. The inquisition was headed by Father Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, a Papal appointment.

The Church orthodoxy stated that the Earth was the absolute centre of the universe. Scientists had known for years that the Earth moved round the Sun.

Galileo was sentenced to prison and for every day for three years

"thou shalt recite once a week the Seven Penitential Psalms."

Galileo agreed not to teach this heresy any more and was allowed to live under house arrest for the rest of his life.

The Church took 300 years to admit he was right.

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Andy Garcia
David Cassidy
David Letterman
Tom Clancy
Herbie Hancock
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Other News
1861 Confederate troops open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay, starting the American Civil War.
1954 Bill Haley (and his band the Comets) record "Rock Around the Clock"
1961 Soviet, Yuri Gagarin, becomes the first man in space (on Vostok 1)
1999 President Bill Clinton is held in contempt of court for lying under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

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