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On this day: April 9

Published On: Apr 06 2013 12:22:11 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 09 2014 01:00:00 AM CDT

General Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House, NASA picks its first seven astronauts, the Houston Astrodome opens, and Iraqis tear down Saddam Hussein's statue in a liberated Baghdad, all on this day.

OTD April 9 - Mercury Seven
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NASA

1959: NASA announces the selection of the United States' first seven astronauts, quickly dubbed the "Mercury Seven" by the news media. Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton were chosen from 110 applicants for Project Mercury, NASA's effort to see if humans could survive in space. On May 5, 1961, Shepard would become the first American in space.

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