April 17

1524 Explorer Giovanni Da Verrazano discovered present-day New York Harbor.

1869 In the first professional baseball game ever played, the Cincinnati Reds beat the rival Cincinnati Amateurs, 24-15.

1907 Ellis Island Immigration Center processes more people than ever, hitting a record of 11,747 people.

1910 Walter R. Brookins made the first airplane flight at night. He passed over Montgomery, Alabama. At least, he was pretty sure it was Montgomery…….

1924 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studios is formed after a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the Louis B. Mayer Company.

1934 The first Laundromat opened, in Fort Worth, Texas. For the first time, people could rent washing machines for laundering clothes.

1937 Cartoon character Daffy Duck debuted in Warner Brothers’ Porky’s Duck Hunt.

1960 Eddie Cochran who wrote “Three Steps to Heaven” dies at age 21 and Gene Vincent is seriously injured after a car crash in London.

1961 About 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay Of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the Communist government of Fidel Castro.

1964 Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Mustang at New York’s World’s Fair.

1964 Washington’s FBI lab reports that it can’t determine the lyrics to “Louie Louie.”

1969 A Los Angeles jury convicted Sirhan Sirhan in the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. His death sentence was later changed to life in prison after California’s death penalty was overturned.

1970 Ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to earth.

1970 Johnny Cash performs for President Nixon at the White House. Nixon wouldn’t let him leave unless Cash performed “A Boy Named Sue” but Cash refuses Nixon’s request for “Okie From Muskogee.”

1970 Paul McCartney releases his first solo album.

1982 Paul McCartney becomes the first composer to have simultaneous hits on the black and country music charts.

1993 A Los Angeles federal jury convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King. Two other officers were acquitted.

1996 A Los Angeles jury spared the lives of brothers Erik & Lyle Menendez, who’d been convicted of killing their wealthy parents, recommending life in jail without parole instead of the death penalty.

2001 Filmmaker Steven Spielberg resigned his position on the advisory board of the Boy Scouts Of America, over the group’s ban on gays.

2001 Joey Ramone of the Ramones is buried in New Jersey following a private funeral ceremony.