Today in History: May 26, ABM treaty signed
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 26, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow. (The U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
On this date:
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the Montana Territory.
In 1865, Confederate forces west of the Mississippi surrendered in New Orleans.
In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was established by Congress.
In 1940, Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of some 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.
In 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors. (The initial blast was blamed on leaking catapult fluid ignited by the flames of a jet.)
In 1971, Don McLean recorded his song “American Pie” at The Record Plant in New York City (it was released the following November by United Artists Records).
In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. (The marriage ended in 1996.)
In 2004, nearly a decade after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the attack. (Nichols later received 161 consecutive life sentences.)
In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. California’s Supreme Court upheld the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that had taken place before the prohibition passed were still valid.
In 2011, Ratko Mladic (RAHT’-koh MLAH’-dich), the brutal Bosnian Serb general suspected of leading the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, was arrested after a 16-year manhunt. (Mladic was extradited to face trial in The Hague, Netherlands; he was convicted in 2017 on genocide and war crimes charges and is serving a life sentence.)
In 2012: Gruesome video posted online showed rows of dead Syrian children lying in a mosque in Houla, haunting images of what activists called one of the deadliest regime attacks yet in Syria’s 14-month-old uprising. International space station astronauts floated into the Dragon, a day after its heralded arrival as the world’s first commercial supply ship.
In 2017: Two men were stabbed to death aboard a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon; police said the victims were trying to protect two women who were the target of a man’s anti-Muslim rant. (Jeremy Christian would be convicted of murder and sentenced to two life prison terms without the possibility of parole.) President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski (ZBIG’-nyef breh-ZHIN’-skee), died in Falls Church, Virginia, at age 89. Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. senator Jim Bunning, 85, died in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
In 2020, Minneapolis police issued a statement saying George Floyd had died after a “medical incident,” and that he had physically resisted officers and appeared to be in medical distress; minutes after the statement was released, bystander video was posted online. Protests over Floyd’s death began, with tense skirmishes developing between protesters and Minneapolis police. Four police officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired.
In 2021: A gunman killed nine co-workers at a Northern California rail yard before taking his own life as sheriff’s deputies raced into the building. President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any possibility that the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory. Amazon said it was buying the movie studio MGM for $8.45 billion, with hopes of filling its video streaming service with more viewing options. Kevin Clark, who played drummer Freddy “Spazzy McGee” Jones in the 2003 movie “School of Rock,” was killed when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle along a Chicago street.