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Monday, May 5

April 28, 2014

Today is Monday, May 5, the 125th day of 2014. There are 240 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1494 - During his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus first sights Jamaica.

1570 - Turkey declares war on Venice for refusing to surrender Cyprus. Spain comes to Venice’s aid, but the Turks conquer Cyprus fully three years later.

1646 - British forces under King Charles I surrender to Scots at Newark, England.

1762 - Russia and Prussia sign Treaty of St. Petersburg, under which Russia restores all conquests and forms defensive and offensive alliance.

1808 - Napoleon Bonaparte forces Spain’s King Charles IV to abdicate in favor of him in Madrid. He appoints his brother Joseph Bonaparte to rule.

1821 - France’s Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.

1824 - British troops take over Rangoon, Burma — now Myanmar.

1862 - Mexican army defeats invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla. May 5 is now Mexico’s National Day, Cinco de Mayo.

1892 - U.S. Congress passes the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act, which requires Chinese in the United States to be registered or face deportation.

1893 - Panic hits the New York Stock Exchange; by year’s end, the country is in the throes of a severe depression.

1925 - John T. Scopes is arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.

1936 - Italian forces occupy Addis Ababa, ending Abyssinian — now Ethiopia — War.

1954 - Gen. Alfredo Stroessner heads coup against civilian President Federico Chavez, beginning 34-year dictatorship in Paraguay.

1955 - Allies restore the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany — West Germany — and it joins NATO.

1963 - Algeria’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Khemisti dies three weeks after being wounded by an assassin’s bullet.

1964 - Israel announces that first water is flowing from its new pipeline from Sea of Galilee to Negev Desert, despite Arab objections to the project.

1965 - First large U.S. military units arrive in Vietnam.

1978 - Marxist terrorists of Red Brigades in Italy announce they are carrying out death sentence against former Premier Aldo Moro, whose body is found two days later.

1981 - Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands dies at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food.

1989 - Estonia’s Communist Party removes 22 party leaders in sweep that gives greater strength to reformers.

1995 - John Major’s governing Conservative Party in Britain is nearly obliterated in local elections.

1996 - Thousands of civilians flee Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, as civil war rages.

1997 - Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, the political leader of militant Islamic organization Hamas, is deported from the United States to Jordan after the U.S. fails to find enough evidence to prosecute him for involvement in terrorist attacks.

1999 - Indonesia and Portugal sign an agreement allowing the people of East Timor to vote on whether to remain part of Indonesia or seek independence.

2000 - Sierra Leone rebels seize peacekeepers from Zambia, raising to more than 300 the number of U.N. personnel they are believed to be holding captive and dealing another blow to U.N. peacekeeping efforts in Africa; reformers sweep Iran’s run-off elections, winning control of the legislature from conservatives for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

2002 - Fidel Castro releases from prison one of Cuba’s most prominent dissidents, Vladimiro Roca, who was convicted of sedition for publishing a pamphlet that called for democratic and economic reforms.

2003 - Rwanda frees more than 22,000 detainees, most of whom were held in connection with the 1994 massacre of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu by Hutu militias. Around 80,000 genocide suspects remain in prison, with many yet to stand trial.

2004 - Greece’s attempts to calm security fears about the Summer Olympics are rocked by three bombs that explode before dawn — 100 days before the games begin. No one is injured in the blasts that officials attribute to self-styled anarchists or other domestic extremists.

2005 - Russian security forces say they have foiled a major terrorist attack, discovering a truck bomb and a cache of poisons near the Chechen capital, days before dozens of dignitaries arrive in Moscow for celebrations marking the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

2006 - The Sudanese government and the main Darfur rebel group sign a peace plan after a diplomatic push by the U.S.

2007 - A Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800 carrying 114 and bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi, crashes just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Cameroonian city of Douala, where it had taken off during a storm, killing all aboard.

2008 - Troops open fire and kill at least two people as tens of thousands of people riot over high food prices in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

2009 - Russia’s foreign minister pulls out of a meeting with NATO this month to protest the alliance’s upcoming military exercises in Georgia and the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from its headquarters.

2010 - Rioting over harsh austerity measures leaves three people dead in a torched Athens bank and clouds of tear gas drift past parliament, in an outburst of anger that underlines the long and difficult struggle Greece faces to stick with painful cutbacks that come with an international bailout.

2011 — Pakistan’s army breaks its silence over the U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden, acknowledging its own “shortcomings” in efforts to find the al-Qaida leader but threatening to review cooperation with Washington if there is another similar violation of Pakistani sovereignty.

2012 — The self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the U.S. repeatedly declines to answer a judge’s questions, and his co-defendants kneel in prayer in what appeared to be a concerted protest against the military proceedings at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba.

2013 — Israel rushes to beef up its rocket defenses on its northern border to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours — an unprecedented escalation of Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Today’s Birthdays:

Soeren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher-theologian (1813-1855); Karl Marx, German socialist (1818-1883); France’s Empress Eugenie (1826-1920); Nellie Bly, U.S. journalist/adventurer (1867-1922); Tammy Wynette, U.S. singer (1942-1998); Michael Palin, British actor/comedian (1943--); Adele, British soul singer (1988--).

Thought For Today:

The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb — Marshall McLuhan, Canadian communications theorist (1911-1980)

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