On this day in 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain to try and find a western route to China. Widely given credit for "discovering" the new world, Columbus did little but bring on the demise of the native people on two continents. Because he sailed under the Spanish royal flag, all lands were claimed for Spain. Further voyages would establish Spain as a global power.
On this day in 1949 basketball reached the big time when the Basketball Association of America merged with the National Basketball League to form the National Basketball Association. And faster than you can say Judean People's Front it became the premier form of basketball in the world.
On this day in 1958 the USS Nautilus became the first vessel to travel under the North Pole. Unlike the South Pole, the North Pole is located in the middle of an ocean. Operation "Northwest Passage" was a complete success.