1. 1966: The NFL and AFL merger is announced
As big as the NFL is today, there was a time when it was considered the old school style of football. In 1959, Lamar Hunt, the son of a wealthy oil tycoon, decided that he wanted to start a new football league to rival the slow playing NFL, so he recruited seven other businessmen and they started the American Football League (AFL). Initially they were supposed to be two separate leagues and there was an unspoken agreement that neither side would recruit from the other. The NFL was under the impression that only second tier players would play in the AFL, but in 1965 Joe Namath was drafted by the AFL’s New York Jets and received one of the biggest contracts in football at the time. Just a year later, the unspoken agreement was broken when NFL’s Giants recruited and signed the place kicker for the AFL’s Bills. By that point, it had become obvious that the two needed to merge, and on this date in 1966 it was officially announced that the NFL and AFL would become one.
2. 1948: First sports car with the Porsche nameplate
It was on this date in 1948 that the first sports to bare the Porsche nameplate was created. The prototype would have an all-aluminum body and was completely hand built from the ground up. Ferdinand Porsche had once worked for the Daimler company, but left in 1931 to start his own business. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Adolf Hitler to design the VW Beetle. Years later, he was finally able to focus on his own passion and in 1947 started working on what he called the type 356/1 or just “No.1”. Porsche had no idea that he was starting to build one of the best reputations in the automotive world. The company initially planned on making just 500 type 356’s a year, but once production finally stopped in 1965, more than 76,000 had been made. Reportedly more than half are still on the road today.
3. 1968: James Earl Ray is captured in London
On this date in 1968, James Earl Ray was arrested by Scotland Yard at London’s Heathrow Airport while attempting to flee to Rhodesia. Ray was being charged with the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4th, 1968. In March of 1969, Ray plead guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. However, just three days later he would attempt to change his plea, claiming there was a mysterious man named Raoul that had done the heinous crime. Since then there have been numerous reexaminations of the crime by the U.S. Justice Department all of which coming to the same conclusions – James Earl Ray is guilty. Ray passed away in 1998.