Two of the greatest sportsmen to ever have competed in two of the greatest American sports share this date. One was born on October 12th, the other died. Both were at the forefront of greatness in their respective sports, and as such both are fondly remembered by not just fans of the teams they played for, but fans of the sport itself.
Famous Historical Events
1492: After over two months at sea, Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus spotted land up ahead. This happened after an incredible 29 days without any sight of land. Today, San Salvador Island, as named by Columbus himself, is an extremely popular tourist destination for people from all around the world thanks to its beautiful scenery and impeccable white beaches.
1692: Following around 18 months of witch hunts, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province ordered them to cease. Of the 200 people accused of being witches, 19 were found guilty and executed. The Salem Witch Museum has a ton of information the trials and makes for a fascinating read for those interested in the occult.
1792: The First Celebration of Columbus Day is Held in New York City On the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Bahamas, The Tammany Society in New York City held a celebration of his life. This celebration soon became an annual tradition and is now celebrated all throughout the United States.
1901: Almost 100 years after it was occupied by the 2nd president of the United States, John Adams, Theodore Roosevelt cemented the name that has stuck until this day when he had the stationery engraved with “White House – Washington”.
1928: Iron lung respirators were a vital means of keeping patients alive who were living with polio or botulism. A young girl at Boston Children’s Hospital was the first patient to receive life-saving report from an iron lung. Iron lungs continued to be a popular means of treatment throughout the 20th century, although only a few patients still remain using them in modern day America.
1984: Know as the Brighton Hotel Bombing, this incident was a terrorist attack against the top tier of the British Government by the terrorist group the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, survived the attack in Brighton, England, and continued to run the country for another six years as the leader of the Conservative party.
1935: Luciano Pavarotti
One of the most commercially successful opera singers of all time, Pavarotti made the transition from operatic tenor to a figure in mainstream music thanks to his incredible performances around the world. Pavarotti was best known for his work as part of The Three Tenors with Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, where together the trio performed at countless events around the globe. The most popular arguably being the 1994 World Cup finals in Los Angeles, where an estimated 1.3 billion people tuned in to watch on TV.
1906: Joe Cronin
Baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Cronin was born on this day in San Francisco, California. A seven-time All-Star, Cronin played for three different baseball teams during his illustrious career, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Senators, and the Boston Red Sox. After his playing career ended, he was elected as the president of the American League, the first former player to receive this honor. He remained in this role until 1973, when he resigned after 14 years of service.
1968: Hugh Jackman
Known by many as Wolverine from the immensely popular X-Men franchise, Hugh Jackman has appeared in many films of many different genres since his breakthrough role as Wolverine in 2000’s X-Men. Since then, Jackman has been nominated and even won awards such as a Golden Globe for best actor in 2013 for his role in Les Misérables.
1875: Aleister Crowley
English magician, author, and pioneer of all things occult Aleister Crowley was born on this day in 1875. A published poet and author, as well as a respected commentator on politics, religion, philosophy, Crowley also founded the Thelema religion. An often controversial figure, Aleister Crowley is fondly remembered by his followers as a somewhat eccentric man.
1999: Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain is often regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time by fans and critics of the sport. He holds numerous official NBA records in the scoring and rebounding categories. He’s also the only player in the history of the league that has scored an incredible hundred points in a single game. Chamberlain died of heart problems following decades of living with heart-related issues.
1997: John Denver
John Denver was a country and folk singer who was one of the most successful artists of his generation. Denver wrote and released an incredible 300 songs during his career, as well as an equally impressive ten gold albums and four platinum albums, an impressive feat for any musician. He also enjoyed a successful career acting, and was an outspoken political activist that also took part in a variety of humanitarian work in his later years. Denver lost his life in a plane crash piloting his light plane. He was an avid pilot and the only person on board at the time.
2015: Joan Leslie
Joan Leslie was a prominent actress during Hollywood’s “Golden Age”. Her acting career spanned almost 60 years and while her fame died out towards the end, she’s one of the biggest names from that important era in Hollywood history. She starred in films with such household names as Greta Garbo and Fred Astaire. Joan died of old age at the grand old age of 90, leaving behind her two children.