Today in History
Today is Wednesday, May 10, the 130th day of 2017. There are 235 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
On this date:
In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.
In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, New York.
In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia, a complication resulting from being hit by friendly fire eight days earlier during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.
In 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)
In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its submerged navigation of the globe.
In 1977, Academy Award-winning actress Joan Crawford died in New York.
In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua’s ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue).
In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.
Ten years ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he would step down June 27. (Blair was succeeded by fellow Labourite Gordon Brown.) The Democratic-controlled House, by a vote of 255-171, defeated legislation to require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within nine months. A federal jury in Santa Ana, California, convicted Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak of conspiring to export U.S. defense technology to China. (Mak was later sentenced to 24½ years in federal prison.)
Five years ago: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney apologized for “stupid” high school pranks that might have gone too far and moved quickly to stamp out any notion that he’d bullied schoolmates because they were gay. JPMorgan Chase said it had lost $2 billion in six weeks in a trading portfolio designed to hedge against risks the company took with its own money. In Syria, twin suicide car bombs exploded outside a military intelligence building, killing 55 people. Legendary car designer Carroll Shelby, 89, died in Dallas.
One year ago: With his White House dreams fading, Bernie Sanders added another state to his tally against Hillary Clinton with a win in West Virginia; Republican Donald Trump also won there and in Nebraska, a week after he cleared the field of his remaining rivals. A man went on a stabbing rampage in Taunton, Massachusetts, killing two people and assaulting and stabbing more in a house and a shopping mall before being shot dead by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy. Stephen Curry became the first unanimous NBA MVP, earning the award for the second straight season after leading the defending champion Warriors to a record-setting season.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 84. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 79. Actor David Clennon is 74. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 73. Singer Donovan is 71. Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 71. Singer Dave Mason is 71. Actor Mike Hagerty is 63. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 62. Actor Bruce Penhall is 60. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 59. Actress Victoria Rowell is 58. Rock singer Bono (BAH’-noh) (U2) is 57. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 56. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 54. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 54. Model Linda Evangelista is 52. Rapper Young MC is 50. Actor Erik Palladino is 49. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 49. Actor Lenny Venito is 48. Actor Dallas Roberts is 47. Actress Leslie Stefanson is 46. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 45. Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 45. Actress Andrea Anders is 42. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 42. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 40. Actor Kenan Thompson is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 37. Rock musician Joey Zehr (The Click Five) is 34. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 32. Actress Odette Annable is 32. Actress Lindsey Shaw is 28. Actress Lauren Potter is 27. Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 22.
Thought for Today: “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” — William James, American psychologist and philosopher (1842-1910).