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May 6, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, May 6, the 126th day of 2013. There are 239 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On May 6, 1863, the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia ended with a Confederate victory over Union forces.

On this date:

In 1840, Britain’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, officially went into circulation five days after its introduction.

In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years (Arthur had opposed an earlier version with a 20-year ban).

In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.

In 1942, during World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to Japanese forces.

In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

In 1960, Britain’s Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. (They divorced in 1978.)

In 1962, in the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.

In 1987, CIA Director William J. Casey died at age 74.

In 2002, Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was shot and killed in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Volkert van der Graaf was later convicted of killing Fortuyn and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.)

Ten years ago: Florida Sen. Bob Graham launched his campaign for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination by accusing President George W. Bush of retreating from the war on terrorism to “settle old scores” between the Bush family and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. (Graham dropped his bid five months later.) White House budget chief Mitchell Daniels announced his resignation. Kmart Corp. emerged from bankruptcy after more than 15 months of Chapter 11 protection.

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