Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2021. There are 243 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 2, 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.

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, Virginia; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld 8-1 a Virginia law allowing the forced sterilization of people to promote the “health of the patient and the welfare of society.”

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

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 2005, Pfc. Lynndie England, the young woman pictured in some of the most notorious Abu Ghraib photos, pleaded guilty at Fort Hood, Texas, to mistreating prisoners. (However, a judge later threw out the plea agreement; England was later convicted in a court-martial and received a three-year sentence, of which she served half.)

In 2010, record rains and flash floods in Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee caused more than 30 deaths and submerged the Grand Ole Opry House stage. Actor Lynn Redgrave died in Kent, Connecticut, at age 67.

In 2018, two Black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education; they settled separately with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

In 2019, North Carolina lawyer Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA crown; for the first time, Black women held the titles of Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America.

Ten years ago: Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, then quickly buried at sea after a decade on the run. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a coveted majority government in Canadian elections while the opposition Liberals and Quebec separatists suffered a shattering defeat.

Five years ago: The first U.S. cruise ship in nearly 40 years pulled into Havana Harbor, restarting commercial travel on waters that had served as a stage for a half-century of Cold War hostility.

One year ago: A New York City police officer was caught on video pointing a stun gun at a man and violently taking him to the ground over an alleged social distancing violation. (The officer was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty the next day; he and other officers later faced disciplinary charges.) Russia and Pakistan each reported their biggest one-day spikes in new coronavirus infections. Texas topped 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row, numbers that coincided with the expiration of the state’s “stay at home” order. “Game of Thrones” actor Hafthor Bjornsson set a deadlift world record by lifting 1,104 pounds at a gym in his native Iceland.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 85. Former International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is 79. Actor-activist Bianca Jagger is 76. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 76. Actor David Suchet (SOO’-shay) is 75. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 73. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 71. Actor Christine Baranski is 69. Singer Angela Bofill is 67. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 66. Actor Brian Tochi is 62. Movie director Stephen Daldry is 61. Actor Elizabeth Berridge is 59. Country singer Ty Herndon is 59. Actor Mitzi Kapture is 59. Commentator Mika Brzezinski is 54. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is 53. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 52. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is 49. Former soccer player David Beckham is 46. Rock singer Jeff Gutt (goot) (Stone Temple Pilots) is 45. Actor Jenna Von Oy is 44. Actor Kumail Nanjiani is 43. Actor Ellie Kemper is 41. Actor Robert Buckley is 40. Actor Gaius (GY’-ehs) Charles is 38. Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper is 36. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 36. Actor Thomas McDonell is 35. Actor Kay Panabaker is 31. NBA All-Star Paul George is 31. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is six.

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