Today in History - MAY 1st

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    Today in History - MAY 1st
    Today is Monday, May 1, the 121st day of 2006. There are 244 days left in the year.

    Today's Highlight in History
    On May 1, 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the command "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

    On this date:
    In 1786, Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.

    In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition was officially opened in Chicago by President Cleveland.

    In 1931, New York's 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated.

    In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler committed suicide, it was announced that Admiral Karl Doenitz had succeeded Hitler as leader of the Third Reich.

    In 1948, the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was proclaimed.

    In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

    In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas. (They divorced in 1973.)

    In 1971, Amtrak _ which combined and streamlined the operations of intercity passenger railroads _ went into service.

    In 1978, Ernest Morial was inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans.

    In 1981, Sen. Harrison A. Williams Jr., D-N.J., was convicted in New York of charges related to the FBI's ABSCAM probe.

    Ten years ago: PLO leader Yasser Arafat received a statesman's welcome at the White House, where he met with President Clinton for 45 minutes, then lashed out at Israel for keeping its borders closed to Palestinian workers.

    Five years ago: President Bush committed the United States to building a shield against ballistic missile attack. FBI Director Louis Freeh announced his retirement. Thomas Blanton Jr. became the second ex-Ku Klux Klansman to be convicted in the 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Ala., that claimed the lives of four black girls.

    One year ago: On what was to have been her wedding day, "runaway bride" Jennifer Wilbanks was led by Albuquerque, N.M., police to an airplane that flew her home to Georgia. A car bombing at a Kurdish official's funeral in Tal Afar, Iraq, killed some two dozen people and wounded more than 50. Chinese computer maker Lenovo completed its purchase of IBM's personal computer division.

    Today's Birthdays
    Actor Glenn Ford is 90. Former astronaut Scott Carpenter is 81. Country singer Sonny James is 77. Singer Judy Collins is 67. Actor Stephen Macht is 64. Singer Rita Coolidge is 61. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 57. Actor Dann Florek is 55. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 52. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 46. Actress Maia Morgenstern ("The Passion of the Christ") is 44. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 41. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 40. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 40. Country singer Tim McGraw is 39. Rock musician D'Arcy is 38. Movie director Wes Anderson is 37. Country singer Cory Morrow is 34. Actor Darius McCrary is 30.

    Thought for Today
    "If a man will begin in certainties he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin in doubts he shall end in certainties." -- Francis Bacon, English philosopher (1561-1626).


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