May 20th in history:
Vasco da Gama reached India on this date in 1498, after starting in Portugal and going around Africa.
Charles Lindbergh began his historic flight across the Atlantic from Long Island on May 20th, 1927. He was the first person to successfully fly solo across the ocean to Europe without stopping.
Lindbergh’s flight began on the 19th birthday of future movie star Jimmy Stewart (1908). In 1957, Stewart would star as Lindbergh in a movie about the flight to Paris, called The Spirit of St. Louis.
Jimmy Stewart won an Oscar for “The Philadelphia Story,” and his hit movies include “Vertigo” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but he also starred as a lawyer in the CBS TV series ‘Hawkins’ in 1973. Another prime-time series on CBS in ’73 was “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.” Cher, born on this date in 1946, moved beyond records and TV to a successful movie career, and won a Best Actress Oscar for “Moonstruck” in 1987.
May 13th in history:
On May 13th, 1917, three young shepherds reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary for the first time at Fatima, Portugal.
One “Secret” reportedly revealed to the children by Mary has been interpreted as a prediction of an attack against a future Pope. On this date in 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded by a gunman in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
The founder of the Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, was born May 13th, 1931.
A segment on “The Daily Show” called “This Week in God” turned out to be a blessing for actor and comedian Stephen Colbert, born on this day in 1964. Colbert got his own late-night spinoff called “The Colbert Report,” and in 2015, he succeeded David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on CBS.
Colbert was not born on a Friday, but singer Darius Rucker, formerly of Hootie and the Blowfish, was a Friday the 13th baby on this day in 1966. And Stevie Wonder, who had a hit record called “Superstition” in 1972, was born on May 13th in 1950.
October 13 in history:
On October 13th, 1884, Greenwich Mean Time was established, setting noon at the Greenwich observatory in England as the standard for time zones throughout the world. However, scientists say that doesn’t mean the sun is always directly overhead at 12 noon every day at Greenwich.
Many witnesses say the sun did unusual things over the town of Fatima, Portugal on October 13th, 1917, in what has been described as “The Miracle of the Sun.” As many as 100,000 people gathered in Fatima, expecting visions of the Virgin Mary. Watchers claimed the sun changed colors, spun around, and moved back and forth across the sky, seeming to speed toward the earth.
The rescue of 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine was considered a miracle by many. The miners at Copiapo had been underground for nearly 70 days when a rescue capsule was used to bring them back to the surface, one at a time. The successful rescue mission ended late in the day on October 13th, 2010.
The man who created the TV show “Mission: Impossible,” producer Bruce Geller, was born on this date in 1930. It’s also the birthday of TV producer Chris Carter (born 1957), best known for a series about two agents who investigated the seemingly impossible, or unexplainable: “The X-Files.”