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May 20, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2013. There are 223 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On May 22, 1913, the American Cancer Society was founded in New York by a group of doctors and business leaders under its original name, the American Society for the Control of Cancer.

On this date:

In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany.

In 1860, the United States and Japan exchanged ratifications of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce during a ceremony in Washington.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before Congress to explain his decision to veto a bill that would have allowed World War I veterans to cash in bonus certificates before their 1945 due date.

In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.

In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.

In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

In 1963, Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis was attacked by right-wingers after delivering a speech in Thessaloniki; he died five days later. (The assassination inspired a book as well as the 1969 Costa-Gavras film “Z.”)

In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon began a visit to the Soviet Union, during which he and Kremlin leaders signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka.

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