Today In History 2
Today is Tuesday, May 20, the 140th day of 2014. There are 225 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 20, 1939, regular trans-Atlantic mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, New York, bound for Marseille, France.
On this date:
In 1712, the original version of Alexander Pope’s satirical mock-heroic poem “The Rape of the Lock” was published anonymously in Lintot’s Miscellany.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which was intended to encourage settlements west of the Mississippi River by making federal land available for farming.
In 1902, the United States ended a three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas Estrada Palma.
In 1914, the song “By the Beautiful Sea” by Harry Carroll and Harold R. Atteridge was published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc., in New York.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)
In 1942, during World War II, the Office of Civilian Defense was established.
In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenship restored after renouncing it during World War II.
In 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.
In 1969, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, referred to as “Hamburger Hill” by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.
In 1970, some 100,000 people demonstrated in New York’s Wall Street district in support of U.S. policy in Vietnam and Cambodia.
In 1989, actress-comedian Gilda Radner died in Los Angeles at age 42.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush made a rare visit to Capitol Hill, where he sought to ease Republican lawmakers’ concerns over the Iraq campaign. Iraqi police backed by American soldiers raided the home and offices of Ahmad Chalabi (AHK’-mahd SHAH’-lah-bee), a prominent Iraqi politician once groomed as a possible replacement for Saddam Hussein.
Five years ago: In a rare, bipartisan defeat for President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 90-6, to keep the prison at Guantanamo Bay open for the foreseeable future and forbid the transfer of any detainees to facilities in the United States. A commission published a damning report on decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools in Ireland. Suspended NFL star Michael Vick was released after 19 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring to begin two months’ home confinement. An Indonesian C-130 Hercules military plane carrying troops and their families crashed in East Java province, killing 99 people. Kris Allen won the eighth season of “American Idol,” defeating fellow finalist Adam Lambert.
One year ago: An EF5 tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people and flattening 1,100 homes. Former general Thein Sein (thayn sayn) became the first president of Myanmar in 47 years to visit the White House, where President Barack Obama said he appreciated the Asian leader’s efforts to lead the country in “a long and sometimes difficult” path toward democracy. Ray Manzarek, 74, a founding member of the 1960s rock group the Doors, died in Rosenheim, Germany.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 84. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 78. Actor David Proval is 72. Singer Joe Cocker is 70. Singer-actress Cher is 68. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 65. Rock musician Warren Cann is 62. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 60. Actor Dean Butler is 58. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 56. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 56. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 55. Singer Susan Cowsill is 55. Actor John Billingsley is 54. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 54. Singer Nick Heyward is 53. TV personality Ted Allen is 49. Actress Mindy Cohn is 48. Rock musician Tom Gorman (Belly) is 48. Actress Gina Ravera is 48. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 46. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 42. Actress Daya Vaidya is 41. Rock musician Ryan Martinie is 39. Actor Matt Czuchry is 37. Actress Angela Goethals is 37. Actress-singer Naturi Naughton is 30.
Thought for Today: “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” — Gilda Radner (1946-1989).
Today is Friday, May 16, the 136th day of 2014. There are 229 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented. “Wings” won “best production,” while Emil Jannings (YAHN’-ings) and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress.
On this date:
In 1763, the English lexicographer, author and wit Samuel Johnson first met his future biographer, James Boswell.
In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
In 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.
In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
In 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.
In 1943, the nearly month-long Warsaw Ghetto Uprising came to an end as German forces crushed the Jewish resistance and blew up the Great Synagogue.
In 1948, CBS News correspondent George Polk, who’d been covering the Greek civil war between communist and nationalist forces, was found slain in Salonika Harbor.
In 1953, Associated Press correspondent William N. Oatis was released by communist authorities in Czechoslovakia, where he’d been imprisoned for two years after being forced to confess to espionage while working as the AP’s Prague bureau chief.
In 1961, Park Chung-hee seized power in South Korea in a military coup.
In 1974, former U.S. Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst pleaded guilty to failing to testify fully at his Senate confirmation hearing about an investigation of International Telephone & Telegraph Corp.; he was fined $100 and given a suspended 30-day sentence.
In 1984, comedian Andy Kaufman died in Los Angeles at age 35.
In 1989, during his visit to Beijing, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, formally ending a 30-year rift between the two Communist powers.
Ten years ago: The Bush administration announced a new initiative to speed up the approval process for new combination AIDS drugs designed to bring cheap, easy-to-use treatment to millions of people in Africa and the Caribbean. Pope John Paul II named six new saints, including Gianna Beretta Molla, revered by abortion foes because she’d refused to end her pregnancy despite warnings it could kill her. (Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician, died in 1962 at age 39, a week after giving birth to her fourth child.)
Five years ago: The ruling Congress party swept to a resounding victory in India’s mammoth national elections. Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes since 1924, holding off a late charge by Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to capture the middle jewel of the Triple Crown by a length.
One year ago: President Barack Obama named a temporary chief for the scandal-marred Internal Revenue Service and pressed Congress to approve new security money to prevent another Benghazi-style terrorist attack. Candice Glover won the 12th season of “American Idol” on Fox.
Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker is 83. Jazz musician Billy Cobham is 70. Actor Danny Trejo is 70. Actor Bill Smitrovich is 67. Actor Pierce Brosnan is 61. Actress Debra Winger is 59. Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 59. Actress Mare Winningham is 55. Rock musician Boyd Tinsley (The Dave Matthews Band) is 50. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (noh-voh-SEL’-ik) is 49. Singer Janet Jackson is 48. Country singer Scott Reeves (Blue County) is 48. Actor Brian (BREE’-un) F. O’Byrne is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) is 46. Actor David Boreanaz is 45. Political correspondent Tucker Carlson is 45. Actress Tracey Gold is 45. Tennis player Gabriela Sabatini is 44. Country singer Rick Trevino is 43. Musician Simon Katz is 43. Entrepreneur Bill Rancic (TV: “The Apprentice”) is 43. Actress Tori Spelling is 41. Actress Lynn Collins is 37. Actress Melanie Lynskey is 37. Actress Megan Fox is 28. Actor Drew Roy is 28. Actor Jacob Zachar is 28. Actor Marc John Jefferies is 24. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Ashley Wagner is 23. Actor Miles Heizer is 20.
Thought for Today: “I want, of course, peace, grace, and beauty. How do you do that? You work for it.” — Studs Terkel, American writer (1912-2008).