GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

May 1, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Thursday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2013. There are 243 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On May 2, 1963, the Children’s Crusade began in Birmingham, Ala., as more than 1,000 black schoolchildren skipped classes and marched downtown to protest racial segregation; hundreds were arrested. (During another march the following day, authorities unleashed police dogs and fire hoses on the young protesters.)

On this date:

In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France, at age 67.

In 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Co. was chartered by England’s King Charles II.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1936, “Peter and the Wolf,” a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow.

In 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

In 1952, the era of commercial jet passenger service began as a BOAC de Havilland Comet carrying 36 passengers took off on a multi-stop flight from London to Johannesburg, South Africa.

In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

In 1960, Caryl Chessman, who’d become a best-selling author and cause celebre while on death row for kidnapping, rape and robbery, was executed at San Quentin Prison in California.

In 1972, a fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

In 1982, the Weather Channel made its debut.

In 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, then quickly buried at sea after a decade on the run.

Ten years ago: A federal court struck down most of the new campaign finance law (popularly known as “McCain-Feingold”), overturning its ban on the use of large corporate and union contributions by political parties. (However, later in the year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld key provisions of the act.) India and Pakistan agreed to hold talks on settling a-half century of disputes that had drawn them into three wars.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush sent lawmakers a $70 billion request to fund U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into the following spring. Al-Jazeera TV cameraman Sami al-Haj was released from U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and returned home to Sudan after six years of imprisonment. Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, leading to an eventual official death toll of 84,537, with 53,836 listed as missing. Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws across the United States, died in Milford, Va., at age 68.

One year ago: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich formally exited the Republican presidential contest. Taliban insurgents attacked a compound housing foreigners in the Afghan capital, killing seven people, hours after President Barack Obama made a surprise visit. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in to Myanmar’s military-backed parliament. Former NFL star Junior Seau was found shot to death at his home in Oceanside, Calif., a suicide. Jered Weaver pitched the second no-hitter in the majors in less than two weeks, completely overmatching Minnesota and leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 9-0 win over the Twins.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Theodore Bikel is 89. Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 77. Actress and political activist Bianca Jagger and country singer R.C. Bannon are 68. Singer Lesley Gore and actor David Suchet are 67. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 65. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 63. Actress Christine Baranski is 61. Singer Angela Bofill is 59. Movie director Stephen Daldry is 53. Actresses Elizabeth Berridge and Mitzi Kapture, and country singer Ty Herndon are 51. Musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 44. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) is 41. Soccer player David Beckham is 38. Actress Jenna Von Oy is 36. Actress Ellie Kemper is 33. Actor Robert Buckley is 32. Actor Gaius Charles is 30. Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper and Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes are 28. Musician Jim Almgren (Carolina Liar) is 27. Actress Kay Panabaker is 23.

Thought for today: “Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything.” — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).