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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 146th day of 2020. There are 220 days left in the year. This is Memorial Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy told Congress: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”

On this date:

In 1787, the Constitutional Convention began at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.

In 1935, Babe Ruth hit his last three career home runs — Nos. 712, 713 and 714 — for the Boston Braves in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (The Pirates won, 11-7.)

In 1959, the U.S. Supreme Court, in State Athletic Commission v. Dorsey, struck down a Louisiana law prohibiting interracial boxing matches.

In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, ordered the Virginia county to reopen its public schools, which officials had closed in an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka desegregation ruling.

In 1965, Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston in the first round of their world heavyweight title rematch in Lewiston, Maine.

In 1992, Jay Leno made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” succeeding Johnny Carson.

In 2006, former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted in Houston of conspiracy and fraud for the company’s downfall. (Lay died in July 2006 from heart disease and his convictions were vacated; Skilling was resentenced to 14 years in prison after his original 24-year sentence was overturned.)

In 2008, NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander arrived on the Red Planet to begin searching for evidence of water; the spacecraft confirmed the presence of water ice at its landing site.

In 2018, Harvey Weinstein was charged in New York with rape and another sex felony in the first prosecution to result from the wave of allegations against him. (Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault; he is serving a 23-year prison sentence.)

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Five years ago: On Memorial Day, President Barack Obama saluted Americans who had died in battle, telling listeners at Arlington National Cemetery the country must “never stop trying to fully repay them” for their sacrifices. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to eight months in prison for unlawfully accepting money from a U.S. supporter.

One year ago: President Donald Trump opened a state visit to Japan by needling the American ally over its trade imbalance with the United States. Danish-born socialite Claus von Bulow, who was convicted but later acquitted of trying to kill his wealthy wife in two closely-watched trials, died in London; he was 92.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Ann Robinson is 91. Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall is 84. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 81. Country singer Jessi Colter is 77. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 77. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 76. Actress Karen Valentine is 73. Actress Jacki Weaver is 73. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 72. Actress Patti D’Arbanville is 69. Musician Cindy Cashdollar is 65. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 57. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 53. Actor Joseph Reitman is 52. Rock musician Glen Drover is 51. Actress Anne Heche (haych) is 51. Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (TV: “Little House on the Prairie”) are 50. Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy is 50. Actress Octavia Spencer is 50. Actor Justin Henry is 49. Actress Molly Sims is 47. Actress Erinn Hayes is 44. Actor Cillian Murphy is 44. Actor Ethan Suplee is 44. Rock musician Todd Whitener is 42.

Thought for Today: “History is something that never happened, written by someone who wasn’t there.” — Author unknown.

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