Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 1, 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”
On this date:
In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
In 1915, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York, headed for Liverpool, England (it was torpedoed and sunk by Germany off the coast of Ireland six days later).
In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. Singer Kate Smith made her debut on CBS Radio on her 24th birthday.
In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.
In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. (They divorced in 1973.) Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president of Nicaragua.
In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1982, the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, was opened by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1991, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers threw his seventh no-hitter at age 44, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0. Rickey Henderson of the Oakland A’s set a major league record by stealing his 939th base during a game against the New York Yankees.
In 2009, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)
In 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation (because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).
Ten years ago: Pakistan-born U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad (FY’-sul shah-ZAHD’) failed in an attempt to set off a homemade bomb in an SUV parked in New York’s Times Square. (Shahzad is serving a life prison sentence.) Jockey Calvin Borel steered Super Saver through the mud to win his third Kentucky Derby in four years, beating Lookin At Lucky by 2 1/2 lengths. Actress Helen Wagner, who’d played Nancy Hughes on the CBS soap opera “As the World Turns” for 54 years, died in Mount Kisco, New York, at age 91.
Five years ago: Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van. Actress Grace Lee Whitney, who played Captain Kirk’s assistant, Yeoman Janice Rand, on the original “Star Trek” TV series, died in Coarsegold, California, at age 85.
One year ago: Tensions between Justice Department leaders and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team broke into public view as Attorney General William Barr pushed back at what he called “snitty” complaints by the special counsel over Barr’s handling of the report from the Trump-Russia investigation. Venezuelans heeded a call from opposition leader Juan Guaidó to fill the streets around the nation, but they were met with tear gas as security forces failed to fulfill his appeal for a widespread military uprising. A British judge sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail seven years earlier and taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya and other female runners with unusually high testosterone must take medication to reduce their levels of the male sex hormone in order to compete in certain events.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 81. Actor Stephen Macht is 78. Singer Rita Coolidge is 75. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 74. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 71. Actor Dann Florek is 69. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 66. Actor Byron Stewart is 64. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 60. Actress Maia Morgenstern is 58. Actor Scott Coffey is 56. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 55. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 54. Country singer Tim McGraw is 53. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 52. Rock musician D’Arcy is 52. Movie director Wes Anderson is 51. Actress Julie Benz is 48. Actor Bailey Chase is 48. Country singer Cory Morrow is 48. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 46. Actor Darius McCrary is 44. Actor Jamie Dornan is 38. Actress Kerry Bishe is 36. TV personality Abby Huntsman is 34. Actress Lizzy Greene is 17.
Thought for Today: “Anyone who is satisfied to stand still should not complain when others pass him.” — Italian proverb.