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Saturday, May 2

April 24, 2015

Today is Saturday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2015. There are 243 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1519 - Artist Leonardo da Vinci dies at Cloux, France.

1526 - Protestant League of Germany is formed.

1536 - England’s Queen Anne Boleyn is sent to Tower of London, where she eventually is beheaded.

1809 - People of Madrid rise against invading French, beginning six-year War of Independence.

1813 - Napoleon Bonaparte defeats Prussian and Russian armies at Lutzen, Germany.

1895 - British South Africa Company territory south of Zambesi is organized as Rhodesia.

1933 - Adolf Hitler abolishes trade unions in Germany.

1945 - The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin and the Allies announce the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy.

1952 - Jet plane passenger service is launched in the United States.

1953 - Jordan’s Hussein ascends the throne, by the Islamic calendar, on his 18th birthday

1965 - The first satellite television program links nine countries and over 300 million viewers.

1967 - British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s Labor government decides to seek membership in European Common Market.

1972 - After serving 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover dies in Washington at age 77.

1982 - Argentine cruiser General Belgrano is sunk by a British submarine, killing 368 Argentine sailors. It is the worst single death toll of the 10-week war over possession of the Falkland Islands.

1989 - Hungarian authorities begin cutting through the barbed wire and electric fencing that divide the country from the West.

1990 - African National Congress and South African government open three days of negotiations in Cape Town on gradually ending white rule in South Africa.

1994 - Nelson Mandela and the ANC claim victory in the first democratic election in South Africa.

1996 - Liu Gang, a Chinese dissident who spent six years in prison for his leading role in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, receives political asylum in the United States.

1997 - Tony Blair becomes Britain’s youngest prime minister in 185 years after his Labor Party crushes John Major’s long-reigning Conservatives in a landslide.

2000 - Belgium opens an investigation into the 1961 killing of Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, following Congolese independence from Belgium. It is later found that Belgian officials and the CIA were involved in his slaying.

2002 - Israeli troops and tanks depart the West Bank city of Ramallah, freeing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after more than a month of confinement in his compound.

2008 - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wins 47.9 percent of the vote in Zimbabwe’s presidential elections — not enough to avoid a runoff against President Robert Mugabe.

2009 - Mexico says a swine flu epidemic appears to be easing but urges citizens to guard against a virus that has killed 17 people and is spreading across Europe and Asia.

2010 - European governments and the International Monetary Fund commit to pull Greece back from the brink of default, agreeing on euro110 billion in emergency loans on the condition Athens makes painful budget cuts and tax increases.

2011 - Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, is slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a decade.

2014 — A landslide triggered by heavy rain buries large sections of a remote northeastern Afghanistan village, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing.

Today’s Birthdays:

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (1729-1796); Theodor Herzl, Hungarian journalist, founder of Zionism (1860-1904); Baron Manfred von Richthofen, World War I German fighter ace (1892-1918); Alan Marshall, Australian author (1902-1984); Bing Crosby, U.S. actor-singer (1904-1977); King Faisal II, last king of Iraq (1935-1958); Roscoe Lee Browne, U.S. actor (1925-2007): Bianca Jagger, Nicaraguan actress, socialite (1945--); Steven Daldry, director (1960--); Lily Allen, British pop singer (1985--).

Thought For Today:

What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments have never learned anything from history — Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher (1770-1831).

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