English seaman Francis Drake returns to Plymouth in England in the Golden Hind, becoming the first British navigator to sail the earth. In 1577, Drake set off from England on a mission to raid Spanish holdings on the Pacific coast of the New World. Of five ships, only the Golden Hind reached the Pacific, but Drake continued unperturbed, seizing Spanish treasure and searching in vain for a northeast passage back to the Atlantic.
In 1579, he set off across the Pacific. After sailing the Indian Ocean, he rounded Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, returning to the Atlantic and then England. In 1581, Queen Elizabeth I visited his ship and knighted Drake. The most renowned of the Elizabethan seamen, he later played a crucial role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Also on this Day
For Fans Of Hot Air Everywhere
This may come as something of a surprise to some of you, but we are currently in the thrall of a great big American election. You probably hadn’t noticed because neither of the candidates are that noticeable or noteworthy. But on this day, back in 1960, a massive electoral event occurred as the first ever televised debate took place. In o... Read more >
On this day, poet T.S. Eliot is born in St. Louis, Missouri. Eliot's distinguished family tree included an ancestor who arrived in Boston in 1670 and another who founded Washington University in St. Louis. Eliot's father was a businessman, and his mother was involved in local charities. Eliot took an undergraduate degree at Harvard, studied at the Sorbonne, returned to Harvard to study Sanskrit... Read more >
U.S. astronaut Shannon Lucid returns to Earth in the U.S. space shuttle Atlantis following six months in orbit aboard the Russian space station Mir. On March 23, 1996, Lucid transferred to Mir from the same space shuttle for a planned five-month stay. A biochemist, Lucid shared Mir with Russian cosmonauts Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev and conducted scientific experiments during her stay. Sh... Read more >