Today in History: May 29, Reagan and Gorbachev meet
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 29, 1988, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened their historic summit in Moscow.
On this date:
In 1765, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.
In 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.
In 1914, the Canadian ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec after colliding with the Norwegian cargo ship SS Storstad; of the 1,477 people on board the Empress of Ireland, 1,012 died. (The Storstad sustained only minor damage.)
In 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.
In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, finishing in 29th place (the winner was A.J. Foyt).
In 1985, 39 people were killed at the European Cup Final in Brussels, Belgium, when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed.
In 2009, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced music producer Phil Spector to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actor Lana Clarkson. (Spector remained in prison until his death in January 2021.)
In 2014, Starbucks closed thousands of stores for part of the day to hold training sessions for employees on unconscious bias, in response to the arrests of two Black men in Philadelphia at one of its stores.
In 2015, the Obama administration formally removed Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist.
In 2019, in his first public remarks on the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller said charging President Donald Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of federal rules, but he emphasized that the investigation did not exonerate the president.
In 2020, fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (He would be convicted in April 2021 on those charges as well as second-degree unintentional murder.) Thousands of protesters in Minneapolis angered by Floyd’s death ignored a curfew as unrest again overwhelmed authorities; fires burned unchecked in cars and businesses. In a tweet, President Donald Trump called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and added that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (The tweet was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.”) Protests over Floyd’s death spread to dozens of cities. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some throwing rocks and tugging at barricades; officials later said Secret Service agents rushed Trump to an underground bunker.