Today in History
Today is Monday, May 29, the 149th day of 2017. There are 216 days left in the year. This is the Memorial Day observance.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 29, 1917, the 35th president of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.
On this date:
In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire.
In 1660, Britain’s King Charles II was restored to the throne on his 30th birthday after nine years in exile.
In 1765, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.
In 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.
In 1932, World War I veterans began arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they weren’t scheduled to receive until 1945.
In 1942, the movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan, premiered at a war-bonds benefit in New York. Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” in Los Angeles for Decca Records. Actor John Barrymore died in Hollywood at age 60.
In 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.
In 1961, a couple in Paynesville, West Virginia, became the first recipients of food stamps under a pilot program created by President John F. Kennedy.
In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, finishing in 29th place (the winner was A.J. Foyt).
In 1987, a jury in Los Angeles acquitted “Twilight Zone” movie director John Landis and four associates of involuntary manslaughter in the movie-set deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, 7-year-old Myca Dinh Le and 6-year-old Renee Shin-Yi Chen, who were killed by a falling helicopter.
In 1999, Discovery became the first space shuttle to dock with the International Space Station. Olusegun Obasanjo (ah-LOO’-see-guhn oh-BAH’-suhn-joh) became Nigeria’s first civilian president in 15 years, ending a string of military regimes.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush ordered new U.S. economic sanctions to pressure Sudan’s government to halt bloodshed in Darfur. Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her month-long protest outside President Bush’s ranch, announced her “resignation” as the public face of the movement. In Hudson Oaks, Texas, Gilberta Estrada, 25, and her four daughters were discovered hanging in a closet in their home in an apparent murder-suicide; Estrada’s 8-month-old baby survived.
Five years ago: Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a win in the Texas primary. Serena Williams lost in the first round of a major tournament for the first time, falling to Virginie Razzano of France 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 at the French Open. Doc Watson, the Grammy-award winning folk musician whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world for more than a half-century, died in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at age 89.
One year ago: An Army veteran of two Afghanistan tours killed one person and wounded several others during a shooting rampage in west Houston before being gunned down by a SWAT officer. French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH’ oh-LAWND’) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) solemnly marked 100 years since the World War I Battle of Verdun. Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent is 79. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser is 78. Actor Kevin Conway is 75. Actor Helmut Berger is 73. Rock singer Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) is 72. Actor Anthony Geary is 70. Actor Cotter Smith is 68. Singer Rebbie (ree-bee) Jackson is 67. Movie composer Danny Elfman is 64. Singer LaToya Jackson is 61. Actor Ted Levine is 60. Actress Annette Bening is 59. Actor Rupert Everett is 58. Actor Adrian Paul is 58. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 56. Actress Lisa Whelchel is 54. Actress Tracey Bregman is 54. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 50. Singer Jayski McGowan (Quad City DJ’s) is 50. Actor Anthony Azizi is 48. Rock musician Chan Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 48. Rock musician Mark Lee (Third Day) is 44. Cartoonist Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”) is 43. Singer Melanie Brown (Spice Girls) is 42. Rapper Playa Poncho is 42. Latin singer Fonseca is 38. NBA player Carmelo Anthony is 33. Actor Billy Flynn (TV: “Days of Our Lives”) is 32. Actor Blake Foster is 32. Actress Riley Keough is 28. Actor Brandon Mychal Smith is 28. Actress Kristen Alderson is 26. Actress Lorelei Linklater is 24.
Thought for Today: “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” — President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).