Sir Walter Raleigh is executed in London.
Raleigh was a prominent explorer who headed three trips to the New World. He helped set up the the lost Roanoke colony in 1587, which was also the first British settlement in America.
While he was in the good graces of the Royal Court, he was later ostracized for having a secret marriage to one of the queen’s handmaidens. It’s likely she was just ticked he didn’t want to sleep with her.
After Elizabeth’s death, King James I had him imprisoned and sentenced to death because he didn’t like him. Raleigh was freed to prospect for gold in South America, but he returned empty-handed.
So he was beheaded.
John Hancock resigns as President of the Continental Congress.
Hancock may be best known in Pop Culture as being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in an oversized scrawl. He was also the wealthiest man in New England for some time.
He later would serve as the first governor of Massachusetts and shaped its first constitution in 1780.
Leon Czolgosz (CHALL-gots) is executed for assassinating President McKinley.
McKinley was shot on September 6 that year at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo.
The president would die 8 days later, dying from gangrene in the internal wound.
Czolgosz was detained and swiftly prosecuted. It is reported that Thomas Edison filmed the execution.
The Galileo space probe becomes the closest manmade object to inspect an asteroid.
It came within a thousand miles of Gaspra, passing at about 5 miles a second. Gaspra orbits around the sun between Mars and Jupiter.
John Glenn becomes the oldest astronaut to travel to space.
He was the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. Following his career at NASA, he was encouraged by Bobby Kennedy to run against the incumbent Senator in Ohio.
Following an accident in 1964, Glenn withdrew from the Senate campaign, and was unable to continue at NASA. He was actually with Bobby Kennedy in 1968 when Bobby was assassinated.
Two years later, Glenn won the Ohio Senate seat, where he continued to serve until 1999.
His trip into space in 1998 also made him the only sitting Senator to travel to space.