Monday, June 16, 2008

On June 16

On this day in ...
... 1963 (45 years ago today), Lt. Valentina Tereshkova became the 1st woman in space. A 26-year-old "former textile worker from the Soviet Union," Tereshkova took off in her spaceship, Vostok VI, at 12:30 a.m. Moscow time. The BBC reported: "Moscow Television broadcast the first pictures of the elated blonde -- code-named Seagull -- ninety minutes later." Tereshkova, whose feat was honored in the 1963 stamp at right, never returned to space. On April 8 of this year, she helped carry the 2008 Olympic torch through the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia.
... 1948 (60 years ago today), the 1st recorded skyjacking took place when an assailant shot the pilot of a Cathay Pacific plane, Miss Macao, 10 miles off the South China Sea island of the same name. The "bungled gold bullion robbery" ended with the plane crashing into the Pearl River Estuary and the deaths of all but 1 person on board.

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