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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Friday, May 12, the 132nd day of 2017. There are 233 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On May 12, 1967, “Are You Experienced,” the groundbreaking debut album of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was released in Britain by Track Records (a version with a somewhat different playlist went on sale in the United States the following August on the Reprise label). Procol Harum’s debut single “A Whiter Shade of Pale” was released in the United Kingdom on the Deram label. English poet laureate John Masefield (“And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by…”) died in Abingdon at age 88.

On this date:

In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered to British forces.

In 1870, an act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba was given royal assent, to take effect in July.

In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, New Jersey.

In 1937, Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.

In 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.

In 1957, movie director-actor Erich von Stroheim, 71, died in Maurepas, France.

In 1963, Betty Miller became the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean as she landed her Piper Apache in Brisbane, Australia, having left Oakland, California, on April 30, making three stopovers along the way.

In 1975, the White House announced the new Cambodian government had seized an American merchant ship, the Mayaguez, in international waters. (U.S. Marines gained control of the ship three days after its seizure, not knowing the 39 civilian members of the crew had already been released by Cambodia.)

In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope’s longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)

In 1992, actor Robert Reed of TV’s “The Brady Bunch” died in Pasadena, California, at age 59.

In 1997, Australian Susie Maroney became the first woman to swim from Cuba to Florida, covering the 118-mile distance in 24 1/2 hours.

In 2002, Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. president in or out of office to visit since the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.

Ten years ago: Virginia Tech held its first commencement ceremonies since the April 16 shooting rampage that claimed 32 victims and the shooter. Voters in the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch became the first in the nation to back an ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting to most immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally. (In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the city after a federal appeals court struck down the never-enforced ordinance as unconstitutional.) A U.S. patrol was attacked south of Baghdad; four Americans and an Iraqi interpreter were killed, three soldiers were kidnapped and later found dead. A U.S.-led coalition operation supported by NATO troops killed the Taliban’s most prominent military commander, Mullah Dadullah.

Five years ago: At least 100,000 Spaniards angered by grim economic prospects and the political handling of the international financial crisis turned out for street demonstrations, marking the one-year anniversary of a spontaneous movement that inspired similar protests elsewhere. Miami’s LeBron James became the eighth player in NBA history to receive the MVP award three times.

One year ago: A divided U.S. Supreme Court blocked the execution of an Alabama inmate so that a lower court could review claims that strokes and dementia had rendered him incompetent to understand his looming death sentence. (A federal appeals court ruled in March 2017 that Vernon Madison was incompetent, and could not be executed.) Susannah Mushatt Jones, recognized at the time as the world’s oldest person, died in New York at age 116. Singer Julius La Rosa, 86, died in Crivitz, Wisconsin.

Today’s Birthdays: Critic John Simon is 92. Composer Burt Bacharach is 89. Actress Millie Perkins is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jayotis Washington is 76. Country singer Billy Swan is 75. Actress Linda Dano is 74. Actress Lindsay Crouse is 69. Singer-musician Steve Winwood is 69. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 67. Actor Bruce Boxleitner is 67. Singer Billy Squier is 67. Blues singer-musician Guy Davis is 65. Country singer Kix Brooks is 62. Actress Kim Greist is 59. Rock musician Eric Singer (KISS) is 59. Actor Ving Rhames is 58. Rock musician Billy Duffy is 56. Actor Emilio Estevez is 55. Actress April Grace is 55. Actress Vanessa A. Williams is 54. TV personality/chef Carla Hall is 53. Country musician Eddie Kilgallon is 52. Actor Stephen Baldwin is 51. Actor Scott Schwartz is 49. Actress Kim Fields is 48. Actress Samantha Mathis is 47. Actress Jamie Luner is 46. Actor Christian Campbell is 45. Actress Rhea Seehorn is 45. Actor Mackenzie Astin is 44. Country musician Matt Mangano (The Zac Brown Band) is 41. Actress Rebecca Herbst is 40. Actress Malin (MAH’-lin) Akerman is 39. Actor Jason Biggs is 39. Actor Rami Malek (RAH’-mee MA’-lihk) is 36. Actress-singer Clare Bowen is 33. Actress Emily VanCamp is 31. Actor Malcolm David Kelley is 25. Actor Sullivan Sweeten is 22.

Thought for Today: “Sometimes there is greater lack of communication in facile talking than in silence.” — Faith Baldwin, American romance novelist (1893-1978).

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