Today's highlight in history:
On May 17, 1937, Teddy Hill and His Orchestra recorded "King Porter
Stomp" for RCA Victor's Bluebird label in New York; making his
recording debut was trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.
On this date:
In 1510, Early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli died in
Florence, Italy; he was probably in his mid 60s.
In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange had its origins as a group of
brokers met under a tree on Wall Street.
In 1849, fire erupted in St. Louis, Mo., resulting in the loss of
three lives, more than 400 buildings and some two dozen steamships.
In 1912, the Socialist Party of America nominated Eugene V. Debs for
president at its convention in Indianapolis.
In 1939, Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth arrived in
Quebec on the first visit to Canada by reigning British sovereigns.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman seized control of the nation's
railroads, delaying _ but not preventing _ a threatened strike by
engineers and trainmen.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of
Topeka, unanimously struck down racially segregated public schools.
In 1961, Cuban leader Fidel Castro offered to release prisoners
captured in the Bay of Pigs invasion in exchange for 500 bulldozers.
(The prisoners were eventually freed in exchange for medical
In 1971, "Godspell," a contemporary musical inspired by the Gospel
According to St. Matthew, opened off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane
In 1980, rioting that claimed 18 lives erupted in Miami's Liberty
City after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami
police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur
In 1987, 37 American sailors were killed when an Iraqi warplane
attacked the U.S. Navy frigate Stark in the Persian Gulf. (Iraq
apologized for the attack, calling it a mistake, and paid more than
$27 million in compensation.)
In 1992, orchestra leader Lawrence Welk died in Santa Monica,
Calif., at age 89.
Ten years ago: Former President Jimmy Carter ended a historic
visit to Cuba sharply at odds with the Bush administration over how
to deal with Fidel Castro, saying limits on tourism and trade often
hurt Americans more than Cubans. Joe Black, the first black pitcher
to win a World Series game, for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952, died
in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 78.
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Five years ago: President George W. Bush and retiring British
Prime Minister Tony Blair held a joint news conference at the White
House, during which Blair allowed not a single regret about the Iraq
war alliance. World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz announced he would
resign at the end of June 2007, following controversy over his
handling of a pay package for his girlfriend. Trains crossed the
border dividing the two Koreas for the first time in more than half
One year ago: Queen Elizabeth II began the first visit by a
British monarch to the Republic of Ireland, a four-day trip to
highlight strong Anglo-Irish relations and the success of Northern
Ireland peacemaking. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
issued a statement confirming a Los Angeles Times report that he had
fathered a child with a woman on his household staff more than a
decade earlier. (Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, had
announced their separation on May 9, 2011.) Baseball Hall of Famer
Harmon Killebrew, 74, died in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Today's birthdays: Actor Peter Gerety is 72. Singer Taj Mahal
is 70. Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester is 68. Rock musician Bill
Bruford is 63. Singer-musician George Johnson (The Brothers Johnson)
is 59. TV personality Kathleen Sullivan is 59. Actor Bill Paxton is
57. Boxing Hall-of-Famer Sugar Ray Leonard is 56. Actor-comedian Bob
Saget is 56. Sports announcer Jim Nantz is 53. Singer Enya is 51.
Talk show host-actor Craig Ferguson is 50. Rock singer-musician Page
McConnell is 49. Actor David Eigenberg is 48. Singer-musician Trent
Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) is 47. Actress Paige Turco is 47.
Rhythm-and-blues musician O'Dell (Mint Condition) is 47. Actor Hill
Harper is 46. TV personality/interior designer Thom Filicia is 43.
Singer Jordan Knight is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Darnell Van
Rensalier (Shai) is 42. Actress Sasha Alexander is 39. Rock
singer-musician Josh Homme (HAHM'-ee) is 39. Rock singer Andrea Corr
(The Corrs) is 38. Actor Sendhil Ramamurthy (SEN'-dul rah-mah-MURTH'-ee)
is 38. Actress Rochelle Aytes is 36. Singer Kandi Burruss is 36.
Actress Kat Foster is 34. Actor Tahj Mowry is 26. Actress Nikki Reed
is 24. Actress Leven Rambin is 22. Actress Samantha Browne-Walters
is 21. Actor Justin Martin is 18.
Thought for today: "If an article is attractive, or useful,
or inexpensive, they'll stop making it tomorrow; if it's all three,
they stopped making it yesterday." -- Mignon McLaughlin,
American journalist (1913-1983)
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