'The Sopranos' Signs-Off For Good On This Date in 2007

Today in 1652, John Hull opened the first mint in America, in Boston.

Today in 1898, US Marines landed in Cuba during Spanish-American War.

Today in 1924, the Republican National Convention was broadcast by NBC radio. It was the first political convention to be on radio.

Today in 1935, William Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith of Akron, Ohio founded Alcoholics Anonymous. The slogan “one day at a time” was also conceived on this date.

Today in 1943, the ball point pen was patented by Lasalo Biro of Budapest, Hungary. The British Royal Air Force, who employed him, needed a pen that would write under low atmospheric pressure at high altitudes during the war. It had been invented in 1938 while Biro was a journalist in Budapest, Hungary. Biro escaped the Nazis by traveling via Paris to Argentina in 1940. There, Englishman Henry Martin, in Buenos Aires on a mission for the British government, saw the invention and recognized its value for air crews making high altitude navigational calculations. Martin acquired the rights and began producing the ballpoint pens for the RAF.

Today in 1943, Army nurse Lt. Edith Greenwood became the first woman to receive the Soldier’s Medal for showing heroism during a fire at a military hospital in Yuma, Arizona.

Today in 1944, Joe Nuxhall officially became the youngest major league baseball player when he took the field at the tender age of 15-years-old.

Today in 1948, it was announced that Chuck Yeager exceeded the speed of sound in the Bell XS-1. He had actually completed the achievement the previous October.

Today in 1972, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves tied (with Gil Hodges of the Giants) the National League record for the most grand-slam home runs in a career, with 14. The Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 15-3 to make the celebration even better.

Today in 1977, James Earl Ray escaped with six others from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee. He was recaptured on June 13th, 1977.

Today in 1983, Johnny Bench announced plans to retire. A catcher in the major leagues for 16 years, said he wanted to be “remembered as the greatest catcher in baseball” as opposed “tarnishing” his image by performing below his standards.

Today in 1985, Herschel Walker of the New Jersey Generals broke the 2,000-yard mark in rushing during the season as the Generals won over Jacksonville, 31-24. The effort set a United States Football League (USFL) record. This feat had only been reached twice in the National Football League (NFL) – once by O.J. Simpson in 1973 for 2,003 yards and by Eric Dickerson in 1984 for 2,105 yards.

Today in 1998, a jury in Jacksonville, Florida ordered Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation to pay nearly one million dollars to the family of Roland Maddox, who had died after smoking Lucky Strikes for almost 50 years. This is only the third case in American legal history in which a plaintiff has successfully sought compensation against a tobacco company for injuries sustained from the use of tobacco products. However, the following August, a Florida appeals court later overturned the verdict.

Today in 2002, the first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans was carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Today in 2003, the Spirit Rover was launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.

Today in 2007, "The Sopranos" series finale aired on HBO (with the infamous "cut to black" ending).

Today in 2021, the US Senate confirmed Zahid Quraish for the District of New Jersey. He is America's first Muslim federal judge.

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