This Day in History

European Explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo Discovers California (1542)
In 1520, Cabrillo, an explorer in the service of Spain, landed in Mexico and joined in the conquests of Mexico and Guatemala. Some 20 years later, he accompanied an expedition up the west coast of Mexico, assuming its command after the death of its original commander. He then proceeded to explore much of the coast of what is now the state of California, becoming the first European to do so. How far north did he get before complications from a broken bone, possibly gangrene, took his life? Discuss

Germany, Italy, and Japan Sign Tripartite Pact (1940)
The World War II alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan was fully realized in September 1940, with the signing of the Tripartite Pact. The agreement called for the Axis Powers to come to each other's aid if attacked by a nation not already involved in the European War or the Sino-Japanese Conflict and to assist one another in their efforts to "establish and maintain a new order of things"—Germany and Italy in Europe and Japan in Greater East Asia. How did the treaty get the nickname "Roberto"?

MV Joola Disaster in Senegal (2002)
Just 11 years ago, a Senegalese ferry capsized off the coast of Gambia, claiming more lives than the notorious Titanic disaster. At least 1,863 people died in the sinking of the MV Joola, making it one of the deadliest civilian maritime disasters in history. A number of factors likely contributed to the tragedy, including bad weather, overloading—the ferry was carrying more than triple the number of passengers it was designed to hold—and a delayed rescue effort. How many survived?

Spring snowstorm barging into Colorado, Wyoming
Amounts could vary greatly, but up to 15 inches of snow could fall at higher elevations in Colorado.