Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 30, 1989, student protesters in Beijing erected a “Goddess of Democracy” statue in Tiananmen Square (the statue was destroyed in the Chinese government’s crackdown).
On this date:
In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen (roo-AHN’), France.
In 1883, 12 people were trampled to death in a stampede sparked by a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing.
In 1911, the first Indy 500 took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; the winner was Ray Harroun, who drove a Marmon Wasp for more than 6 1/2 hours at an average speed of 74.6 mph and collected a prize of $10,000.
In 1912, aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright, 45, died in Dayton, Ohio, of typhoid fever more than eight years after he and his brother, Orville, launched their first airplane.
In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in a ceremony attended by President Warren G. Harding, Chief Justice William Howard Taft and Robert Todd Lincoln.
In 1935, Babe Ruth played in his last major league baseball game for the Boston Braves, leaving after the first inning of the first game of a double-header against the Philadelphia Phillies, who won both games (Ruth announced his retirement three days later).
In 1937, ten people were killed when police fired on steelworkers demonstrating near the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago.
In 1943, during World War II, American troops secured the Aleutian island of Attu from Japanese forces.
In 1972, three members of the Japanese Red Army opened fire at Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 26 people. Two attackers died; the third was captured.
In 1994, Mormon Church president Ezra Taft Benson died in Salt Lake City at age 94.
In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.
In 2002, a solemn, wordless ceremony marked the end of the agonizing cleanup at ground zero in New York, 8 1/2 months after 9/11.
Ten years ago: Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was seen leaving a hotel room in Lima, Peru, where the body of 21-year-old Stephany Flores was found three days later. (Van der Sloot later confessed to murdering Flores, and is serving a 28-year prison sentence.) Dario Franchitti drove 199 nearly flawless laps, then got a huge break from a spectacular crash on the last lap to climb back on top of the open-wheel world with a win at the Indianapolis 500.
Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden’s son, former Delaware attorney general Beau Biden, died at age 46 of brain cancer. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley entered the Democratic presidential race.
One year ago: President Donald Trump said he was slapping a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports to pressure the country to do more to crack down on Central American migrants trying to cross the U.S. border. Louisiana’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, signed a ban on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, making Louisiana the fifth state to enact a law prohibiting abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected. (The laws have been blocked by court challenges.) Former Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi died at the age of 81, just over a year after retiring. Israel’s parliament voted to dissolve itself, sending the country to an unprecedented second snap election of the year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition. (Netanyahu and chief rival Benny Gantz announced a deal to form a coalition government in April, 2020, averting what would have been a fourth election in just over a year.) The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in an eight-way tie. The Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 118-109 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, the first NBA championship series game to be played outside the United States.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Ruta Lee is 85. Actor Keir Dullea is 84. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers is 77. Rock musician Lenny Davidson (The Dave Clark Five) is 76. Actor Stephen Tobolowsky is 69. Actor Colm Meaney is 67. Actor Ted McGinley is 62. Actor Ralph Carter is 59. Actress Tonya Pinkins is 58. Country singer Wynonna Judd is 56. Rock musician Tom Morello (Audioslave; Rage Against The Machine) is 56. Actor Mark Sheppard is 56. Movie director Antoine Fuqua is 55. Actor John Ross Bowie is 49. Rock musician Patrick Dahlheimer (Live) is 49. Actress Idina Menzel is 49. Actor Trey Parker is 48. Rapper Cee Lo Green is 45. Rapper Remy Ma is 40. Actor Blake Bashoff is 39. Christian rock musician James Smith (Underoath) is 38. Actress Javicia Leslie is 33. Actor Jake Short is 23. Actor Sean Giambrone is 21. Actor Jared Gilmore is 20.
Thought for Today: “There are two statements about human beings that are true: that all human beings are alike, and that all are different. On those two facts all human wisdom is founded.” — Mark Van Doren, American poet (1894-1972).