1877 - James Alexander Tyng became the first baseball player to wear a catcher’s mask.
1954 - Rock Around the Clock was recorded on this date by Bill Haley and the Comets on the Decca label, at New York's Pythian Tem...ple. It is claimed to have sold 25 million copies.
1961 - The Soviet Union launched the first man into space; cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin was carried by the spacecraft Vostok I on a single orbit of the Earth in an 108-minute flight.
1975 - Philadelphia Freedom, recorded by The Elton John Band, jumped into the Number 1 spot on Billboard's record charts, and stayed there for 2 weeks.
1981 - The world's first re-usable space shuttle Columbia was launched at Cape Canaveral.
1987 - Larry Mize, 28, hit a wonderous shot in golf, a 140-foot chip, winning him the Masters golf title in Augusta, Georgia. Mize beat Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros in the playoff.
1996 - Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers were declared the world's tallest buildings by a committee of experts meeting in the shadow of the previous title-holder, Chicago's Sears Tower.
1999 - US President Bill Clinton is cited for contempt of court for giving “intentionally false statements” in a sexual harassment civil lawsuit.
2012 - Bodleian, Oxford University and Vatican libraries announce over 1.5 million pages of ancient texts will be made available across the internet