Today in History
Today is Wednesday, May 1, the 121st day of 2019. There are 244 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 1, 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
On this date:
In 1786, Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Vienna.
In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. Singer Kate Smith made her debut on CBS Radio on her 24th birthday.
In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York. “Rosebud” enters the film lexicon. Kane is based somewhat on newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.
In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1964, the computer programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was created by Dartmouth College professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz.
In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. (They divorced in 1973.) Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president of Nicaragua.
In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1975, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Brewers broke baseball’s all-time RBI record previously held by Babe Ruth during a game against the Detroit Tigers (Milwaukee won, 17-3).
In 1982, the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, was opened by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”
In 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation (because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).
Ten years ago: Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.) Singer-actor-impressionist Danny Gans, one of Las Vegas’ most popular entertainers, died at age 52.
Five years ago: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called a 50-percent jump in reports by members of the military of sexual assaults the previous year a “clear threat” to both male and female service members’ lives and well-being, and said he’d ordered Pentagon officials to increase efforts to get male victims to report abuse.
One year ago: Entering the State Department headquarters for the first time as America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to reinvigorate American diplomacy and help the United States get “back our swagger.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lashed out at Republican allies of President Donald Trump who had drafted articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, saying the Justice Department would not give in to threats.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 80. Actor Stephen Macht is 77. Singer Rita Coolidge is 74. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 73. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 70. Actor Dann Florek is 68. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 65. Actor Byron Stewart is 63. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 59. Actress Maia Morgenstern is 57. Actor Scott Coffey is 55. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 54. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 53. Country singer Tim McGraw is 52. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 51. Rock musician D’Arcy is 51. Movie director Wes Anderson is 50. Actress Julie Benz is 47. Actor Bailey Chase is 47. Country singer Cory Morrow is 47. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 45. Actor Darius McCrary is 43. Actor Jamie Dornan is 37. Actress Kerry Bishe is 35. Actress Lizzy Greene is 16.
Thought for Today: “Any man who has the brains to think and the nerve to act for the benefit of the people of the country is considered a radical by those who are content with stagnation and willing to endure disaster.” — William Randolph Hearst, American newspaper publisher (1863-1951).