April 12: Space Shuttle Columbia, Garth Brooks, and Ed O’Neill

April 12 — Big day in the news as GenX’ers grew up …

The United States launched the first space shuttle, Columbia, in 1981. Billed as STS-1 (Space Transportation System 1), carrying a crew of two as it orbited Earth 36 times in 54.5 hours before returning safely to Edward (Calif.) Air Force Base. John Young and Robert Crippen piloted the ship, which happened to launch on the 20th anniversary of the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin of the USSR.