Today in History
Today is Saturday, May 2, the 123rd day of 2020. There are 243 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 2, 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.
On this date:
In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Virginia; he died eight days later.
In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.
In 1908, the original version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” with music by Albert Von Tilzer and lyrics by Jack Norworth, was published by Von Tilzer’s York Music Co.
In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld 8-1 a Virginia law allowing the forced sterilization of people to promote the “health of the patient and the welfare of society.”
In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
In 1968, “The Odd Couple,” the movie version of the Neil Simon comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, opened in New York.
In 1970, jockey Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby; she finished in 15th place aboard Fathom. (The winning horse was Dust Commander.)
In 1972, a fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.
In 1982, the Weather Channel made its debut.
In 2005, Pfc. Lynndie England, the young woman pictured in some of the most notorious Abu Ghraib photos, pleaded guilty at Fort Hood, Texas, to mistreating prisoners. (However, a judge later threw out the plea agreement; England was later convicted in a court-martial and received a three-year sentence, of which she served half.)
In 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, then quickly buried at sea after a decade on the run.
In 2018, two black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education; they settled separately with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama traveled to Louisiana to view the response to the BP oil spill, pledging that the government “will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to stop this crisis.” Record rains and flash floods in Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee caused more than 30 deaths and submerged the Grand Ole Opry House stage. European governments and the International Monetary Fund committed to pulling Greece back from the brink of default, agreeing on nearly $1 trillion in emergency loans. Actress Lynn Redgrave died in Kent, Connecticut, at age 67.
Five years ago: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth in London to a daughter, later named Charlotte, who became fourth in the line of succession to the throne and the fifth great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II. En route to a Triple Crown sweep, American Pharoah rallied in the stretch to beat Firing Line by a length and delivered trainer Bob Baffert’s first Kentucky Derby since 2002.
One year ago: North Carolina lawyer Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown; for the first time, black women held the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America. The Trump administration issued revised rules aimed at giving oil and gas companies more flexibility in meeting safety standards imposed after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed nearly a dozen people. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned under pressure, amid investigations into whether she had arranged bulk sales of her self-published children’s books to disguise hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks. (Pugh would later be sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal conspiracy and tax evasion charges.) Escalating a battle between Democrats and the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr skipped a House hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 84. Former International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is 78. Actress-activist Bianca Jagger is 75. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 75. Actor David Suchet is 74. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 72. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 70. Actress Christine Baranski is 68. Singer Angela Bofill is 66. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 65. Actor Brian Tochi is 61. Movie director Stephen Daldry is 60. Actress Elizabeth Berridge is 58. Country singer Ty Herndon is 58. Actress Mitzi Kapture is 58. Commentator Mika Brzezinski is 53. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is 52. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 51. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is 48. Former soccer player David Beckham is 45. Rock singer Jeff Gutt (Stone Temple Pilots) is 44. Actress Jenna Von Oy is 43. Actor Kumail Nanijiani is 42. Actress Ellie Kemper is 40. Actor Robert Buckley is 39. Actor Gaius Charles is 37. Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper is 35. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 35. Rock musician Jim Almgren (Carolina Liar) is 34. Actor Thomas McDonell is 34. Actress Kay Panabaker is 30. NBA All-Star Paul George is 30. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is five.
Thought for Today: “What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments have never learned anything from history.” — Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher (1770-1831).
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