Today's highlight in history:
On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah,
marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the
On this date:
In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in the Virginia Colony, where, as
deputy governor, he instituted harsh measures to restore order.
In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.
In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col.
Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga,
In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis
in Irwinville, Ga.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the
Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill
formed a new government.
In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into
Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up
serving a life sentence at Spandau prison until 1987, when he
apparently committed suicide.)
In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its
submerged navigation of the globe.
In 1977, actress Joan Crawford, 72, died in New York.
In 1981, Socialist Francois Mitterrand defeated incumbent Valery
Giscard d'Estaing in the second round of France's presidential
In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office to become South
Africa's first black president.
Ten years ago: A tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli
troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in
Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European
exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip. Cuban activists delivered
more than 11,000 signatures to the National Assembly demanding a
referendum on broad changes in the socialist system, an
unprecedented challenge to Fidel Castro's 43-year rule. Former FBI
agent Robert Hanssen was sentenced by a federal judge to life in
prison without parole for spying for Moscow. NBA owners approved the
Hornets' move to New Orleans, ending the team's 14-year era in
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Five years ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced
he would step down June 27. (Blair was succeeded by Gordon Brown.)
The Democratic-controlled House, by a vote of 255-171, defeated
legislation to require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from
Iraq within nine months. A federal jury in Santa Ana, Calif.,
convicted Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak of conspiring to export U.S.
defense technology to China. (Mak was later sentenced to 24 1/2
years in federal prison.)
One year ago: The bulging Mississippi River rolled into the
Mississippi Delta after cresting before daybreak at Memphis, Tenn.,
causing widespread damage. In a one-two punch against Moammar
Gadhafi's forces, NATO war planes struck a command center in Tripoli
and pounded targets around the besieged port of Misrata. Burt
Reinhardt, one of CNN's first presidents, died in Marietta, Ga., at
Today's birthdays: Author Bel Kaufman ("Up the Down
Staircase") is 101. Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 82. Author Barbara
Taylor Bradford is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The
Spinners) is 74. TV-radio personality Gary Owens is 73. Actor David
Clennon is 69. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 68. Singer
Donovan is 66. Singer Dave Mason is 66. Actor Bruce Penhall is 55.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 54. Actress Victoria Rowell is
53. Rock singer Bono (BAH'-noh) (U2) is 52. Rock musician Danny
Carey (Tool) is 51. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 49. Playwright
Suzan-Lori Parks is 49. Model Linda Evangelista is 47. Rapper Young
MC is 45. Actor Erik Palladino is 44. Rock singer Richard Patrick
(Filter) is 44. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 40. Country musician David
Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 40. Actress Andrea Anders
is 37. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 37. Rock musician Jesse
Vest is 35. Actor Kenan Thompson is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer
Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 32. Rock musician Joey Zehr (The
Click Five) is 29. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 27. Actress Odette
Annable (TV: "House, M.D.") is 27. Actress Lauren Potter (TV:
"Glee") is 22.
Thought for today: "Nothing recedes like success."
-- Walter Winchell, American columnist and broadcaster (1897-1972).
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