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Thursday, May 14

May 6, 2015

Today is Thursday, May 14, the 134th day of 2015. There are 231 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1509 - French defeat Venetians at Agnadello and become masters of northern Italy.

1610 - Francois Ravaillac, a fanatical Roman Catholic, assassinates France’s King Henry IV, who gave a measure of religious freedom to Protestants.

1702 - Sweden’s King Charles XII takes Warsaw.

1796 - First smallpox inoculation in England administered by Edward Jenner.

1801 - The pasha of Tripoli declares war on the United States for its refusal to pay for safe passage of its ships in the Mediterranean. The Tripolitan pirates are defeated four years later.

1811 - Paraguay gains independence from Spain.

1897 - Britain, by treaty with Ethiopia, abandons certain claims in Somaliland but Emperor Menelek refuses to surrender claims to land near the Nile.

1921 - Fascists gain in Italian elections, supplying a springboard for Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship.

1948 - British mandate in Palestine ends, and an independent state of Israel is formed; Arab Legion of Transjordan invades Palestine and enters Jerusalem.

1955 - Warsaw Pact formed by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union.

1964 - Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev opens Aswan Dam in Egypt.

1972 - Okinawa reverts to Japan after 27 years under U.S. jurisdiction.

1988 - Iraqi warplanes attack and set ablaze five ships at offshore oil-loading terminal that belongs to Iran.

1989 - Baltic nationalists call for economic independence from Moscow by following year.

1991 - Winnie Mandela sentenced to six years in prison following conviction on kidnapping charges in South Africa, but is freed on the equivalent of $72 bail.

1993 - A car bomb devastates a street in a fashionable Rome neighborhood, injuring 23 people.

1994 - In a challenge to the United States, North Korea says that is has begun removing nuclear fuel from its largest reactor without international inspectors present.

1995 - President Carlos Menem wins a second term by a wide margin in Argentine elections.

1999 - Yugoslavs say 87 civilians die when NATO bombs a village in Kosovo. NATO says the village was a military base, and that the dead were forced to be human shields by Serb soldiers.

2002 - Suspected Islamic militants attack an Indian army base in Kashmir, shooting soldiers and their families. The assault leaves at least 33 people dead, including 10 children.

2005 - Turkish soldiers kill nine Kurdish rebels in a military operation in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast following a European court judgment that the rebels’ imprisoned leader did not receive a fair trial.

2006 - Rene Preval, the only elected president in Haiti’s history to finish his term, is sworn in to again lead the impoverished nation in its latest attempt at democracy after decades of armed uprisings and lawlessness.

2007 - A Chinese rocket blasts a Nigerian communications satellite into orbit, marking an expansion of China’s commercial launching services for foreign space hardware.

2008 - Rescuers arrived for the first time in the epicenter of China’s massive earthquake, scouring flattened mountain villages for thousands of victims and distributing air-dropped supplies to survivors.

2009 - Myanmar’s Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is charged with breaking the terms of her house arrest just two weeks before she was to go free.

2010 - President Barack Obama orders extra scrutiny of drilling permits to head off any repeat of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is belching out at least 210,000 gallons of crude a day.

2011 - A pop star known for his bad boy antics on stage, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, becomes earthquake-devastated Haiti’s new president.

2013 — A U.S. diplomat is ordered to leave Russia after the Kremlin’s security services said he tried to recruit a Russian agent who specializes in the volatile Caucasus region.

2014 — Deadly mine disaster in Turkey kills 274.

Today’s Birthdays:

Gabriel D. Fahrenheit, German physicist (1686-1736); Otto Klemperer, German conductor (1885-1973); Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan (1907-1974); George Lucas, U.S. film director and producer (1944--); Robert Zemeckis, U.S. film director (1951--); David Byrne, Scottish-born pop singer (1952--); Shanice, singer (1973--); Cate Blanchett, Australian actress (1969--).

Thought For Today:

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity — Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian (1741-1801).

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