Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 16, the 136th day of 2017. There are 229 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.
On this date:
In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.”
In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
In 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.
In 1946, the Irving Berlin musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley, opened on Broadway.
In 1957, federal agent Eliot Ness, who organized “The Untouchables” team that took on gangster Al Capone, died in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, at age 54.
In 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical as well as deadly reform movement aimed at purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.”
In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In 1977, a New York Airways helicopter idling atop the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan toppled over, killing four passengers who were waiting to board and sending debris falling to the street below, killing a fifth person.
In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in California v. Greenwood, ruled that police can search discarded garbage without a search warrant. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
In 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage with a safe landing in the California desert.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.
Ten years ago: Anti-war Democrats in the Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war. Britain’s army reversed course and announced that Prince Harry would not be sent to Iraq with his regiment due to “specific threats” from insurgents. (The prince did end up serving in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, until word of his deployment there got out.) British Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a farewell visit to President George W. Bush at the White House. Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE’) took over from Jacques Chirac (zhahk shih-RAHK’) as France’s president.
Five years ago: Gen. Ratko Mladic (RAHT’-koh MLAH’-dich) went on trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands, accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. (Mladic’s trial wrapped up in Dec. 2016, and the judges are considering their verdicts.) Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., died in Bedford, New York, a suicide.
One year ago: President Barack Obama called on the nation to support law enforcement officers as he bestowed the Medal of Valor on 13 who risked their lives. The International Space Station reached the orbital milestone of 100,000 laps around Earth, akin to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles in 17 1/2 years. Surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital said a cancer patient was recovering well after the nation’s first penis transplant, a groundbreaking operation that could give new hope to accident victims and wounded veterans. Grammy-winning Tejano star Emilio Navaira, 53, died in New Braunfels, Texas. Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.
Today’s Birthdays: U.S. Rep John Conyers, D-Mich., is 88. Former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker is 86. Jazz musician Billy Cobham is 73. Actor Danny Trejo is 73. Actor Bill Smitrovich is 70. Actor Pierce Brosnan is 64. Actress Debra Winger is 62. Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 62. Olympic gold medal marathon runner Joan Benoit Samuelson is 60. Actress Mare Winningham is 58. Rock musician Boyd Tinsley (The Dave Matthews Band) is 53. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (noh-voh-SEL’-ik) is 52. Singer Janet Jackson is 51. Country singer Scott Reeves (Blue County) is 51. Actor Brian (BREE’-un) F. O’Byrne is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) is 49. Actor David Boreanaz is 48. Political correspondent Tucker Carlson is 48. Actress Tracey Gold is 48. International Tennis Hall of Famer Gabriela Sabatini is 47. Country singer Rick Trevino is 46. Musician Simon Katz is 46. TV personality Bill Rancic is 46. Actress Tori Spelling is 44. Actor Sean Carrigan is 43. Singer-rapper B. Slade (formerly known as Tonex) is 42. Actress Lynn Collins is 40. Actress Melanie Lynskey is 40. Actor Jim Sturgess (TV: “Feed the Beast”) is 39. DJ Alex Pall (The Chainsmokers) is 32. Actress Megan Fox is 31. Actor Drew Roy is 31. Actor Jacob Zachar is 31. Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster is 27. Actor Marc John Jefferies is 27. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Ashley Wagner is 26. Actor Miles Heizer is 23.
Thought for Today: “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” — Roald Dahl, British author (1916-1990).