Today in History
Today is Wednesday, May 16, the 137th day of 2012. There are 229 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.
On this date:
In 1763, the English lexicographer, author and wit Samuel Johnson first met his future biographer, James Boswell.
In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the "Shield nickel."
In 1910, the U.S Bureau of Mines was established. (It ceased operations in 1996, its functions having been transferred to other agencies.)
In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
In 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented. The movie "Wings" won "best production," while Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress.
In 1939, the government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, N.Y.
In 1948, CBS News correspondent George Polk, who'd been covering the Greek civil war between Communist and nationalist forces, was found slain in Solonica Harbor.
In 1955, American author and critic James Agee died in New York at age 45.
In 1961, Park Chung-hee seized power in South Korea in a military coup.
In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage with a safe landing in the California desert.
Ten years ago: Congressional Democrats demanded to be told what President George W. Bush knew about terrorist threats before Sept. 11 as the White House and its GOP allies defended the president for not disclosing intelligence that Osama bin Laden wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes. The remains of kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl were unearthed in Pakistan.
Five years ago: Anti-war Democrats in the Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war. Britain's army reversed course and announced that Prince Harry would not be sent to Iraq with his regiment due to "specific threats" from insurgents. (The prince did end up serving in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, until word of his deployment got out.) British Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a farewell visit to President George W. Bush at the White House. Nicolas Sarkozy took over from Jacques Chirac as France's president.
One year ago: A judge in New York refused to release on bail the chief of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was accused of trying to rape a hotel maid. (The charges against Strauss-Kahn were later dropped.) The Vatican told bishops around the world it was important to cooperate with police in reporting priests who'd raped and molested children and asked them to develop guidelines for preventing sex abuse; however, victims groups immediately denounced the recommendations as "dangerously flawed." Endeavour blasted off on NASA's next-to-last shuttle flight commanded by Mark Kelly, husband of wounded Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Today's Birthdays: Actor George Gaynes is 95. Actor Harry Carey Jr. is 91. Jazz musician Billy Cobham is 68. Actor Bill Smitrovich is 65. Actor Pierce Brosnan is 59. Actress Debra Winger is 57. Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 57. Actress Mare Winningham is 53. Rock musician Boyd Tinsley (The Dave Matthews Band) is 48. Rock musician Krist Novoselic is 47. Singer Janet Jackson is 46. Country singer Scott Reeves (Blue County) is 46. Actor Brian F. O'Byrne is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) is 44. Actor David Boreanaz is 43. Political correspondent Tucker Carlson is 43. Actress Tracey Gold is 43. Tennis player Gabriela Sabatini is 42. Country singer Rick Trevino is 41. Musician Simon Katz is 41. Actress Tori Spelling is 39. Actress Lynn Collins is 35. Actress Melanie Lynskey is 35. Actress Megan Fox is 26. Actor Jacob Zachar is 26. Actor Marc John Jefferies is 22. Actor Miles Heizer is 18.
Thought for Today: "Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying." -- Studs Terkel, American author and historian (born this date in 1912, died 2008).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.