Today’s Highlights in History:
On May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first black president.
On this date:
In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in the Virginia Colony, where, as deputy governor, he instituted harsh measures to restore order.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.
In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.
In 1963, the Rolling Stones recorded their first single for Decca Records in London, covering Chuck Berry’s “Come On” (which ended up being redone) and “I Want to Be Loved” by Willie Dixon.
In 1968, the “Night of the Barricades” began in Paris’ Latin Quarter as tens of thousands of student protesters erected obstacles against riot police; in the pre-dawn hours of May 11, the police moved in, resulting in violent clashes that left hundreds of people injured. Preliminary peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam began in the French capital.
In 1975, Sony began selling its Betamax home videocassette recorder in Japan.
In 1994, the state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.
In 1996, two Marine helicopters collided in the dark and crashed in a swamp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during a U.S.-British training exercise, killing 14 people.
In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service apologized for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. U.S government scientists said worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, had hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans.
Ten years ago: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise one-day visit to Baghdad to discuss U.S.-Iraqi economic relations with the prime minister. Pope Benedict XVI urged Middle East Christians to persevere in their faith as 20,000 people filled a Jordanian sports stadium where the pontiff celebrated the first open-air Mass of his Holy Land pilgrimage. Russia defended its gold medal at the World Hockey Championships in Bern, Switzerland, beating Canada 2-1 in a rematch of the previous year’s final.
Five years ago: First lady Michelle Obama, delivering the weekly presidential radio and internet address in her husband’s place, decried the kidnapping of scores of Nigerian schoolgirls by the group Boko Haram. Arkansas began issuing same-sex marriage licenses a day after a judge lifted a ban on such unions. Michael Sam was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team.
One year ago: President Donald Trump announced that he would meet in Singapore with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on June 12; the announcement came hours after Trump hosted a welcome-home for three Americans who had been held by Kim’s government.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 86. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 81. Actor David Clennon is 76. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 75. Singer Donovan is 73. Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 73. Singer Dave Mason is 73. Actor Mike Hagerty is 65. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 64. Actor Bruce Penhall is 62. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is 61. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 61. Actress Victoria Rowell is 60. Rock singer Bono (BAH’-noh) (U2) is 59. Former Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is 59. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 58. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 56. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 56. Model Linda Evangelista is 54. Rapper Young MC is 52. Actor Erik Palladino is 51. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 51. Actor Lenny Venito is 50. Actor Dallas Roberts is 49. Actress Leslie Stefanson is 48. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 47. Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 47. Actress Andrea Anders is 44. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 44. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 42. Actor Kenan Thompson is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 39. Rock musician Joey Zehr (The Click Five) is 36. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 34. Actress Odette Annable is 34. Actress Lindsey Shaw is 30. Actress Lauren Potter is 29. Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 24.
Thought for Today: “When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.” — Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996).