Today in History – Monday, May 22, 2017


Today is Monday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2017. There are 223 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 22, 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time (Jay Leno took over as host three days later).

On this date:

In 1860, the United States and Japan exchanged ratifications of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce during a ceremony in Washington.

In 1913, the American Cancer Society was founded in New York under its original name, the American Society for the Control of Cancer.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before Congress to explain his decision to veto a bill that would have allowed World War I veterans to cash in bonus certificates before their 1945 due date.

In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.

In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.

In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

In 1967, a fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels killed 322 people. Poet and playwright Langston Hughes died in New York at age 65.

In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon began a visit to the Soviet Union, during which he and Kremlin leaders signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka.

In 1981 “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe was convicted in London of murdering 13 women and was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2011, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, with winds up to 250 mph, claiming at least 159 lives and destroying about 8,000 homes and businesses.

Ten years ago: British prosecutors accused former KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi (AHN’-dray LOO’-goh-voy) of murder in the radioactive poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko (leet-vee-NYEN’-koh). (Russia, however, has refused to extradite Lugovoi.) Olympic gold medalist speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno and his professional dance partner, Julianne Hough (huhf), won ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Five years ago: The Falcon 9, built by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, sped toward the International Space Station with a load of groceries and other supplies, marking the first time a commercial spacecraft had been sent to the orbiting outpost. In Flint, Michigan, a drifter accused of faking car trouble, then stabbing strangers who came to his aid, was convicted of murdering handyman Arnold Minor after jurors rejected an insanity defense. (Elias Abuelazam (EE’-lee-us ah-BOOL’-ah-zahm) is serving a life sentence.) Wesley A. Brown, the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, died in Silver Spring, Maryland, at age 85. Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver and his professional partner, Peta Murgatroyd, won “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC.

One year ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Vietnam, making him the third sitting president to visit the country since the end of the war. Madonna paid homage to Prince by wearing his signature color and bringing another icon — Stevie Wonder — onstage to sing the classic “Purple Rain” at the Billboard Music Awards. Veteran British director Ken Loach won his second Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for “I, Daniel Blake” — a stark portrayal of a disabled man’s struggle with the crushing benefits system in northern England.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Charles Aznavour is 93. Actor Michael Constantine is 90. Conductor Peter Nero is 83. Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 79. Actor Frank Converse is 79. Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw is 77. Actress Barbara Parkins is 75. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Tommy John is 74. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 67. Actor-producer Al Corley is 62. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is 60. Singer Morrissey is 58. Actress Ann Cusack is 56. Country musician Dana Williams (Diamond Rio) is 56. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela is 55. Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence is 53. Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is 52. Rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Gill (New Edition) is 51. Rock musician Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) is 50. Actress Brooke Smith is 50. Actor Michael Kelly is 48. Model Naomi Campbell is 47. Actress Anna Belknap is 45. Actress Alison Eastwood is 45. Singer Donell Jones is 44. Actor Sean Gunn is 43. Actress A.J. Langer is 43. Actress Ginnifer Goodwin is 39. Rhythm-and-blues Vivian Green is 38. Actress Maggie Q is 38. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is 35. Actress Camren (cq) Bicondova is 18.

Thought for Today: “It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.” — Walter Bagehot, English editor and economist (1826-1877).

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.