What happened on this day in history: Thomas Jefferson is born in 1743, an oxygen tank explodes on Apollo 13 in 1970, and more.
1612: Miyamoto Musashi Defeats Sasaki Kojiro
Miyamoto Musashi kills Sasaki Kojiro in a duel. The two samurais were rivals and Musashi initiated the duel to prove that he was the better swordsman. Musashi won the bout and is considered one of history’s greatest samurai, though he then swore off dueling to the death.
1743: Thomas Jefferson Is Born
Thomas Jefferson is born in Shadwell, Virginia. A Founding Father and the third president of the United States, Jefferson played an important role in the American Revolution as the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. In recent years, however, Jefferson’s legacy has been complicated by DNA tests that proved he had a relationship — and multiple children — with an enslaved woman named Sally Hemings.
1866: Butch Cassidy Is Born
Robert LeRoy Parke, later known as Butch Cassidy, is born in Beaver, Utah. One of the most famous outlaws in the Wild West, Cassidy was a member of the Wild Bunch gang and participated in several robberies of banks and trains. He later fled to South America, though Cassidy’s fate is unknown.
1870: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Is Established
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is established by the Legislature of the State of New York. Tasked with “encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts,” the museum’s first building opened 10 years later at 1000 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Today, the Met displays thousands of international artifacts including paintings, sculptures, and even partial Egyptian temples.
1919: The Amritsar Massacre Takes Place
The Amritsar Massacre, also called the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, takes place in Amritsar, India. There, British and Gurka troops opened fire on hundreds of people gathering at the Jallianwala Bagh park, some Indian nationalists, and some revelers of the Sikh Baisakhi festival. At least 379 were killed and thousands injured when British troops emptied their rifles onto the crowd, convincing Mohandas Gandhi that India must break free from British rule.
1970: An Oxygen Tank Explodes On Apollo 13
Oxygen tank no. 2 explodes on Apollo 13. The third manned lunar landing mission, Apollo 13 was 200,000 miles from Earth when the disaster struck. Astronaut James A. Lovell famously radioed mission control, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” but after a harrowing four days, the astronauts were able to land safely in the Pacific Ocean on April 17.
1997: Tiger Woods Wins His First Masters Tournament
Eldrick “Tiger” Woods wins his first Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. The 21-year-old won in a record 12 strokes and established himself as a champion golfer. Today, Woods is widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.