On this Day June 10
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1752 – Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects ambient electrical charge in a Leyden jar, enabling him to demonstrate the connection between lightning and electricity along with an understanding of positive and negative charges. His experiment leads to development of the lightning rod, which grounded buildings thereby helping prevent deadly fires.
1935 – Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA, is founded by two recovering alcoholics — Bill W., a New York stockbroker, and Dr. Bob S., an Ohio surgeon. Today, the organization continues to fulfill the pair’s original mission to help alcoholics stop drinking and stay sober.
1980 – A letter written by imprisoned anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela and smuggled out of Robben Island prison, is shared publicly by the African National Congress (ANC). The letter is a call to arms against apartheid.
2007 – An estimated 12 million viewers tune in to “Made in America” — the final episode of HBO’s critically acclaimed, award-winning Mob family drama, “The Sopranos,” starring James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco and Steven Van Zandt.
1976 – The first concert ever performed at the Seattle Kingdome features Paul McCartney and Wings, and draws a crowd of more than 67,000 — beating the record attendance that The Beatles had a decade earlier at New York’s Shea Stadium.
2004 – Pioneering R&B/soul singer Ray Charles (“I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “What’d I Say,” “Georgia on My Mind”) — a 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee — dies of complications from liver disease at the age of 73.