The California Gold Rush begins, the Eskimo Pie is patented, Jackie Robinson is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the first Apple Macintosh goes on sale, all on this day.
1978: Soviet reconnaissance satellite Kosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. The incident prompted an extensive cleanup effort, although only 12 larger pieces of the satellite were recovered, amounting to 1 percent of its nuclear fuel.
iStock / shironosov
Sony Pictures Television
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