Wednesday, May 20, the 141st day of 2020. There are 225 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 20, 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.
On this date:
In 1506, explorer Christopher Columbus died in Spain.
In 1873, Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent for men’s work pants made with copper rivets.
In 1899, taxi driver Jacob German was pulled over and arrested by a police officer riding a bicycle for speeding down Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue in his electric car at 12 miles an hour at a time when the speed limit was 8 mph; it was the first recorded speeding arrest in U.S. history.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)
In 1939, regular trans-Atlantic mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, New York, bound for Marseille, France.
In 1948, Chiang Kai-shek (chang ky-shehk) was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
In 1956, the United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenships restored after choosing to renounce them during World War II.
In 1985, Radio Marti, operated by the U.S. government, began broadcasting; Cuba responded by attempting to jam its signal.
In 1995, President Bill Clinton announced that the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House would be permanently closed to motor vehicles as a security measure.
In 2009, suspended NFL star Michael Vick was released after 19 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring to begin two months’ home confinement.
Ten years ago: Under pressure following security lapses, retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair resigned as national intelligence director. Mexican President Felipe Calderon took his opposition to a new Arizona immigration law to the U.S. Congress, telling lawmakers it ignored “a reality that cannot be erased by decree.” Floyd Landis admitted for the first time that he was guilty of doping for several years before being stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title.
Five years ago: Four of the world’s biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup’s banking unit Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland — agreed to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets. Islamic State extremists captured the ancient desert city of Palmyra (pahl-MEER’-uh) in central Syria, a stunning triumph for the group only days after it had captured the strategic city of Ramadi in Iraq. Mary Ellen Trainor, 62, a character actress and philanthropist who’d appeared in “The Goonies” and “Lethal Weapon” films, died in Montecito, California.
One year ago: Nuclear officials in Iran said the country had quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s atomic program. A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody in Texas, becoming the sixth child in the past year to die after U.S. border agents detained them; an autopsy found that Carlos Hernandez Vasquez had died of complications of the flu. Ukraine’s new president, former comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was inaugurated and then immediately disbanded parliament, which was controlled by allies of the man he defeated. President Donald Trump directed former White House Counsel Donald McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena, citing a Justice Department legal opinion maintaining that McGahn would have immunity from testifying about his work as a close Trump adviser.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 90. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 84. Actor David Proval is 78. Singer-actress Cher is 74. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 72. Rock musician Warren Cann is 70. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is 69. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 66. Delaware Gov. John Carney is 64. Actor Dean Butler is 64. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 62. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 62. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 61. Singer Susan Cowsill is 61. Actor John Billingsley is 60. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 60. Singer Nick Heyward is 59. TV personality Ted Allen is 55. Actress Mindy Cohn is 54. Rock musician Tom Gorman (Belly) is 54. Actress Gina Ravera is 54. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 52. Former race car driver Tony Stewart is 49. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 48. Actress Daya Vaidya is 47. Rock musician Ryan Martinie is 45. Actor Matt Czuchry (zoo-KREE’) is 43. Actress Angela Goethals is 43. Actress-singer Naturi Naughton is 36. Country singer Jon Pardi is 35.
Thought for Today: “A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.” — Honore de Balzac, French author (born this date in 1799, died in 1850).
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Today is Thursday, May 21, the 142nd day of 2020. There are 224 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis monoplane near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 33 1/2 hours.
On this date:
In 1471, King Henry VI of England died in the Tower of London at age 49.
In 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.
In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant was nominated for president by the Republican national convention in Chicago.
In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.
In 1892, the opera "Pagliacci," by Ruggero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.
In 1910, a year-old Jewish settlement near the port city of Jaffa adopted the name Tel Aviv (Hebrew for "Hill of Spring").
In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, about 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland.
In 1941, a German U-boat sank the American merchant steamship SS Robin Moor in the South Atlantic after the ship's passengers and crew were allowed to board lifeboats.
In 1972, Michelangelo's Pieta, on display at the Vatican, was damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ.
In 1979, former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the slayings of Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH'-nee) and openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk; outrage over the verdict sparked rioting. (White was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison; he ended up serving five years and took his own life in 1985.)
In 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during national elections by a suicide bomber.
In 2018, Syria’s military captured an enclave in southern Damascus from Islamic State militants after a monthlong battle, bringing the entire capital and its suburbs under full government control for the first time since the civil war began in 2011.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama directed the government to set the first-ever mileage and pollution limits for big trucks and to tighten rules for future cars and SUVs. Citing overwhelming evidence that North Korea had sunk a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned the reclusive communist state of consequences.
Five years ago: Four Malaysian navy ships began searching for stranded boat people in the first official rescue operation since desperate migrants started washing up on Southeast Asia's shores. The Family Research Council said it had accepted the resignation of Josh Duggar in the wake of the reality TV star's apology for unspecified bad behavior as a young teen. (Duggar later admitted molesting five underage girls as a teenager, including two of his sisters, cheating on his wife and being addicted to pornography; those revelations led to the cancellation of the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting.")
One year ago: As directed by President Donald Trump, former White House Counsel Donald McGahn defied a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to testify; McGahn had been a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, describing ways in which the president sought to curtail the probe. Angered by the empty chair in the hearing room, a growing number of House Democrats pushed for impeachment proceedings against Trump. Sherpa mountaineer Kami Rita extended his record for successful climbs of Mount Everest, ascending the world’s highest peak for a 24th time.
Today's Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 79. Rock musician Hilton Valentine (The Animals) is 77. Musician Bill Champlin is 73. Singer Leo Sayer is 72. Actress Carol Potter is 72. Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is 69. Actor Mr. T is 68. Music producer Stan Lynch is 65. Actor Judge Reinhold is 63. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes is 61. Actress Lisa Edelstein is 54. Actress Fairuza Balk is 46. Rock singer-musician Mikel Jollett (Airborne Toxic Event) is 46. Rapper Havoc (Mobb Deep) is 46. Rock musician Tony LoGerfo (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 37. Actor Sunkrish Bala is 36. Actor David Ajala is 34. Actress Ashlie Brillault is 33. Country singer Cody Johnson is 33. Actor Scott Leavenworth is 30. Actress Sarah Ramos is 29.
Thought for Today: "Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters of life begin when you get what you want." — Irving Kristol, American writer (1920-2009).