Today in History
Today is Saturday, May 13, the 133rd day of 2017. There are 232 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 13, 1917, three shepherd children, Lucia de Jesus dos Santos and two of her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary near Fatima, Portugal; it was the first of six such apparitions that the children claimed to have witnessed.
On this date:
In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).
In 1846, the United States declared that a state of war already existed with Mexico.
In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamps, featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, were issued to the public. (On a few of the stamps, the biplane was inadvertently printed upside-down, making them collector’s items.)
In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, who earned international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in Dorset, England; he died six days later.
In 1940, in his first speech as British prime minister, Winston Churchill told Parliament, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were spat upon and their limousine battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.
In 1967, a vault fire at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Culver City, California, destroyed hundreds of the studio’s early films. The Scott McKenzie single “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” was released.
In 1973, in tennis’ first so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1 in Ramona, California. (Billie Jean King soundly defeated Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in September.)
In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca (MEH’-met AH’-lee AH’-juh).
In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group’s row house; 11 people died in the resulting fire that destroyed 61 homes.
In 1992, the Falun Gong movement had its beginnings in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun.
In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court, in 44 Liquormart v. Rhode Island, unanimously struck down Rhode Island’s ban on ads that listed or referred to liquor prices, saying the law violated free-speech rights.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush made a pilgrimage to the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia to mark the 400th anniversary of its founding. Pope Benedict XVI, ending a five-day visit to Brazil, blamed both Marxism and unbridled capitalism for Latin America’s problems. Canada won hockey’s world championship with a 4-2 victory over Finland.
Five years ago: The mutilated bodies of 49 people were found near Monterrey, Mexico, apparent victims of a drug cartel. A gunman assassinated Arsala Rahmani, a former high-ranking Taliban official working to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan. Donald “Duck” Dunn, 70, the bassist who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s as part of the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs, died in Tokyo while on tour.
One year ago: The Obama administration issued a directive requiring public schools to permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity. President Barack Obama hosted a state dinner honoring the leaders of Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Norway following a multilateral summit that Obama used to laud the Nordic states as model global citizens on climate change, security, humanitarian efforts and economic equality.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Buck Taylor is 79. Actor Harvey Keitel is 78. Author Charles Baxter is 70. Actress Zoe Wanamaker is 69. Actor Franklyn Ajaye is 68. Singer Stevie Wonder is 67. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is 65. Actress Leslie Winston is 61. Producer-writer Alan Ball is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is 56. “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR’) is 53. Rock musician John Richardson (The Gin Blossoms) is 53. Actor Tom Verica is 53. Country singer Lari White is 52. Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 51. Actress Susan Floyd is 49. Contemporary Christian musician Andy Williams (Casting Crowns) is 45. Actress Samantha Morton is 40. Former NBA player Mike Bibby is 39. Former MLB player Barry Zito is 39. Rock musician Mickey Madden (Maroon 5) is 38. Actor Iwan Rheon is 32. Actress-writer-director Lena Dunham is 31. Actor Robert Pattinson is 31. Actress Candice Accola King is 30. Actor Hunter Parrish is 30. Folk-rock musician Wylie Gelber (Dawes) is 29. Actress Debby Ryan is 24.
Thought for Today: “The worst-tempered people I’ve ever met were people who knew they were wrong.” — Wilson Mizner, American playwright (1876-1933).
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