Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, May 10, the 131st day of 2016. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 10, 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)

On this date:

In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, New York.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia, a complication resulting from being hit by friendly fire eight days earlier during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its submerged navigation of the globe.

In 1977, actress Joan Crawford died in New York.

In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua’s ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue).

In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 1996, two Marine helicopters collided in the dark and crashed in a swamp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during a U.S.-British training exercise, killing 14 people. The tornado thriller “Twister,” starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, was released by Warner Bros.

Ten years ago: Daniel Biechele (BEEK’-lee), a former rock-band manager whose pyrotechnics caused a 2003 Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people, was sentenced to four years in prison. (Biechele was paroled in March 2008.) Former New York Times executive editor A.M. Rosenthal died at age 84. British movie director Val Guest died in Palm Desert, California, at age 94.

Five years ago: The bulging Mississippi River rolled into the Mississippi Delta after cresting before daybreak at Memphis, Tennessee, causing widespread damage. In a one-two punch against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, NATO war planes struck a command center in Tripoli and pounded targets around the besieged port of Misrata. Burt Reinhardt, one of CNN’s first presidents, died in Marietta, Georgia, at age 91.

One year ago: Cuban President Raul Castro met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for U.S.-Cuba detente and said he was so impressed by the pontiff, he was considering returning to the Catholic church. In the first round of Poland’s presidential elections, Andrzej Duda narrowly edged out incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski; since neither candidate polled more than 50 percent, a runoff was held two weeks later (Duda won).

Today’s Birthdays: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 83. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 78. Actor David Clennon is 73. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 72. Singer Donovan is 70. Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 70. Singer Dave Mason is 70. Actor Mike Hagerty is 62. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 61. Actor Bruce Penhall is 59. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 58. Actress Victoria Rowell is 57. Rock singer Bono (BAH’-noh) (U2) is 56. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 55. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 53. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 53. Model Linda Evangelista is 51. Rapper Young MC is 49. Actor Erik Palladino is 48. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 48. Actor Lenny Venito is 47. Actor Dallas Roberts is 46. Actress Leslie Stefanson is 45. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 44. Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 44. Actress Andrea Anders is 41. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 41. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 39. Actor Kenan Thompson is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 36. Rock musician Joey Zehr (The Click Five) is 33. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 31. Actress Odette Annable is 31. Actress Lindsey Shaw is 27. Actress Lauren Potter is 26. Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 21.

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