1. 1961: First man sent into Space.
On this day in 1961 The Soviet Union makes a major step in the Space Race between the USSR and the United States when they sent 27 year old Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin into apace aboard the Vostok 1. Gagarin Made a full orbit around the earth becoming the first human being in space, as well as the first to orbit the earth. The trip around the world took just 89 minutes in the space capsule. Gargarin was roughly 187 miles in altitude above solid ground. This was a major blow to the United States because they had planned on sending John Glen to be the first human in space the following month of May 1961. The Unites States wan’t able to get the Orbit around the earth until February of 1962. When Gagarian returned back to earth he had no idea that he would be an international superstar. The Soviet Union declared him a hero, there were monuments built, streets renamed after him.
2. 1981: Laurence Taylor gets drafted by the New York Giants
Lawrence Taylor is arguably the best defensive player to ever play the game of Football, that is American Football in case we have some soccer fans out there. Even though Taylor didn’t start playing football until his high school coach recruited him for his size his Junior year. Most people wouldn’t stand a chance starting that late in life, but Taylor was not most people. The level at which he played was something his coach had never seen before. The speed, strength, agility and fearlessness made him one of the hardest hitting players in football. Taylor went on to play college ball for the University of North Carolina where he started as a linebacker and quickly became one of the top players in the country. On this day in 198 at the NFL draft the New York Giants selected Taylor as their first pick, second overall pick, and “L.T.” was born. The first pick of the draft went to the New Orleans Saints and they picked George Rodgers from the University of South Carolina, I bet they kicked themselves later that year when L.T. won the Defensive Rookie of the year.
3. 1981: First reusable space shuttle launched into space
On this day the Unites States sent the first reusable manned spacecraft into space for a 54 hour flight before touching back down at the Edwards Air Force Base two days later on April 14th. The spacecraft, now reffered to as a shuttle, was named Columbia and it was piloted by two Astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young and during the 54 hr flight the Columbia was able to make 36 full orbits around the Earth before reentering the Earth’s atmosphere just a couple days later.