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In 1994, astronaut Tom Jones from Essex spent his first night in space on the Endeavour space shuttle. Jones was on a nine-day mission to test a new radar device and take pictures of the Earth’s surface. Over the course of his career, he spent 52 days in space. (Handout photo, 2000)

1682: French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle reached the Mississippi River.

1833: The first tax-supported public library was founded, in Peterborough, N.H.

1959: NASA announced America’s first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.

1983: The space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission, landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Compiled by Laura Lefavor and Paul McCardell.