Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 23, 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers.
On this date:
In 1814, a third version of Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” had its world premiere in Vienna.
In 1911, the newly completed New York Public Library was dedicated by President William Howard Taft, Gov. John Alden Dix and Mayor William Jay Gaynor.
In 1915, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary during World War I.
In 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
In 1939, the Navy submarine USS Squalus sank during a test dive off the New England coast. Thirty-two crew members and one civilian were rescued, but 26 others died; the sub was salvaged and re-commissioned the USS Sailfish.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces bogged down in Anzio began a major breakout offensive.
In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide by biting into a cyanide capsule while in British custody in Luneburg, Germany.
In 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, an action which helped precipitate war between Israel and its Arab neighbors the following month.
In 1977, Moluccan extremists seized a train and a primary school in the Netherlands; the hostage drama ended June 11 as Dutch marines stormed the train, resulting in the deaths of six out of nine hijackers and two hostages, while the school siege ended peacefully.
In 1984, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” starring Harrison Ford, was released by Paramount Pictures.
In 2001, The Senate passed an 11-year, $1.35 trillion-dollar tax cut bill.
In 2007, President George W. Bush, speaking at the U.S. Coast Guard commencement, portrayed the Iraq war as a battle between the U.S. and al-Qaida and said Osama bin Laden was setting up a terrorist cell in Iraq to strike targets in America.
Ten years ago: In a new al-Qaida video, U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (who would die in a U.S. drone attack in September 2011) advocated the killing of American civilians, accusing the U.S. of intentionally killing a million Muslim civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the international space station. The Czech Republic captured the ice hockey world championship, ending Russia’s 27-game tournament winning streak with a 2-1 victory in Cologne, Germany. The final episode of the supernatural castaway drama “Lost” aired on ABC after six seasons.
Five years ago: Cleveland patrolman Michael Brelo (BREE’-loh), who fired down through the windshield of a suspect’s car at the end of a 137-shot barrage that left the two unarmed black occupants dead, was acquitted of criminal charges by a judge who said he could not determine the officer alone fired the fatal shots. Salvadorans rejoiced as slain Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero, slain by an assassin in 1980, was declared a martyr for the faith. John Forbes Nash Jr., 86, a mathematical genius whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie “A Beautiful Mind,” and his wife, Alicia Nash, 82, were killed in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Actress-comedian Anne Meara, 85, whose comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and TV, died in New York. Jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, 78, died in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
One year ago: The U.S. filed new charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accusing him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources. A day after President Donald Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that Trump’s family or staff should have “an intervention for the good of the country,” and that Trump might want to “take a leave of absence.” Trump described Pelosi as “a mess,” and said she had been “all crazy” at the meeting. John Walker Lindh, the Californian who had taken up arms for the Taliban and had been captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001, was released from prison after more than 17 years, but still faced tight restrictions amid fears that he still held radical views. Facebook said it had removed more than 3 billion fake accounts between October and March, twice as many as in the previous six months.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Barrie is 89. Actress Joan Collins is 87. Actor Charles Kimbrough is 84. International Tennis Hall of Famer John Newcombe is 76. Actress Lauren Chapin is 75. Country singer Misty Morgan is 75. Country singer Judy Rodman is 69. Chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov is 69. Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler is 66. Singer Luka Bloom is 65. Former baseball manager Buck Showalter is 64. Actor-comedian-game show host Drew Carey is 62. Actress Lea DeLaria is 62. Country singer Shelly West is 62. Author Mitch Albom is 62. Actor Linden Ashby is 60. Actress-model Karen Duffy is 59. Actress Melissa McBride is 55. Rock musician Phil Selway (Radiohead) is 53. Actress Laurel Holloman is 52. Rock musician Matt Flynn (Maroon 5) is 50. Singer Lorenzo is 48. Country singer Brian McComas is 48. Actor John Pollono is 48. Singer Maxwell is 47. Singer Jewel is 46. Game show contestant Ken Jennings is 46. Actor LaMonica Garrett is 45. Actor D.J. Cotrona is 40. Actor Lane Garrison is 40. Actor-comedian Tim Robinson is 39. Actor Adam Wylie is 36. Movie writer-director Ryan Coogler is 34. Golfer Morgan Pressel is 32. Actor Alberto Frezza is 31. Folk/pop singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz (juh-ROHZ’) is 29.
Thought for Today: “Sometimes you have to be silent in order to be heard.” — Swiss proverb.