On This Day 3 August

By TheBoldAge. Published 2020-08-03
In 1778 Teatro alla Scala was inaugurated; in 1858 English explorer arrived at Lake Victoria; 1926 first electric traffic lights in Picadilly Circus; 1936 Jesse Owens won 100m gold in Berlin Olympics; in 1970 62 year old Miriam Hargrave got her driving licence on the 40th attempt. In 1979 Jose Arieta made the fastest Jai-Alai shot at 188mph

Jai Alai (cesta punta) - first played in the 14th century, it was in 1979 that its fastest shot was made

In 1979 Jai Alai player, Jose Arieta, was recorded as making the fastest shot at 188mph (302km/h). Originating from the Basque Country it is played in Spain, as well as Latin America and the Philippines through the colonisation of those areas by the Spanish.

Jai Alai is played on a court with walls on the front, back and left and if the ball touches the floor outside of these areas it is considered out of bounds. Both the ball and the cesta (catcher) are hand-made and the ball must be caught either while it is in the air or after hitting the floor only once.


Jai Alai has been linked with gambling since it was first played. It was played for a while in Shanghai and Tianjin in the colonial areas but was then shut down when the communists took over. It was also played in the Philippines, however it was banned from 1986 due to game fixing. It was reintroduced in 2010, although shut down again in 2011 in one of the provinces due to illegal gambling.

Other events on this day

  • 1778: La Scala, opera house in Milan, opened
  • 1858: English explorer arrived at Lake Victoria, source of the Nile
  • 1926: first traffic lights installed in the UK at Picadilly Circus
  • 1936: African American Jesse Owens won the 100m gold medal at the Olympics in Berlin
  • 1970: 62 year old Miriam Hargrave got her drivers licence after the 40th attempt at the test
  • 1979: fastest Jai-alai shot at 188mph on Rhode Island, US
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