Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 16, the 136th day of 2021. There are 229 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 16, 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.

On this date:

In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.

In 1868, at the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 35 out of 54 senators voted to find Johnson guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” over his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, falling one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict; the trial ended 10 days later after two other articles of impeachment went down to defeat as well.

In 1943, the nearly month-long Warsaw Ghetto Uprising came to an end as German forces crushed the Jewish resistance and blew up the Great Synagogue.

In 1960, the first working laser was demonstrated at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, by physicist Theodore Maiman.

In 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical as well as deadly reform movement aimed at purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.”

In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

In 1984, comedian Andy Kaufman died in Los Angeles at age 35.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in California v. Greenwood, ruled that police could search discarded garbage without a search warrant. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.

In 1990, death claimed entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. in Los Angeles at age 64 and “Muppets” creator Jim Henson in New York at age 53.

In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the United States Congress as she lauded U.S.-British cooperation in the Persian Gulf War.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed Black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.

In 2006, the Pentagon released the first video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters and killing 189 people on 9/11.

Ten years ago: 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.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama called on the nation to support law enforcement officers as he bestowed the Medal of Valor on 13 who risked their lives. The International Space Station reached the orbital milestone of 100,000 laps around Earth, akin to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles in 17 1/2 years. Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

One year ago: As officials around the country cautiously eased more coronavirus restrictions, New Orleans allowed restaurants to reopen, but with limited capacity. Italy announced that it would reopen its borders on June 3, effectively ending Europe’s longest and strictest coronavirus lockdown just as the summer tourism season began. Democrats demanded that the White House hand over all records related to President Donald Trump’s latest firing of a federal watchdog, this time a State Department inspector general; they suggested it might be an act of retaliation by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Senator and Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker is 90. Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is 78. Jazz musician Billy Cobham is 77. Actor Danny Trejo is 77. Actor Bill Smitrovich is 74. Actor Pierce Brosnan is 68. Actor Debra Winger is 66. Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut is 65. Olympic gold medal marathon runner Joan Benoit Samuelson is 63. Actor Mare Winningham is 62. Rock musician Boyd Tinsley (The Dave Matthews Band) is 57. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (noh-voh-SEL’-ik) is 56. Singer Janet Jackson is 55. Country singer Scott Reeves (Blue County) is 55. Actor Brian (BREE’-un) F. O’Byrne is 54. R&B singer Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) is 53. Actor David Boreanaz is 52. Political commentator Tucker Carlson is 52. Actor Tracey Gold is 52. International Tennis Hall of Famer Gabriela Sabatini is 51. Country singer Rick Trevino is 50. Musician Simon Katz is 50. TV personality Bill Rancic is 50. Actor Khary Payton is 49. Rapper Special Ed is 49. Actor Tori Spelling is 48. Actor Sean Carrigan is 47. Singer-rapper B. Slade (formerly known as Tonex) is 46. Actor Lynn Collins is 44. Actor Melanie Lynskey is 44. Actor Jim Sturgess is 43. Actor Joseph Morgan is 40. DJ Alex Pall (The Chainsmokers) is 36. Actor Megan Fox is 35. Actor Drew Roy is 35. Actor Jacob Zachar is 35. Actor-comedian Jermaine Fowler is 33. Actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster is 31. Actor Marc John Jefferies is 31. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Ashley Wagner is 30. Actor Miles Heizer is 27.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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