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Old Yesterday, 05:18 AM
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April 24, 1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. After many, many mechanical problems (Komarov insists before the flight that his funeral be open-casket so that the Soviet leadership could see what they had done.), he successfully re-enters the Earth's atmosphere on his 19th orbit, but the module's drogue and main braking parachute fails to deploy correctly. The module crashes into the ground, killing Komarov. He screams until he hits the Earth. He is the first human to die during a space mission.
  #1652  
Old Yesterday, 11:03 PM
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April 25, 1901: New York becomes the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates. At first, only the owner’s initials must be clearly visible on the back of the vehicle. Then, in 1903, plates with black numerals on a white background will be required. At first, plates are not issued by the state, and motorists are obliged to make their own.

The earliest plates are made of porcelain baked onto iron or ceramic with no backing, which make them fragile and impractical. Few of these early plates survive. Later experimental materials will include cardboard, leather, plastic, and, during wartime shortages, copper and pressed soybeans.
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