Today's highlight in history:
On May 7, 1812, English poet Robert Browning was born in London.
On this date:
In 1789, the first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of
President George Washington and his wife, Martha.
In 1824, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, had its
premiere in Vienna.
In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the
British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.
In 1941, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo
Choo" for RCA Victor.
In 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Jonathan Wainwright went on a Manila radio
station to announce the Allied surrender of the Philippines to
Japanese forces during World War II.
In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied
headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War
In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with
Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.
In 1963, the United States launched the Telstar 2 communications
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford formally declared an end to the
"Vietnam era." In Ho Chi Minh City _ formerly Saigon _ the Viet Cong
celebrated its takeover.
In 1977, Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby, the first of his
Triple Crown victories.
In 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the
Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who
charged they'd suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant.
In 1992, the latest addition to America's space shuttle fleet,
Endeavour, went on its first flight. A 203-year-old proposed
constitutional amendment barring Congress from giving itself a
midterm pay raise received enough votes for ratification as Michigan
became the 38th state to approve it.
Ten years ago: Authorities arrested 21-year-old college
student Luke J. Helder in a series of rural mailbox bombings that
left six people wounded in Illinois and Iowa. (Helder was later
found incompetent to stand trial, but remains incarcerated.) A China
Northern Airlines jetliner crashed into the Yellow Sea, killing 112
people; Chinese authorities later blamed a saboteur who'd set a fire
on board. An EgyptAir jetliner with 62 people aboard crashed in
Tunisia, killing 14. Fifteen Israelis were killed by a suicide
bomber at a pool hall in suburban Tel Aviv. Triple Crown winner
Seattle Slew died at age 28, 25 years to the day after his victory
in the Kentucky Derby.
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Five years ago: President George W. Bush welcomed Britain's
Queen Elizabeth II to the White House, drawing laughter when he
mistakenly started to say that the queen had helped the U.S.
celebrate its bicentennial in "1776," then quickly corrected himself
to say "1976." Six Muslim immigrants from the former Yugoslavia and
the Middle East were arrested and accused of plotting to massacre
U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. (Five were later convicted in
federal court of conspiring to kill military personnel; the sixth
was charged only with gun offenses, and pleaded guilty.) Yahweh Ben
Yahweh, a former cult leader in Miami linked to nearly two dozen
gruesome killings in the 1980s, died at age 71.
One year ago: The U.S. released a handful of videos seized
from Osama bin Laden's hideout showing the terrorist leader watching
newscasts of himself amid shabby surroundings. The Taliban unleashed
a major assault on government buildings throughout Kandahar,
Afghanistan. Animal Kingdom sped past the leaders in the turn at
Churchill Downs and roared down the middle of the stretch to win the
Kentucky Derby. Justin Verlander threw his second career no-hitter,
leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the Toronto Blue
Jays. World Golf Hall of Famer Seve Ballesteros, 54, died in Pedrena,
Spain. Former General Motors Chairman and CEO Robert Stempel, 77,
died in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Today's birthdays: Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., is 80.
Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 73. Actress Robin Strasser is 67.
Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Thelma
Houston is 66. Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 66.
Rock musician Prairie Prince is 62. Movie writer-director Amy
Heckerling is 60. Actor Michael E. Knight is 53. Rock musician Phil
Campbell (Motorhead) is 51. Country musician Rick Schell is 49. Rock
singer-musician Chris O'Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 47. Actress
Traci Lords is 44. Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 41. Actor Breckin
Meyer is 38. Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 26.
Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 21.
Thought for today: "There are those who believe something,
and therefore will tolerate nothing; and on the other hand, those
who tolerate everything, because they believe nothing." --
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
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