Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 11, 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
On this date:
In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.
In 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese; the Americans took the island 19 days later.
In 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio, announced the development of a tubeless tire.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman formally dedicated the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.
In 1953, a tornado devastated Waco, Texas, claiming 114 lives.
In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1973, the espionage trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo in the “Pentagon Papers” case came to an end as Judge William M. Byrne dismissed all charges, citing government misconduct.
In 1981, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36.
In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
In 1998, India set off three underground atomic blasts, its first nuclear tests in 24 years. A French mint produced the first coins of Europe’s single currency, the euro.
In 2006, lawmakers demanded answers after a USA Today report that the National Security Agency was secretly collecting records of millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls; President George W. Bush sought to assure Americans their civil liberties were being “fiercely protected.”
Ten years ago: Conservative leader David Cameron, at age 43, became Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour government.
Five years ago: Joyce Hardin Garrard, the Alabama woman convicted of running her 9-year-old granddaughter, Savannah Hardin, to death as punishment for lying about candy, was sentenced by a judge in Gadsden to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The NFL came down hard on its biggest star and its championship team, suspending Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady for the first four games of the season, fining the New England Patriots $1 million and taking away two draft picks as punishment for deflating footballs used in the AFC title game.
One year ago: Gay rights activists organizing on social media held an unauthorized march down eight blocks of one of the main streets in Cuba’s capital before being stopped by police. Election officials in South Africa announced that the ruling African National Congress had achieved its weakest victory in national elections in a quarter-century, with 57.5% of the vote.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 93. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is 87. Jazz keyboardist Carla Bley is 84. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 79. Actress Pam Ferris is 72. Former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly is 70. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (SHOH’-reh ahg-DAHSH’-loo) is 68. Actress Frances Fisher is 68. Sports columnist Mike Lupica is 68. Actor Boyd Gaines is 67. Country musician Mark Herndon (formerly with Alabama) is 65. Actress Martha Quinn is 61. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 57. Actor Tim Blake Nelson is 56. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 52. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 52. Actor Nicky Katt is 50. Actor Coby Bell is 45. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso (PER’-tuh KEE’-wee-lahk-soh) is 42. Actor Austin O’Brien is 39. Actor-singer Jonathan Jackson is 38. Rapper Ace Hood is 32. Latin singer Prince Royce is 31. Actress Annabelle Attanasio (TV: “Bull”) is 27. Musician Howard Lawrence (Disclosure) is 26.
Thought for Today: “Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.” — Irving Berlin, American songwriter (born this date in 1888, died 1989).