Today is Saturday, May 1, the 121st day of 2021. There are 244 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation (because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).
On this date:
In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
In 1915, the RMS Lusitania set sail from New York, headed for Liverpool, England (it was torpedoed and sunk by Germany off the coast of Ireland six days later).
In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York.
In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.
In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1975, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Brewers broke baseball’s all-time RBI record previously held by Babe Ruth during a game against the Detroit Tigers (Milwaukee won, 17-3).
In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”
In 1998, Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died in Pomona, California, at age 62.
In 2009, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)
In 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van.
Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood in a Vatican Mass attended by some 1.5 million pilgrims.
Five years ago: A wildfire broke out near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; in the days that followed, the blaze destroyed 2,400 homes and other buildings and forced more than 80,000 people to evacuate. After a half-century of waiting, Cuban-born passengers set sail from Miami on a historic cruise to Havana, the first such trip from the U.S. since recent policy changes. Elephants performed for the last time at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Providence, Rhode Island.
One year ago: A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after a confrontation with the family of a woman he had told to leave the store because she wasn’t wearing a face mask. (Three people, including the woman’s mother, were charged with first-degree murder.) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state’s stay-at-home order would remain in place for two more weeks; her statement came on the same day that President Donald Trump tweeted that she should “make a deal” with protesters who gathered at the state Capitol a day earlier, some carrying assault weapons. U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden emphatically denied allegations from a former Senate staffer that he sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s, declaring flatly that “this never happened.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on the sale and use of assault-style weapons in Canada, two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 82. Actor Stephen Macht is 79. Singer Rita Coolidge is 76. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 75. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 72. Actor Dann Florek is 70. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 67. Actor Byron Stewart is 65. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 61. Actor Maia Morgenstern is 59. Actor Scott Coffey is 57. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 56. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 55. Country singer Tim McGraw is 54. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 53. Rock musician D’Arcy Wretzky is 53. Movie director Wes Anderson is 52. Actor Julie Benz is 49. Actor Bailey Chase is 49. Country singer Cory Morrow is 49. Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 47. Actor Darius McCrary is 45. Actor Jamie Dornan is 39. Actor Kerry Bishe is 37. TV personality Abby Huntsman is 35. Actor Lizzy Greene is 18.
Friday, April 30, the 120th day of 2021. There are 245 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.
On this date:
In 1517, Londoners began attacking foreign residents in rioting that carried over into the next day; no deaths were reported from what came to be known as “Evil May Day,” but about a dozen rioters, maybe more, ended up being executed.
In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.
In 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler took his own life along with that of his wife of one day, Eva Braun.
In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.
In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon announced the U.S. was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.
In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Ill., at age 68.
In 1993, top-ranked women’s tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)
In 2004, Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying “that’s not the way we do things in America.”
In 2010, heavy winds and high tides complicated efforts to hold back oil from a blown-out BP-operated rig that threatened to coat bird and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico; President Barack Obama halted any new offshore projects pending safeguards to prevent more explosions like the one that unleashed the spill.
In 2019, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó took to the streets to call for a military uprising against Nicolas Maduro; street battles erupted in the Venezuelan capital. The Trump administration quickly declared enthusiastic support for the Venezuelan opposition effort.
Ten years ago: A Libyan official said Moammar Gadhafi had escaped a NATO missile strike in Tripoli that killed one of his sons and three young grandchildren.
Five years ago: Anti-government protesters tore down walls and poured into the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where they stormed parliament in a major escalation of a political crisis that had simmered for months. The Rev. Daniel Berrigan, 94, a Roman Catholic priest and peace activist who was imprisoned for burning draft files in a protest against the Vietnam War, died in New York.
One year ago: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits soared past 30 million in the six weeks since the virus outbreak took hold. The Republican-led Michigan legislature refused to extend the state’s emergency declaration and voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging the authority of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to deal with the pandemic; Whitmer responded by declaring a new 28-day state of emergency. Hundreds of conservative activists, some openly carrying assault rifles, returned to the Michigan state Capitol to denounce the governor’s stay-home order. President Donald Trump continued to speculate on the origins of the coronavirus, saying China could have unleashed it on the world due to some kind of “mistake” or that it might have been released intentionally. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City subways would be shut down from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day for cleaning of trains and stations.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Willie Nelson is 88. Actor Burt Young is 81. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is 75. Movie director Allan Arkush is 73. Actor Perry King is 73. Singer-musician Wayne Kramer is 73. Singer Merrill Osmond is 68. Movie director Jane Campion is 67. Movie director Lars von Trier is 65. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 62. Actor Paul Gross is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 60. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 56. Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 54. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 54. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 52. R&B singer Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 50. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 50. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 50. Actor Lisa Dean Ryan is 49. R&B singer Akon is 48. R&B singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 48. Actor Johnny Galecki is 46. Actor Sam Heughan is 41. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 40. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 39. Actor Kirsten Dunst is 39. Actor Dianna Agron is 35. Country singer Brandon Lancaster is 32. Rapper/producer Travis Scott is 30.