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Today in History

May 20, 2019

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 29, the 149th day of 2019. There are 216 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 29, 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.

On this date:

In 1765, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.

In 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.

In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.

In 1914, the Canadian ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec after colliding with the Norwegian cargo ship SS Storstad; of the 1,477 people on board the Empress of Ireland, 1,012 died. (The Storstad suffered only minor damage.)

In 1917, the 35th president of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.

In 1932, World War I veterans began arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they weren’t scheduled to receive until 1945.

In 1954, English runner Diane Leather became the first woman to run a sub-five-minute mile, finishing in 4:59.6 during the Midland Championships in Birmingham.

In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, finishing in 29th place (the winner was A.J. Foyt).

In 1985, 39 people were killed at the European Cup Final in Brussels, Belgium, when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened their historic summit in Moscow.

In 1998, Republican elder statesman Barry Goldwater died in Paradise Valley, Arizona, at age 89.

In 2008, the Vatican issued a decree stating that anyone trying to ordain a woman as a priest and any woman who attempted to receive the ordination would incur automatic excommunication. Actor-comedian Harvey Korman, Emmy winner for “The Carol Burnett Show,” died in Los Angeles at age 81.

Ten years ago: A judge in Los Angeles sentenced music producer Phil Spector to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Jay Leno hosted “The Tonight Show” on NBC supposedly for the final time, giving up his desk to Conan O’Brien. (After a stint in prime time, Leno returned to “Tonight” in March 2010, stepping down again in February 2014.)

Five years ago: Saying he wanted kids to play sports but play safely, President Barack Obama called for more and better research into the effects and treatment of concussions in youth athletes during a summit at the White House. The Food and Drug Administration required tanning beds and sun lamps to carry new warnings that they should not be used by anyone under age 18. Shelly Sterling signed a binding contract to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record-breaking $2 billion.

One year ago: ABC canceled the reboot of “Roseanne,” after star Roseanne Barr’s tweet that referred to former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as a product of the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Planet of the Apes.” Starbucks closed thousands of stores for part of the day to hold training sessions for employees on unconscious bias, in response to the arrests of two black men in Philadelphia at one of its stores.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent is 81. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser is 80. Actor Kevin Conway is 77. Actor Helmut Berger is 75. Rock singer Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) is 74. Actor Anthony Geary is 72. Actor Cotter Smith is 70. Singer Rebbie (ree-bee) Jackson is 69. Movie composer Danny Elfman is 66. Singer LaToya Jackson is 63. Actor Ted Levine is 62. Actress Annette Bening is 61. Actor Rupert Everett is 60. Actor Adrian Paul is 60. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 58. Actress Lisa Whelchel is 56. Actress Tracey Bregman is 56. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 52. Singer Jayski McGowan (Quad City DJ’s) is 52. Actor Anthony Azizi is 50. Rock musician Chan Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 50. Actress Laverne Cox is 47. Rock musician Mark Lee (Third Day) is 46. Cartoonist Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”) is 45. Singer Melanie Brown (Spice Girls) is 44. Rapper Playa Poncho is 44. Latin singer Fonseca is 40. Actor Justin Chon (TV: “Deception”; “Dr. Ken”) is 38. NBA player Carmelo Anthony is 35. Actor Billy Flynn is 34. Actor Blake Foster is 34. Actress Riley Keough is 30. Actor Brandon Mychal Smith is 30. Actress Kristen Alderson is 28. Actress Lorelei Linklater is 26.

Thought for Today: “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things _ not the great occasions _ that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.” _ British-born American comedian Bob Hope (born this date in 1903, died 2003).

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, May 29)

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