Today in History
Today is Monday, May 6, the 126th day of 2019. There are 239 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 6, 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.
On this date:
In 1863, the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia ended with a Confederate victory over Union forces.
In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.
In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.
In 1915, Babe Ruth hit his first major-league home run as a player for the Boston Red Sox. Actor-writer-director Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey; 35 of the 97 people on board were killed along with a crewman on the ground. Radio announcer Herbert Morrison made history too with his “Oh the humanity” live broadcast during the event.
In 1941, Josef Stalin assumed the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav M. Molotov. Comedian Bob Hope did his first USO show before an audience of servicemen as he broadcast his radio program from March Field in Riverside, California.
In 1942, during World War II, some 15,000 American and Filipino troops on Corregidor surrendered to Japanese forces.
In 1974, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned after one of his aides was exposed as an East German spy.
In 1992, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where Winston Churchill had spoken of the “Iron Curtain”; Gorbachev said the world was still divided, between North and South, rich and poor. Actress Marlene Dietrich died at her Paris home at age 90.
In 1994, former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones filed suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging he’d sexually harassed her in 1991. (Jones reached a settlement with Clinton in November 1998.) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand (frahn-SWAH’ mee-teh-RAHN’) formally opened the Channel Tunnel between their countries.
In 2013, kidnap-rape victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who went missing separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house just south of downtown Cleveland. (Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison in September 2013 at the beginning of a life sentence plus 1,000 years.)
Ten years ago: After a day of meetings at the White House, President Barack Obama declared he’d received the commitments he wanted from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to more aggressively fight Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH’-chee) signed a bill making Maine the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage (however, the law was later overturned by a public vote).
Five years ago: A federal report said that global warming was rapidly affecting the United States in both visible and invisible ways; shortly after the report came out, President Barack Obama used several television weathermen to call for action to curb carbon pollution before it was too late. The Vatican disclosed that over the past decade, it had defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned another 2,572 with lesser penalties. Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant won his first NBA MVP award.
One year ago: The number of homes destroyed by Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano reached 26, as scientists reported lava spewing more than 200 feet into the air. Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group scored major gains in parliamentary elections, as the main Western-backed faction headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri lost a third of its seats.
Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays is 88. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 85. Rock singer Bob Seger is 74. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 74. Gospel singer-comedian Lulu Roman is 73. Actor Alan Dale is 72. Actor Ben Masters is 72. Actor Richard Cox is 71. Actor Gregg Henry is 67. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 66. TV personality Tom Bergeron is 64. Actress Roma Downey is 59. Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 59. Actress Julianne Phillips is 59. Actor-director George Clooney is 58. Actor Clay O’Brien is 58. Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 55. Actress Leslie Hope is 54. Actress Geneva Carr (TV: “Bull”) is 53. Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 52. Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 48. Actress Stacey Oristano is 40. Model/TV personality Tiffany Coyne is 37. Actress Adrianne Palicki is 36. Actress Gabourey Sidibe (GA’-bah-ray SIH’-duh-bay) is 36. Actress-comedian Sasheer Zamata is 33. Rapper Meek Mill is 32. Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve is 29. Actress-singer Naomi Scott is 26. Actor Noah Galvin is 25.
Thought for Today: “Form ever follows function.” — Louis Sullivan, American architect (1856-1924).