Today in History – Saturday, May 21, 2016


Today is Saturday, May 21, the 142nd day of 2016. 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 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

In 1892, the opera “Pagliacci,” by Ruggero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.

In 1924, in a case that drew much notoriety, 14-year-old Bobby Franks was murdered in a “thrill killing” carried out by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb (Bobby’s cousin).

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 1945, actors Humphrey Bogart, 45, and Lauren Bacall, 20, were married at Malabar Farm in Lucas, Ohio (it was his fourth marriage, her first, and would last until Bogart’s death in 1957).

In 1959, the musical “Gypsy,” inspired by the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway with Ethel Merman starring as Mama Rose.

In 1972, Michelangelo’s Pieta, on display at the Vatican, was damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ.

In 1982, during the Falklands War, British amphibious forces landed on the beach at San Carlos Bay.

In 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during national elections by a suicide bomber.

Ten years ago: Iraq’s new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee), promised to use “maximum force” if necessary to end the brutal insurgent and sectarian violence racking his country. Anthony Bell of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was charged with shooting to death his wife and four of her relatives. (Bell was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death.) Katherine Dunham, a pioneering dancer, author and civil rights activist, died in New York City at age 96. Grand Ole Opry legend Billy Walker died in a traffic accident along an Alabama interstate highway; he was 77.

Five years ago: The apocalypse did not arrive, despite the prophecy of 89-year-old Christian broadcast group operator Harold Camping, who had been predicting the rolling global destruction of Judgment Day for years. Shackleford won the Preakness, holding off a late charge from Kentucky Derby-winner Animal Kingdom to win as a 12-1 underdog.

One year 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.”)

Today’s Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 75. Rock musician Hilton Valentine (The Animals) is 73. Actor Richard Hatch is 71. Musician Bill Champlin is 69. Singer Leo Sayer is 68. Actress Carol Potter is 68. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is 65. Actor Mr. T is 64. Music producer Stan Lynch is 61. Actor Judge Reinhold is 59. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes is 57. Actor Brent Briscoe is 55. Actress Lisa Edelstein is 50. Actress Fairuza Balk is 42. Rock singer-musician Mikel Jollett (Airborne Toxic Event) is 42. Rapper Havoc (Mobb Deep) is 42. Actor Sunkrish Bala (TV: “Castle”) is 32. Actor David Ajala is 30. Actress Ashlie Brillault is 29. Actor Scott Leavenworth is 26. Actress Sarah Ramos is 25.

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).

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