Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 12, the 133rd day of 2020. There are 233 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On May 12, 2002, Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. president in or out of office to visit since the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.
On this date:
In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered to British forces.
In 1922, a 20-ton meteor crashed near Blackstone, Virginia.
In 1937, Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.
In 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. The two-week Trident Conference, headed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opened in Washington.
In 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.
In 1955, Manhattan’s last elevated rail line, the Third Avenue El, ceased operation.
In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).
In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.
In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope’s longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)
In 2001, singer Perry Como died in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida, at age 88.
In 2008, a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in China’s Sichuan province left more than 87,000 people dead or missing.
In 2009, five Miami men were convicted in a plot to blow up FBI buildings and Chicago’s Sears Tower; one man was acquitted. Suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk was deported from the United States to Germany.
Ten years ago: An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330 jetliner plunged into the Libyan desert less than a mile from the runway in Tripoli after a flight from Johannesburg; a 9-year-old Dutch boy was the sole survivor of the crash that killed 103 people. An attacker hacked seven children and two adults to death in a rampage at a kindergarten in northwest China before taking his own life. Republicans chose Tampa, Florida, as the site of their 2012 presidential convention. Bowler Kelly Kulick, the first woman to win a PBA Tour title when she beat the men in the Tournament of Champions, won the U.S. Women’s Open for her second women’s major victory in 15 days.
Five years ago: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin with an eye on easing badly strained relations over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. An Amtrak train traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York derailed and crashed in Philadelphia, killing eight people.
One year ago: The White House’s top economic adviser acknowledged on “Fox News Sunday” that U.S. consumers and businesses pay the tariffs that the administration had imposed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods; Larry Kudlow added that China would suffer losses from reduced exports to the U.S. The United Arab Emirates said four commercial ships off its eastern coast had been “subjected to sabotage operations”; the report came as the U.S. warned that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region.
Today’s Birthdays: Composer Burt Bacharach is 92. Actress Millie Perkins is 84. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jayotis Washington is 79. Country singer Billy Swan is 78. Actress Linda Dano is 77. Actress Lindsay Crouse is 72. Singer-musician Steve Winwood is 72. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 70. Actor Bruce Boxleitner is 70. Singer Billy Squier is 70. Blues singer-musician Guy Davis is 68. Country singer Kix Brooks is 65. Actress Kim Greist is 62. Rock musician Eric Singer (KISS) is 62. Actor Ving Rhames is 61. Rock musician Billy Duffy is 59. Actor Emilio Estevez is 58. Actress April Grace is 58. Actress Vanessa A. Williams is 57. TV personality/chef Carla Hall is 56. Country musician Eddie Kilgallon is 55. Actor Stephen Baldwin is 54. Actor Scott Schwartz is 52. Actress Kim Fields is 51. Actress Samantha Mathis is 50. Actress Jamie Luner is 49. Actor Christian Campbell is 48. Actress Rhea Seehorn is 48. Actor Mackenzie Astin is 47. Country musician Matt Mangano (The Zac Brown Band) is 44. Actress Rebecca Herbst is 43. Actress Malin Akerman is 42. Actor Jason Biggs is 42. Actor Rami Malek is 39. Actress-singer Clare Bowen is 36. Actress Emily VanCamp is 34. Actor Malcolm David Kelley is 28. Actor Sullivan Sweeten is 25.
Thought for Today: “Mistrust the man who finds everything good; the man who finds everything evil; and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.” — Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian (1741-1801).
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