Today in History


Today is Tuesday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2023. There are 243 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 2, 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.

On this date:

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Virginia; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell, upheld 8-1 a Virginia law allowing the forced sterilization of people to promote the “health of the patient and the welfare of society.”

In 1932, Jack Benny’s first radio show, sponsored by Canada Dry, made its debut on the NBC Blue Network.

In 1941, General Mills began shipping its new cereal, “Cheerioats,” to six test markets. (The cereal was later renamed “Cheerios.”)

In 1970, jockey Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby; she finished in 15th place aboard Fathom. (The winning horse was Dust Commander.)

In 1972, a fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

In 1997, Tony Blair, whose new Labour Party crushed John Major’s long-reigning Conservatives in a national election, became at age 43 Britain’s youngest prime minister in 185 years.

In 2005, Pfc. Lynndie England, the young woman pictured in some of the most notorious Abu Ghraib photos, pleaded guilty at Fort Hood, Texas, to mistreating prisoners. (A judge later threw out the plea agreement; England was then convicted in a court-martial and received a three-year sentence, of which she served half.)

In 2010, record rains and flash floods in Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee caused more than 30 deaths and submerged the Grand Ole Opry House stage.

In 2011, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who’d been killed hours earlier in a raid by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, was buried at sea.

In 2018, the Boy Scouts of America announced that the group’s flagship program would undergo a name change; after being known simply as the Boy Scouts for 108 years, the program would now be called Scouts BSA. (The change came as girls were about to enter the ranks.)

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Mexico City on his first trip to Latin America since winning re-election. Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen shot a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the China Open, while 12-year-old Ye Wocheng opened with a 79 at Binhai Lake; at 12 years, 242 days, Ye became the youngest player in European Tour history, breaking Guan Tianlang’s mark of 13 years, 177 days. Jeff Hanneman, 49, a founding member of heavy metal bank Slayer, died in Hemet, California.

Five years ago: Attorney Rudy Giuliani said President Donald Trump had reimbursed his personal lawyer for $130,000 in hush money paid to a porn actress days before the 2016 presidential election, comments that appeared to contradict Trump’s past claims that he didn’t know the source of the money. Two black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education; they settled separately with the city for a symbolic $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

One year ago: A draft was leaked of a Supreme Court ruling throwing out the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling that had stood for a half century. The court cautioned that the draft was not final. (The decision would be released in essentially the same form on June 24.) Russia resumed pulverizing a Mariupol steel mill that had become the last stronghold of resistance in the bombed-out Ukrainian city, after a brief cease-fire allowed the first evacuation of civilians from the plant by the International Red Cross. Those managing to escape the city described terrifying weeks of bombardment and deprivation. A fired Philadelphia police officer was charged with murder in the shooting of a fleeing 12-year-old boy, who prosecutors said was on the ground and unarmed when the officer fired the fatal shot.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 87. Actor-activist Bianca Jagger is 78. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 78. Actor David Suchet (SOO’-shay) is 77. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 75. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 73. Actor Christine Baranski is 71. Singer Angela Bofill is 69. Fashion designer Donatella Versace is 68. Actor Brian Tochi is 64. Movie director Stephen Daldry is 63. Actor Elizabeth Berridge is 61. Country singer Ty Herndon is 61. Actor Mitzi Kapture is 61. Commentator Mika Brzezinski is 56. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is 55. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 54. Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is 51. Former soccer player David Beckham is 48. Rock singer Jeff Gutt (goot) (Stone Temple Pilots) is 47. Actor Jenna Von Oy is 46. Actor Kumail Nanjiani is 45. Actor Ellie Kemper is 43. Actor Robert Buckley is 42. Actor Gaius (GY’-ehs) Charles is 40. Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper is 38. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 38. Actor Thomas McDonell is 37. Actor Kay Panabaker is 33. NBA All-Star Paul George is 33. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is 8.

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