Today in History

Today is the 133rd day of 2019. There are 232 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.

On this date:

In 1568, forces loyal to Mary, Queen of Scots were defeated by troops under her half-brother and Regent of Scotland, the Earl of Moray, in the Battle of Langside, thwarting Mary’s attempt to regain power after she was forced to abdicate.

In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia.

In 1917, three shepherd children reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary near Fatima, Portugal; it was the first of six such apparitions that the children claimed to have witnessed.

In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamp, costing 24 cents and featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, was publicly issued. (On some of the stamps, the “Jenny” was printed upside-down, making them collector’s items.)

In 1973, in tennis’ first so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1 in Ramona, Calif.

In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group’s row house, igniting a fire that killed 11 and destroyed 61 homes.

In 2002, President George W. Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty to shrink their countries’ nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited the Abu Ghraib prison camp in Iraq, where he insisted the Pentagon did not try to cover up abuses there. During a campaign swing in West Virginia, President George W. Bush said he felt “disgraced” by the images of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Ten years ago: A judge in West Palm Beach sentenced two men to death for the drug-debt slaying of a family of four on the side of a Florida highway, including two young boys who died in their mother’s arms. Pittsburgh’s Adam LaRoche and Florida’s Ross Gload became the first baseball players to have home runs taken away following a video replay review.

Five years ago: A European court, in an important test of the “right to be forgotten,” ruled that Google had to amend some of its search results at the request of ordinary people when they showed links to outdated, irrelevant information.

One year ago: Officials in Hawaii called for more evacuations near the Kilauea volcano amid signs of an imminent eruption at the volcano’s summit. The body of 69-year-old “Superman” actress Margot Kidder was found by a friend near her Montana home in what was later ruled a suicide from a drug and alcohol overdose.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Buck Taylor is 81. Actor Harvey Keitel is 80. Actress Zoe Wanamaker is 71. Actor Franklyn Ajaye is 70. Singer Stevie Wonder is 69. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich is 67. Actress Leslie Winston is 63. Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is 58. “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert is 55. Actor Tom Verica is 55. Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 53. Actress Susan Floyd is 51. Actor Brian Geraghty is 44. Actress Samantha Morton is 42. Actor Iwan Rheon is 34.

Thought for Today: “What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar.” — Thomas R. Marshall, U.S. vice president (1854-1925). (To which American humorist Franklin P. Adams replied, “What this country really needs is a good five-cent nickel.”)

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