GOOD MORNING – TODAY IS FRIDAY, April 17, the 107th day of 2015 with 258 to follow. Sunrise in the Boston area is @ 6:01 and sunset is @ 7:27. The moon is waning. The morning stars are stars are Mercury, Neptune & Saturn. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Uranus & Venus.

ON THIS DAY IN: 1194 – Richard the Lionhearted returned to England and was crowned for the second time after his epic journey and victory in the Third Crusade.

1492 – Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed a contract, giving Columbus a commission to seek a western route to the Indies.

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazano discovered New York Harbor.

1629 – Horses were first imported into the colonies by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1861 – Virginia voted to secede from the Union, the 8th state to do so.

1875 – The game “snooker” was invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain.

1916 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters obtained its charter from Congress.

1929 – Baseball player Babe Ruth and Claire Hodgeson, a former member of the Ziegfield Follies, married.

1941 – Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany in World War II.

1941 – Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter liftoff, in Stratford, Connecticut.

1961 – About 1500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

1964 – Ford Motor Company unveiled the Mustang.

1969 – A jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

1969 – Czechoslovak Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubcek was deposed.

1970 – The astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific, after four days in a crippled spacecraft.

1975 – Phnom Penh fell to the Communist Khmer Rouge, ending Cambodia’s five-year war.

2004 – Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, co-founder of the militant Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, was killed by an Israeli missile hitting his car.

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