Today in History
Today in History
Today is Saturday, May 4, the 124th day of 2019. There are 241 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 4, 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C. to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.
On this date:
In 1626, Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island.
In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.
In 1916, responding to a demand from President Woodrow Wilson, Germany agreed to limit its submarine warfare. (However, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare the following year.)
In 1925, an international conference opened in Geneva to forge an agreement against the use of chemical and biological weapons in war; the Geneva Protocol was signed on June 17, 1925 and went into force in 1928.
In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)
In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)
In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for “The Music from Peter Gunn.”
In 1968, the Oroville Dam in Northern California was dedicated by Gov. Ronald Reagan; the 770-foot-tall earth-filled structure, a pet project of Reagan’s predecessor, Pat Brown, remains the tallest dam in the United States, but was also the scene of a near disaster in February 2017 when two spillways collapsed, threatening for a time to flood parts of three counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
In 1980, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, died three days before his 88th birthday.
In 1998, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, California, under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.
In 2006, A federal judge sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, telling the convicted terrorist, “You will die with a whimper.”
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama promised to crack down on companies “that ship jobs overseas” and duck U.S. taxes with offshore havens. Jeff Kepner, of Augusta, Ga., underwent the nation’s first double-hand transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Mexican officials lowered a swine flu alert level in their capital. Cleveland’s LeBron James was named the NBA’s MVP. Actor, comedian and director Dom DeLuise, 75, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
Five years ago: Eight acrobats were injured, most of them seriously, when a carabiner clip broke during an aerial hair-hanging stunt, sending the women plummeting to the ground during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show in Providence, Rhode Island. Sinn Fein (shin fayn) party leader Gerry Adams was released without charge after five days of police questioning over his alleged involvement in the decades-old IRA killing of a Belfast mother of 10, Jean McConville.
One year ago: President Donald Trump suggested that his newly-hired attorney Rudy Giuliani needed to “get his facts straight” about the hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election; Giuliani had earlier said that Trump knew about the payment to Daniels made by his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and that Trump had paid Cohen back. The Connecticut Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel in the 1975 bludgeoning death of a girl in Greenwich, finding that Skakel’s trial attorney had failed to present evidence of an alibi. (The U.S. Supreme Court later left in place the Connecticut high court ruling.) Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols got his 3,000th hit, reaching the mark with a broken-bat single against the Seattle Mariners.
Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 91. Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 89. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 82. Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator George Will is 78. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 75. Actor Richard Jenkins is 72. Country singer Stella Parton is 70. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 69. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 69. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 68. Singer-actress Pia Zadora is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 66. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., is 65. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 62. Country singer Randy Travis is 60. Actress Mary McDonough is 58. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 52. Actor Will Arnett is 49. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 47. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 47. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 44. Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 42. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 41. Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 40. Actress Ruth Negga is 38. Rapper/singer Jidenna is 34. Actor Alexander Gould is 25. Country singer RaeLynn is 25. Actress Amara (uh-MAH’-ruh) Miller is 19. Actress Brooklynn Prince (Film: “The Florida Project”) is nine.
Thought for Today: “The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.” — Franklin P. Jones, American journalist-humorist (1908-1980).