Today in History: May 1, Americans hear of bin Laden’s death
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 1, 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.)
On this date:
In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
In 1866, three days of race-related rioting erupted in Memphis, Tennessee, as white mobs targeted Blacks, 46 of whom were killed, along with two whites. (The violence spurred passage of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining American citizenship and equal protection under the law.)
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.
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 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1991, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers threw his seventh no-hitter at age 44, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0.
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 2009, 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.)
In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood in a Vatican Mass attended by some 1.5 million pilgrims.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed an agreement vowing long-term ties with Afghanistan after America’s combat forces returned home.
In 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van. (None of the officers would be convicted.)
In 2020, U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster.
In 2021, the final phase of ending the U.S. military role in Afghanistan formally began; President Joe Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining U.S. and NATO troops.
In 2022, a long-awaited effort to evacuate people from a sprawling steel plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol began. The United Nations said the operation was being carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross and in coordination with Ukrainian and Russian officials. A top-level U.S. congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Ukraine undertaken in extraordinary secrecy, holding a three-hour meeting in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at which Pelosi vowed the U.S. would stand with him “until the fight is done.” Jacky Hunt-Broersma, A South African amputee athlete, set a new world record for the number of daily consecutive marathons by running her 104th in a row. A woman was rescued from the rubble of a building in central China more than 50 hours after it collapsed, leaving dozens trapped or missing.