On this Day May 25
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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 just 32 theaters across the U.S. with no official premiere. By August, more than 1,000 theaters are screening the film, propelling it box office glory. Later renamed “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,” the movie captures seven Academy Awards and becomes a marketing bonanza.
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.
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.
1968 – Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends” becomes the duo’s second No. 1 album, delivering such classic tracks as “Mrs. Robinson,” “America,” “A Hazy Shade Of Winter” and “At The Zoo.” The album holds the top spot for three weeks.