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Culture Today in History: You've probably cursed Gary Thuerk's invention

Today in History: You’ve probably cursed Gary Thuerk’s invention

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Today in History

Today is Friday, May 3, the 123rd day of 2019. There are 242 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On May 3, 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, “Gone with the Wind.”

On this date:

In 1469, political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy.

In 1802, Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

In 1913, Clorox had its beginnings as five entrepreneurs agreed to set up a liquid bleach factory in Oakland, Calif.

In 1916, Irish nationalists Padraic Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a British firing squad; they were among 16 people put to death for their roles in the Easter Rising.

In 1948, the Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable.

In 1952, the Kentucky Derby was televised nationally for the first time on CBS; the winner was Hill Gail, ridden by Eddie Arcaro.

In 1960, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical “The Fantasticks” began a nearly 42-year run at New York’s Sullivan Street Playhouse.

In 1978, spam email was born as Gary Thuerk, a marketing executive for the Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Massachusetts, transmitted an unsolicited sales pitch for a new line of computers to 400 prospective customers on ARPANET, a precursor to the internet; the stunt generated some business, as well as complaints. “Sun Day” took place on a Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country.

In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

In 1986, in NASA’s first post-Challenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control.

In 1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.

In 2007, British girl Madeleine McCann vanished during a family vacation in Portugal nine days before her fourth birthday; her disappearance remains unsolved.

Ten years ago: Mexican President Felipe Calderon told state television a nationwide shutdown and an aggressive informational campaign appeared to have helped curtail an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico. Ricardo Martinelli won Panama’s presidential election.

Five years ago: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, during a visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said the U.S. was ready to help increase its ties with Africa, but that nations across the continent needed to take stronger steps to ensure security and democracy for its people. California Chrome pulled away down the stretch for a dominant win at the 140th Kentucky Derby. Floyd Mayweather Jr. retained his welterweight title with a majority decision over Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.

One year ago: President Donald Trump insisted that his reimbursement of a 2016 hush payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels had nothing to do with his election campaign. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a plan to give striking teachers pay raises totaling 20 percent, ending a six-day walkout. In a reversal. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the chaplain of the House of Representatives would stay in his job; Ryan had sparked an uproar when he asked the Rev. Patrick Conroy to resign and said he was dissatisfied with Conroy’s pastoral care to lawmakers. A federal grand jury in Detroit indicted former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn on charges stemming from the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. (Under Germany’s constitution, he could not be extradited to the U.S. to face charges.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alex Cord is 86. Singer Frankie Valli is 85. Former Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is 77. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is 76. Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 73. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is 70. Pop singer Mary Hopkin is 69. Singer Christopher Cross is 68. Country musician Cactus Moser (Highway 101) is 62. Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) is 60. Former Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is 58. Country singer Shane Minor is 51. Actress Amy Ryan is 51. Actor Bobby Cannavale (ka-nuh-VAL’-ee) is 49. Music and film producer-actor Damon Dash is 48. Country musician John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) is 48. Country-rock musician John Neff is 48. Country singer Brad Martin is 46. TV personality Willie Geist (TV: “Today”) is 44. Actress Christina Hendricks is 44. Actor Dule (doo-LAY’) Hill is 44. Country singer Eric Church is 42. Actress Tanya Wright is 41. Dancer Cheryl Burke is 35. Soul singer Michael Kiwanuka is 32. Actress Jill Berard is 29. Actress Zoe De Grand Maison is 24. Rapper Desiigner (cq) is 22.

Thought for Today: “Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.” — Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian political philosopher (born this date in 1469, died 1527).

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