Those born on this date are under the sign of Gemini. They include poet/philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1803; YMCA leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Mott in 1865; dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in 1878; aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky in 1889; Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito in 1892; heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney in 1897; humorist and publisher Bennett Cerf in 1898; songwriter Hal David in 1921; actor Claude Akins in 1926; spy novelist Robert Ludlum in 1927; opera singer Beverly Sills (born Belle Miriam Silverman) in 1929; basketball Hall of Fame member K.C. Jones in 1932 (age 82); Canadian writer W.P. Kinsella in 1935 (age 79); actors Dixie Carter in 1939 and Ian McKellen, also in 1939 (age 75); singer/actor Leslie Uggams and singer Jessi Colter, both in 1943 (age 71); Frank Oz (born Richard Frank Oznowicz), director, actor, puppeteer (Miss Piggy of The Muppets), in 1944 (age 70); actors Karen Valentine in 1947 (age 67) and Connie Sellecca in 1955 (age 59); Mike Myers in 1963 (age 51), Anne Heche in 1969 (age 45) and Cillian Murphy in 1976 (age 38); and former professional football player Brian Urlacher in 1978 (age 36).
On this date in history:
In 1787, with George Washington presiding, the first regular session of the Constitutional Convention, which drew up the Constitution of the United States, convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
In 1878, "H.M.S. Pinafore," an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, opened in London.
In 1925, John Scopes was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution in a Tennessee high school, leading to a trial that became a media sensation. (Scopes was convicted and fined $100; the conviction was later overturned.)
In 1935, winding up his legendary career with the Boston Braves, Babe Ruth hit his 714th and last home run in his final game. (The record stood for 39 years until Hank Aaron, also with the Braves, although in Atlanta, broke it in 1974. Aaron went on to hit 755 homers and current record-holder Barry Bonds had 762.)
In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress of the plan to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
In 1977, the first installment of George Lucas' "Star Wars" film series was released.
In 1979, the crash of an American Airlines DC-10 on takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport killed 275 people.
In 1986, 5 million people formed a broken 4,000-mile human chain from Los Angeles to New York in "Hands Across America," to benefit the nation's homeless. The event raised $24.5 million.
In 1994, after living 20 years in exile, mostly in the United States, Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to his homeland. He had been expelled after "The Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison camp system, was published in the West in 1974.
In 1997, mutinous soldiers seized power in Sierra Leone.
In 2008, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft made a smooth landing on Mars, completing a nine-month, 422-million-mile journey, setting down in the planet's frigid polar region where scientists hoped to find water.
In 2009, despite international warnings, North Korea reported it had launched a second nuclear missile test, with officials saying they were only boosting self-defense capabilities.
In 2011, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" broadcast its final original episode after 25 years on the air.
In 2012, private space company SpaceX's Dragon capsule became the first commercial cargo vessel to visit the International Space Station.
In 2013, amid tight security, about 3,000 people who had been in the Boston Marathon April 15 when bombs killed three people and injured scores of others returned to complete the final mile. One runner said the event, called OneRun, was "a great way to show the strength of Boston and the camaraderie in our city,"
A thought for the day: "When men reach their 60s and retire, they go to pieces. Women just go right on cooking." -- Gail Sheehy