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May 19, 2013

Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On May 19, 1943, in his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country's full support in the fight against Japan. That same day, top U.S. and British officials meeting in Washington reached agreement on May 1, 1944 as the date for the D-Day invasion of France (the operation ended up being launched more than a month later).

On this date:

In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.

In 1909, the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets), under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev, debuted in Paris.

In 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed the Webb-Hartley Law prohibiting "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from owning farm land, a measure targeting Asian immigrants, particularly Japanese.

In 1921, Congress passed, and President Warren G. Harding signed, the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, also known as "Lawrence of Arabia," died in Dorset, England, six days after being injured in a motorcycle crash.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday to You" to President John F. Kennedy during a Democratic fundraiser at New York's Madison Square Garden.

In 1964, the State Department disclosed that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

In 1973, Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes, the second of his Triple Crown victories.

In 1981, five British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army landmine in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

In 1993, the Clinton White House set off a political storm by abruptly firing the entire staff of its travel office; five of the seven staffers were later reinstated and assigned to other duties.

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