A glance again at historical past | Life and Leisure


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Today is Thursday, May 27, the 147th day of 2021. There are 218 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 27, 1941, the British Royal Navy sank the German battleship Bismarck off France with a loss of some 2,000 lives, three days after the Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with the loss of more than 1,400 lives. Amid rising world tensions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed an “unlimited national emergency” during a radio address from the White House.

On this date:

In 1861, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting as a federal circuit court judge in Baltimore, ruled that President Abraham Lincoln lacked the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus (Lincoln disregarded the ruling).

In 1896, 255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois.

In 1933, the Chicago World’s Fair, celebrating “A Century of Progress,” officially opened. Walt Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated short “The Three Little Pigs” was first released.

In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, unanimously struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” legislative program.

In 1937, the newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, was opened to pedestrian traffic (vehicles began crossing the next day).

In 1942, Doris “Dorie” Miller, a cook aboard the USS West Virginia, became the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for displaying “extraordinary courage and disregard for his own personal safety” during Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

In 1964, independent India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died.

In 1968, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. O’Brien, upheld the conviction of David O’Brien for destroying his draft card outside a Boston courthouse, ruling that the act was not protected by freedom of speech.

In 1993, five people were killed in a bombing at the Uffizi museum of art in Florence, Italy; some three dozen paintings were ruined or damaged.

In 1994, Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia to the emotional cheers of thousands after spending two decades in exile.

In 1998, Michael Fortier (FOR’-tee-ur), the government’s star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot. (Fortier was freed in January 2006.)

In 2018, LeBron James reached his eighth straight NBA Finals as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 87-79 in Game 7 of the semifinals.

Ten years ago: Astronauts Mike Fincke and Gregory Chamitoff made history as the final spacewalkers of NASA’s 30-year shuttle program, completing construction of the International Space Station with the smooth addition of an extension pole. President Barack Obama, visiting Poland, honored the memories of those slain in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazis. Gil Scott-Heron, 62, widely considered one of the godfathers of rap music, died in New York. Actor Jeff Conaway died at a hospital in Encino, California; he was 60.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama became the first American chief executive to visit Hiroshima, the city where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb during World War II, declaring it a fitting place to summon people everywhere to embrace the vision of a world without nuclear weapons.

One year ago: Protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody rocked Minneapolis for a second night, with some people looting stores and setting fires. Protests spread to additional cities; hundreds of people blocked a Los Angeles freeway and shattered windows of California Highway Patrol cruisers. The U.S. surged past a milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, with the confirmed death toll topping 100,000. For the first time, House lawmakers voted by proxy, a move aimed at avoiding the risks of travel to Washington during the pandemic. Boeing said it would cut more than 12,000 U.S. jobs through layoffs and buyouts as it dealt with a downturn in travel caused by the pandemic; at the same time, the company said it was resuming production of the 737 Max jetliner. Playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer died of pneumonia at 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 98. Author John Barth is 91. Actor Lee Meriwether is 86. Musician Ramsey Lewis is 86. Actor Louis Gossett Jr. is 85. R&B singer Raymond Sanders (The Persuasions) is 82. Actor Bruce Weitz is 78. Former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) is 77. Singer Bruce Cockburn (KOH’-burn) is 76. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is 74. Singer-actor Dee Dee Bridgewater is 71. Actor Richard Schiff is 66. Singer Siouxsie Sioux (The Creatures, Siouxsie and the Banshees) is 64. Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (The Finn Brothers) is 63. Actor Peri Gilpin is 60. Actor Cathy Silvers is 60. Comedian Adam Carolla is 57. Actor Todd Bridges is 56. Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains) is 55. Actor Dondré Whitfield is 52. Actor Paul Bettany is 50. Rock singer-musician Brian Desveaux (Nine Days) is 50. Country singer Jace Everett is 49. Actor Jack McBrayer is 48. Rapper Andre 3000 (Outkast) is 46. Rapper Jadakiss is 46. TV chef Jamie Oliver is 46. Alt-country singer-songwriter Shane Nicholson is 45. Actor Ben Feldman is 41. Actor Michael Steger is 41. Actor Darin Brooks is 37. Actor-singer Chris Colfer is 31. Actor Ethan Dampf is 27. Actor Desiree Ross (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 22.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Today is Friday, May 28, the 148th day of 2021. There are 217 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 28, 1977, 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.

On this date:

In 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of freed Blacks, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.

In 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a “state of absolute unpreparedness,” improperly tested safety equipment and an “indifference to danger” as some of the causes of an “unnecessary tragedy.”

In 1918, American troops fought their first major battle during World War I as they launched an offensive against the German-held French village of Cantigny (kahn-tee-NYEE’); the Americans succeeded in capturing the village.

In 1929, the first all-color talking picture, “On with the Show!” produced by Warner Bros., opened in New York.

In 1934, the Dionne quintuplets — Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne — were born to Elzire Dionne at the family farm in Ontario, Canada.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.

In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.

In 1959, the U.S. Army launched Able, a rhesus monkey, and Baker, a squirrel monkey, aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight which both primates survived.

In 1964, the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization was issued at the start of a meeting of the Palestine National Congress in Jerusalem.

In 1972, Edward, the Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the English throne to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, died in Paris at age 77.

In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust (mah-TEE’-uhs rust), a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow’s Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)

In 2003, President George W. Bush signed a 10-year, $350 billion package of tax cuts, saying they already were “adding fuel to an economic recovery.”

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama praised Poland’s transition to democracy following a meeting in Warsaw with President Bronislaw Komorowski (kah-mah-RAWF’-skee). After a four-year blockade, Egypt permanently opened the Gaza Strip’s main gateway to the outside world. North Korea freed Eddie Jun, an American it had held for a half year for reportedly proselytizing.

Five years ago: A 3-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo; he was rescued by a team that shot to death a 400-pound gorilla named Harambe after the rescuers concluded that the boy’s life was at stake, a decision that led to mourning and criticism around the globe. New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot to death by an apartment resident after kicking down the door of what he mistakenly thought was his girlfriend’s flat in Dallas.

One year ago: People torched a Minneapolis police station that the department was forced to abandon amid spreading protests over the death of George Floyd. Protesters in New York defied a coronavirus prohibition on public gatherings, clashing with police; demonstrators blocked traffic and smashed vehicles in downtown Denver before police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. At least seven people were shot as gunfire erupted during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky, to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in March. The government reported that about 2.1 million Americans had lost their jobs in the preceding week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country. Organizers of the Boston Marathon canceled the event for the first time in its 124-year history because of the coronavirus; participants who verified that they ran 26.2 miles on their own would receive their finisher’s medal.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Carroll Baker is 90. Producer-director Irwin Winkler is 90. Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West is 83. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is 77. Singer Gladys Knight is 77. Singer Billy Vera is 77. Singer John Fogerty (Creedance Clearwater Revival) is 76. Country musician Jerry Douglas is 65. Actor Louis Mustillo is 63. Former governor and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., is 61. Actor Brandon Cruz (TV: “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”) is 59. Country singer Phil Vassar is 57. Actor Christa Miller is 57. Singer-musician Chris Ballew (Presidents of the USA) is 56. Rapper Chubb Rock is 53. Singer Kylie Minogue (KY’-lee mihn-OHG’) is 53 Actor Justin Kirk is 52. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is 50. Olympic gold medal figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva is 50. Television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck is 44. R&B singer Jaheim is 44. Actor Jake Johnson is 43. Actor Jesse Bradford is 42. Actor Monica Keena is 42. Actor Alexa Davalos is 39. Actor Megalyn Echikunwoke (eh-cheek-uh-WALK’-ay) is 39. Pop singer Colbie Caillat (kal-LAY’) is 36. Actor Carey Mulligan is 36. Actor Joseph Cross is 35. Chicago Cubs pitcher Craig Kimbrel is 33.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Today is Saturday, May 29, the 149th day of 2021. There are 216 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 29, 2020, fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (He would be convicted in April 2021 on those charges as well as second-degree unintentional murder.)

On this date:

In 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.

In 1914, the Canadian ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec after colliding with the Norwegian cargo ship SS Storstad; of the 1,477 people on board the Empress of Ireland, 1,012 died. (The Storstad sustained only minor damage.)

In 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.

In 1973, Tom Bradley was elected the first Black mayor of Los Angeles, defeating incumbent Sam Yorty.

In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, finishing in 29th place (the winner was A.J. Foyt).

In 1985, 39 people were killed at the European Cup Final in Brussels, Belgium, when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened their historic summit in Moscow.

In 1998, Republican elder statesman Barry Goldwater died in Paradise Valley, Arizona, at age 89.

In 2009, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced music producer Phil Spector to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actor Lana Clarkson. (Spector remained in prison until his death in January 2021.)

In 2014, Starbucks closed thousands of stores for part of the day to hold training sessions for employees on unconscious bias, in response to the arrests of two Black men in Philadelphia at one of its stores.

In 2015, the Obama administration formally removed Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist.

In 2019, in his first public remarks on the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller said charging President Donald Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of federal rules, but he emphasized that the investigation did not exonerate the president.

Ten years ago: A week after Joplin, Missouri, was nearly leveled by the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S. in decades, President Barack Obama visited the city to offer hope to survivors and promises of help. JR Hildebrand was one turn away from winning the Indianapolis 500 when he skidded high into the wall on the final turn and Dan Wheldon drove past to claim the win.

Five years ago: An Army veteran of two Afghanistan tours killed one person and wounded several others during a shooting rampage in west Houston before being gunned down by a SWAT officer. Alexander Rossi won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

One year ago: Thousands of protesters in Minneapolis angered by the death of George Floyd ignored a curfew as unrest again overwhelmed authorities; fires burned unchecked in cars and businesses. In a tweet, President Donald Trump called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and added that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (The tweet was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.”) Protests over Floyd’s death spread to dozens of cities. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some throwing rocks and tugging at barricades; officials later said Secret Service agents rushed Trump to an underground bunker. A federal law enforcement officer, David Underwood, was killed and his partner wounded by gunfire from a vehicle as they provided security at the U.S. courthouse in Oakland, California, during a protest. (An Air Force sergeant, Steven Carillo, is accused in that killing and the shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy days later; he has pleaded not guilty.) Trump announced that the U.S. would end support for the World Health Organization, saying it didn’t respond adequately to the pandemic. Missouri officials said they were trying to notify “mass numbers” of people after someone who attended crowded pool parties Memorial Day weekend at Lake of the Ozarks tested positive for COVID-19. New Zealand said it had all but eradicated the coronavirus, with just one person in the nation of 5 million known to be infected.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent is 83. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser is 82. Actor Helmut Berger is 77. Rock singer Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) is 76. Actor Anthony Geary is 74. Actor Cotter Smith is 72. Singer Rebbie (ree-bee) Jackson is 71. Movie composer Danny Elfman is 68. Singer LaToya Jackson is 65. Actor Ted Levine is 64. Actor Annette Bening is 63. Actor Rupert Everett is 62. Actor Adrian Paul is 62. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 60. Actor Lisa Whelchel is 58. Actor Tracey Bregman is 58. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 54. Actor Anthony Azizi is 52. Rock musician Chan Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 52. Actor Laverne Cox is 49. Rock musician Mark Lee (Third Day) is 48. Cartoonist Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”) is 47. Singer Melanie Brown (Spice Girls) is 46. Latin singer Fonseca is 42. Actor Justin Chon (TV: “Deception”; “Dr. Ken”) is 40. NBA player Carmelo Anthony is 37. Actor Billy Flynn is 36. Actor Blake Foster is 36. Actor Riley Keough is 32. Actor Brandon Mychal Smith is 32. Actor Kristen Alderson is 30. Actor Lorelei Linklater is 28.