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updated 5/21/2004 1:01:27 PM ET 2004-05-21T17:01:27
COMMENTARY

Once in a while, it’s good to take stock and think about what a day really means. If a day is about the events that happened on it, then what is May 20 really all about?

It’s about taking risks: On this day in 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off in the spirit of St. Louis on the first solo flight to France. Five years later, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

It’s about innovation: On May 20, 1310, you could buy both left and right shoes for the first time. In 1874, the first blue jeans went on sale (on many nights, if you could look under the anchor desk, you might see their descendants).

In 1956, we had the first hydrogen bomb. Today is about the arts: Bill Haley and the Comets helped kick off the rock revolution on May 20, 1954, with “Rock Around the Clock.” And it is about science: On this day in 1990, we saw the first pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. And of course, every day is about the passage in people’s lives. Like Charlie Sheen admitted to an L.A. hospital with a drug overdose in 1998 or silent film star Rudolph Valentino arrested for bigamy in 1922.

Christopher Columbus, the great explorer, died in poverty in Spain on May 20, 1506. And of course, it’s a big day for anyone with a birthday, like Cher, who turned 58 today, and singer Joe Cocker, who’s 60 with a little help from his friends. And pitcher David Wells “The Boomer” is 41. It is just a good day in history.

Editor's note: May 20 is also, in fact, Dan's birthday.

Dan Abrams is the host of 'The Abrams Report.' The show airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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