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Inventor and businessman Bill Lear dies

Bill Lear was an American inventor and businessman and the creator of the battery eliminator, B battery and 8-track tape sound-recording technology. In the late 1950s, Bill Lear founded the Swiss American Aviation Corporation which manufactured private, luxury aircraft. It was later renamed Learjet. One of its most famous designs was Learjet 23, introduced in 1964. Learjet is currently a subsidiary of Canadian Bombardier Aerospace.

Skylab heads to the stars

Skylab was the United States' space station that orbited the Earth until it fell back to Earth amid huge worldwide media attention. Launched and operated by NASA, Skylab included a workshop, a solar observatory, and other systems necessary for crew survival and scientific experiments.

Inventor and entrepreneur Henry Heinz dies

Known mostly for his tomato ketchup, Heinz was a son of German immigrants who came to the United States in the early 1840s. In 1876 he developed his ketchup and started a company with his brother, John Heinz, and cousin Frederick Heinz. In 1888 Heinz bought them out and renamed the business H. J. Heinz Company, the name carried to the present day.

Charles Darwin begins writing 'On the Origin of Species'

The groundbreaking book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. On the Origin of Species is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

U. S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend, Second Lieutenant William Clark started a ground expedition across what is now the western portion of the United States. It began near St. Louis and made its way westward, passing through the continental divide to reach the Pacific coast.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous