Today in History
Today is Thursday, May 16, the 136th day of 2019. There are 229 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 16, 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical as well as deadly reform movement aimed at purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.”
On this date:
In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
In 1868, at the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 35 out of 54 senators voted to find Johnson guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” over his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, falling one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict; the trial ended 10 days later after two other articles of impeachment went down to defeat as well.
In 1919, pianist Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin.
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 1953, Associated Press correspondent William N. Oatis was released by Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia, where he had been imprisoned for two years after being forced to confess to espionage while working as the AP’s Prague bureau chief.
In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in California v. Greenwood, ruled that police could search discarded garbage without a search warrant. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the United States Congress as she lauded U.S.-British cooperation in the Persian Gulf War.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.
In 2007, anti-war Democrats in the Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war.
Ten 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.
Five years ago: Federal safety regulators slapped General Motors with a record $35 million fine for taking more than a decade to disclose an ignition-switch defect in millions of cars linked at that point to at least 13 deaths (the figure later rose to 90). U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pledged to Israeli leaders that the U.S. would “do what we must” to prevent the Jewish state’s greatest fear of a nuclear-armed Iran from being realized.
One year ago: Officials at Michigan State University said they had agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.
Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Rep John Conyers, D-Mich., is 90. Former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker is 88. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is 76. Jazz musician Billy Cobham is 75. Actor Danny Trejo is 75. Actor Bill Smitrovich is 72. Actor Pierce Brosnan is 66. Actress Debra Winger is 64. Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 64. Olympic gold medal marathon runner Joan Benoit Samuelson is 62. Actress Mare Winningham is 60. Rock musician Boyd Tinsley (The Dave Matthews Band) is 55. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (noh-voh-SEL’-ik) is 54. Singer Janet Jackson is 53. Country singer Scott Reeves (Blue County) is 53. Actor Brian (BREE’-un) F. O’Byrne is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) is 51. Actor David Boreanaz is 50. Political correspondent Tucker Carlson is 50. Actress Tracey Gold is 50. International Tennis Hall of Famer Gabriela Sabatini is 49. Country singer Rick Trevino is 48. Musician Simon Katz is 48. TV personality Bill Rancic is 48. Actor Khary Payton is 47. Rapper Special Ed is 47. Actress Tori Spelling is 46. Actor Sean Carrigan is 45. Singer-rapper B. Slade (formerly known as Tonex) is 44. Actress Lynn Collins is 42. Actress Melanie Lynskey is 42. Actor Jim Sturgess is 41. Actor Joseph Morgan is 38. DJ Alex Pall (The Chainsmokers) is 34. Actress Megan Fox is 33. Actor Drew Roy is 33. Actor Jacob Zachar is 33. Actor-comedian Jermaine Fowler is 31. Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster is 29. Actor Marc John Jefferies is 29. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Ashley Wagner is 28. Actor Miles Heizer is 25.
Thought for Today: “The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, American economist, diplomat and author (1908-2006).