Today is Tuesday, April 17, the 107th day of 2018. There are 258 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Composer-keyboardist Jan Hammer is 70. Actress Olivia Hussey is 67. Singer Afrika Bambaataa is 61. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is 57. Actress Lela Rochon is 54. Actor Henry Ian Cusick is 51. Singer Liz Phair is 51. Actress Jennifer Garner is 46.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus signed a contract with a representative of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving him a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.
In 1521, Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms to face charges stemming from his religious writings. (Luther was later declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.)
In 1924, the motion picture studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was founded, the result of a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Co.
In 1961, some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro, whose forces crushed the incursion by the third day.
In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.
In 1970, Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise, and Jack Swigert splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.
In 1972, the Boston Marathon allowed women to compete for the first time; Nina Kuscsik was the first officially recognized women’s champion, with a time of 3:10:26.
In 1986, at London’s Heathrow Airport, a bomb was found in the bag of Anne-Marie Murphy, a pregnant Irishwoman about to board an airliner to Israel; she’d been tricked into carrying the bomb by her Jordanian fiance, Nezar Hindawi.
In 1993, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, during his visit to Washington, prayed privately with survivors of the clergy sex abuse scandal in what’s believed to be a first meeting between a pontiff and abuse victims.
In 2013, sports returned to Boston two days after the deadly Marathon bombing as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Bruins in a 3-2 shootout
Last year, Kenyans ruled the Boston Marathon, with Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat winning the race in their debut.