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Today in History

Monday, May 21, 2012

Today is Monday, May 21, the 142nd day of 2012. There are 224 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 21, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, about 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland; Earhart's achievement came on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's solo flight to France.

On this date:

In 1471, King Henry VI of England died in the Tower of London at age 49.

In 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.

In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

In 1892, the opera "Pagliacci," by Ruggero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.

In 1911, during the Mexican Revolution, the Treaty of Ciudad Juarez was signed by President Porfirio Diaz and revolutionary leader Francisco I. Madero; under the agreement, Diaz resigned his office and went into exile.

In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 331/2 hours.

In 1941, a German U-boat sank the American merchant steamship SS Robin Moor in the South Atlantic after allowing the ship's passengers and crew to board lifeboats.

In 1956, the United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1959, the musical "Gypsy," inspired by the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway with Ethel Merman starring as Mama Rose.

In 1972, Michelangelo's Pieta, on display at the Vatican, was damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ.

In 1982, during the Falklands War, British amphibious forces landed on the beach at San Carlos Bay.

In 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during national elections by a suicide bomber.

Ten years ago: The State Department named seven states as sponsors of terror, with Iran at the top of the list; the report said that Sudan and Libya had taken some steps -- but not enough -- to "get out of the business." (The other countries named were Iraq, North Korea, Cuba and Syria.)

Five years ago: The Supreme Court ruled that parents didn't need to hire a lawyer to sue public school districts over their children's special education needs. The Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert for the diabetes drug Avandia, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, which disputed a report saying it was linked to a greater risk of heart attack.

One year ago: The apocalypse did not arrive, despite the prophecy of 89-year-old Christian broadcast group operator Harold Camping, who had been predicting the rolling global destruction of Judgment Day for years. Shackleford won the Preakness, holding off a late charge from Kentucky Derby-winner Animal Kingdom to win as a 12-1 underdog.

Today's Birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 71. Rock musician Hilton Valentine (The Animals) is 69. Actor Richard Hatch ("Battlestar Galactica") is 67. Musician Bill Champlin is 65. Singer Leo Sayer is 64. Actress Carol Potter is 64. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is 61. Actor Mr. T is 60. Music producer Stan Lynch is 57. Actor Judge Reinhold is 55. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes is 53. Actor Brent Briscoe is 51. Actress Lisa Edelstein is 46. Actress Fairuza Balk is 38. Rock singer-musician Mikel Jollett (Airborne Toxic Event) is 38. Rapper Havoc (Mobb Deep) is 38. Actress Ashlie Brillault is 25. Actor Scott Leavenworth is 22. Actress Sarah Ramos is 21.

Thought for Today: "Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters of life begin when you get what you want." -- Irving Kristol, American writer (1920-2009).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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