1. 1985: U.S. Space Shuttle Atlantis docks up to the Russian Space Station
Just after 6:00 a.m. on this date in 1995, the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked up to the Russian space station Mir, a historical event considering the long time rivalry between the two programs. The mission was to build the largest man-made satellite to orbit the Earth. The docking took less than two hours which ended up being a mere two seconds off the target arrival time. Plus they were able to use 200 lbs. less fuel then expected. The crew would stay docked for about 5 days before heading back to Earth. The Atlantis was bringing two fresh cosmonauts to replace some that had been there for quite some time. This mission was actually the 100th human space mission in U.S. history.
2. 1967: The lovely Jayne Mansfield passes away following a car accident
On her way to perform at a nightclub on this date in 1967, the beautiful Jayne Mansfield passed away after the car she was riding in struck the back of a semi-truck. The lovely and talented actress was in the front seat of the 1966 Buick Electra along with her lawyer and companion, Samuel S. Brody, driver Ronald B. Harrison, and Mansfield’s three children asleep in the back seat. She was traveling on a dark stretch of road from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans when apparently they came upon a truck that was spraying a thick white fog to battle the intense mosquito situation in the area. It’s believed that the fog obscured Harrison’s view, causing him to hit the semi. All three passengers in the front seat passed away immediately, luckily the three children survived, though they did have serious injuries. Mansfield was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and surely would’ve had an amazing career. She was just 34 at the time of the accident.
3. 1956: Federal Highway Act enacted.
It was on this date in 1956 that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill that would put the Federal Aid Highway Act, also known as National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, into law. This would authorize the construction of some 41,000 miles of interstate highway systems over the course of 10 years at a mind-blowing cost of $28 billion. This was by far the largest public works project the nation had seen at that time. The money came from multiple sources, it was worked out that the federal government would cover 90% and the state was required to pay the remaining 10%. It was reported that the word “defense” was put in there for two reasons, one being that almost every U.S. Air Force base has a direct access to the highway system, the other being that most of the cost was appropriated from defense funds