Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 14, the 134th day of 2019. There are 231 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 14, 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. (The Pact was dissolved in 1991.)
On this date:
In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter.
In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory as well as the Pacific Northwest left camp near present-day Hartford, Illinois.
In 1925, the Virginia Woolf novel “Mrs Dalloway” was first published in England and the United States.
In 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II.
In 1948, according to the current-era calendar, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv by David Ben-Gurion, who became its first prime minister; U.S. President Harry S. Truman immediately recognized the new nation.
In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a news conference in New York to announce the creation of the Beatles’ latest business venture, Apple Corps.
In 1973, the United States launched Skylab 1, its first manned space station. (Skylab 1 remained in orbit for six years before burning up during re-entry in 1979.) The National Right to Life Committee was incorporated.
In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana for medical purposes.
In 2004, Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper published a front-page apology after photographs supposedly showing British forces abusing Iraqi prisoners turned out to be fakes. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to step in and block gay marriages in Massachusetts.
In 2008, the Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice. Justine Henin, 25, became the first woman to retire from tennis while atop the WTA rankings.
Ten years ago: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading her and other lawmakers about the waterboarding of detainees during the Bush administration, disputing Republican charges that she’d been complicit in its use. Chrysler announced plans to eliminate 789 dealerships as part of its restructuring. A pair of spacewalking astronauts installed a new piano-sized camera in the Hubble Space Telescope.
Five years ago: A wildfire erupted in the north San Diego suburb of Carlsbad, destroying eight houses, two businesses and an apartment complex. Canadian-born U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz officially renounced his birth country’s citizenship amid speculation he could make a run at the White House in 2016.
One year ago: Israel and the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in Jerusalem; just a few miles away, Israeli forces shot and killed nearly 60 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others during mass protests along the Gaza border that were the culmination of weekly demonstrations aimed at breaking a border blockade. The Supreme Court cleared the way for states coast to coast to legalize betting on sports. Writer Tom Wolfe, who chronicled the space race in “The Right Stuff” before turning his satiric wit to such novels as “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” died in New York at the age of 88.
Today’s Birthdays: Photo-realist artist Richard Estes is 87. Actress Dame Sian Phillips is 86. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is 77. Movie producer George Lucas is 75. Guitarist Gene Cornish is 75. Actress Meg Foster is 71. Movie director Robert Zemeckis is 68. Rock singer David Byrne is 67. Actor Tim Roth is 58. Rock singer Ian Astbury (The Cult) is 57. Rock musician C.C. (aka Cecil) DeVille is 57. Actor Danny Huston is 57. Rock musician Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) is 53. Fabrice Morvan (ex-Milli Vanilli) is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raphael Saadiq is 53. Actress Cate Blanchett is 50. Singer Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 50. Movie writer-director Sofia Coppola is 48. Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is 47. Actor Gabriel Mann is 47. Singer Natalie Appleton (All Saints) is 46. Singer Shanice is 46. Actress Carla Jimenez is 45. Rock musician Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 41. Alt-country musician-singer Ketch Secor is 41. Rock singer-musician Dan Auerbach is 40. Rock musician Mike Retondo (Plain White T’s) is 38. Actress Amber Tamblyn is 36. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is 35. Actress Lina Esco is 34. Retired NFL player Rob Gronkowski is 30. Actress Miranda Cosgrove is 26.
Thought for Today: “The family you come from isn’t as important as the family you’re going to have.” — Ring Lardner, American humorist (1885-1933).
Top image courtesy of NASA