On this day, April 17 …

2018: Barbara Bush, first lady and wife of President George H.W. Bush and mother of President George W. Bush and Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, dies in Houston at the age of 92.

Also on this day:

  • 1492: A contract is signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.
  • 1521: Martin Luther goes before the Diet of Worms to face charges stemming from his religious writings.
  • 1924: The motion picture studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is founded as a result of a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the Louis B. Mayer Co..

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

  • 1937: Daffy Duck makes his debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon “Porky’s Duck Hunt,” directed by Tex Avery.
  • 1961: Some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launch the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro, whose forces would crush the incursion by the third day.
  • 1964: Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock becomes the first woman to complete a solo airplane trip around the world as she returns to Columbus, Ohio, after 29 and 1/2 days in her Cessna 180. 
  • 1964: Ford Motor Co. unveils the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.
  • 1964:The first game is played at New York’s Shea Stadium; the Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the Mets, 4-3.
  • 1969: A jury in Los Angeles convicts Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
  • 1970: Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert splash down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.
  • 1973: Federal Express (later FedEx) begins operations as 14 planes carrying 186 packages take off from Memphis International Airport, bound for 25 U.S. cities.
  • 1993: A federal jury in Los Angeles convicts two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers are acquitted. 
  • 2009: Richard Phillips, the cargo ship captain rescued by Navy snipers from Somali pirates, makes a triumphant return to his home state of Vermont, insisting: “I’m not a hero, the military is.”