Today in history
Today is May 1, the 121st day of 2021. There are 244 days left in the year.
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 1915, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York, headed for Liverpool, England (it was torpedoed and sunk by Germany off the coast of Ireland six days later).
In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York.
In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
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 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1975, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Brewers broke baseball’s all-time RBI record previously held by Babe Ruth during a game against the Detroit Tigers (Milwaukee won, 17-3).
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 1998, Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died in Pomona, Calif., at age 62.
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 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van.
Ten years ago: 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.
Five years ago: A wildfire broke out near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; in the days that followed, the blaze destroyed 2,400 homes and other buildings and forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate. After a half-century of waiting, Cuban-born passengers set sail from Miami on a historic cruise to Havana, the first such trip from the U.S. since recent policy changes. Elephants performed for the last time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Providence, R.I.
One year ago: A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Mich., was shot and killed after a confrontation with the family of a woman he had told to leave the store because she wasn’t wearing a face mask. (Three people, including the woman’s mother, were charged with first-degree murder.) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state’s stay-at-home order would remain in place for two more weeks; her statement came on the same day that President Donald Trump tweeted that she should “make a deal” with protesters who gathered at the state Capitol a day earlier, some carrying assault weapons. U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden emphatically denied allegations from a former Senate staffer that he sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s, declaring flatly that “this never happened.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 82. Actor Stephen Macht is 79. Singer Rita Coolidge is 76. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 75. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 72. Actor Dann Florek is 70. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 67. Actor Byron Stewart is 65. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 61. Actor Maia Morgenstern is 59. Actor Scott Coffey is 57. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 56. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 55. Country singer Tim McGraw is 54. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 53. Rock musician D’Arcy Wretzky is 53. Movie director Wes Anderson is 52. Actor Julie Benz is 49. Actor Bailey Chase is 49. Country singer Cory Morrow is 49. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 47. Actor Darius McCrary is 45. Actor Jamie Dornan is 39. Actor Kerry Bishe is 37. TV personality Abby Huntsman is 35. Actor Lizzy Greene is 18.
Today is May 3, the 122nd day of 2021. There are 243 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 2, 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.
On this date:
In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France, at age 67.
In 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Co. was chartered by England’s King Charles II.
In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.
In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.
In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld 8-1 a Virginia law allowing the forced sterilization of people to promote the “health of the patient and the welfare of society.”
In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
In 1972, a fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.
In 1982, the Weather Channel made its debut.
In 2005, Pfc. Lynndie England, the young woman pictured in some of the most notorious Abu Ghraib photos, pleaded guilty at Fort Hood, Texas, to mistreating prisoners. (However, a judge later threw out the plea agreement; England was later convicted in a court-martial and received a three-year sentence, of which she served half.)
In 2010, record rains and flash floods in Kentucky, Miss., and Tennessee caused more than 30 deaths and submerged the Grand Ole Opry House stage. Actor Lynn Redgrave died in Kent, Conn., at age 67.
In 2018, two Black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education; they settled separately with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
In 2019, North Carolina lawyer Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown; for the first time, Black women held the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.
Ten years ago: Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, then quickly buried at sea after a decade on the run. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a coveted majority government in Canadian elections while the opposition Liberals and Quebec separatists suffered a shattering defeat.
Five years ago: The first U.S. cruise ship in nearly 40 years pulled into Havana Harbor, restarting commercial travel on waters that had served as a stage for a half-century of Cold War hostility.
One year ago: A New York City police officer was caught on video pointing a stun gun at a man and violently taking him to the ground over an alleged social distancing violation. (The officer was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty the next day; he and other officers later faced disciplinary charges.) Russia and Pakistan each reported their biggest one-day spikes in new coronavirus infections. Texas topped 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row, numbers that coincided with the expiration of the state’s “stay at home” order. “Game of Thrones” actor Hafthor Bjornsson set a deadlift world record by lifting 1,104 pounds at a gym in his native Iceland.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 85. Former International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is 79. Actor-activist Bianca Jagger is 76. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 76. Actor David Suchet is 75. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 73. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 71. Actor Christine Baranski is 69. Singer Angela Bofill is 67. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 66. Actor Brian Tochi is 62. Movie director Stephen Daldry is 61. Actor Elizabeth Berridge is 59. Country singer Ty Herndon is 59. Actor Mitzi Kapture is 59. Commentator Mika Brzezinski is 54. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is 53. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 52. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is 49. Former soccer player David Beckham is 46. Rock singer Jeff Gutt (goot) (Stone Temple Pilots) is 45. Actor Jenna Von Oy is 44. Actor Kumail Nanjiani is 43. Actor Ellie Kemper is 41. Actor Robert Buckley is 40. Actor Gaius Charles is 38. Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper is 36. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 36. Actor Thomas McDonell is 35. Actor Kay Panabaker is 31. NBA All-Star Paul George is 31. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is 6.