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May 10, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, May 10, the 130th day of 2013. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On May 10, 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia, a complication resulting from being hit by friendly fire eight days earlier during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

On this date:

In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.

In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.

In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1913, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution calling upon all federal officials, from the president on down, to wear a white carnation the following day in observance of Mother’s Day.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide.)

In 1963, the Rolling Stones recorded their first single for Decca Records in London, covering Chuck Berry’s “Come On” (which ended up being redone) and “I Want to Be Loved” by Willie Dixon.

In 1973, the New York Knicks won the NBA Finals, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5, 102-93.

In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua’s ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue).

In 1993, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee visited the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia for a hearing on the issue of homosexuals in the military; most of the sailors who spoke said they favored keeping the ban on gays. At least 188 workers were killed in a doll factory fire in Bangkok, Thailand.

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