On this Day May 25
1965 – Blues singer-songwriter and harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson dies in his sleep at age 65. Over the years, Van Morrison, Aerosmith, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and The Moody Blues have all covered his songs.
1961 – Addressing a special joint session of Congress, President John F. Kennedy announces his goal to send an American to the moon before the end of the decade. He also requests financial support for an accelerated space program.
1977 – “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” With those words on the screen, cinematic history is made, as George Lucas’ epic sci-fi adventure “Star Wars” opens on Memorial Day weekend at theaters across the U.S. The movie, later renamed “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,” captures seven Oscars and earns $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of nearly $800 million worldwide.
1979 – This day marks the worst domestic air crash in U.S. history. American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashes during takeoff at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground. Investigators blame a faulty pylon assembly for the tragedy in which the left engine fell off the LA-bound aircraft.
1979 – Six-year old Etan Patz disappears while walking two blocks from home to his bus stop in Manhattan. Investigators have the boy’s face and description printed on milk cartons all across the U.S. in hopes that someone would find him — the first time that method is used to aid in a missing child case. It takes 38 years for authorities to find and convict the suspect in Patz’s kidnapping and murder.
Own a Piece of This Day
Gods and Monsters
Starring Sir Ian McKellan, Brendan Fraser and Lynn Redgrave, and directed by Bill Condon