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The Times
  • Today in History: Saturday, May 5

  • Today is Saturday, May 5, the 126th day of 2012. There are 240 days left in the year.



    Today’s Highlight in History

    On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Freedom 7, a Mercury capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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  • Today is Saturday, May 5, the 126th day of 2012. There are 240 days left in the year.
    Today’s Highlight in History
    On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Freedom 7, a Mercury capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
    On this date
    In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.
    In 1862, Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.
    In 1891, New York’s Carnegie Hall (then named “Music Hall”) had its official opening night.
    In 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. (Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.)
    In 1936, the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, fell to Italian invaders.
    In 1941, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa after the Italians were driven out with the help of Allied forces.
    In 1942, during World War II, Japanese forces landed on the Philippine island of Corregidor.
    In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state. The baseball musical “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway.
    In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a law raising the minimum wage to $1.15 an hour, then to $1.25 an hour, for currently covered workers.
    In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food.
    In 2001, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to visit Syria, where President Bashar Assad asked him to take the Arabs’ side in their dispute with Israel, referring to what Assad described as Jewish persecution of Jesus Christ. Monarchos won the Kentucky Derby.
    In 2006, a military transport helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing all 10 U.S. soldiers on board.
    In 2010, preliminary plans for a mosque and cultural center near ground zero in New York were unveiled, setting off a national debate over whether the project was disrespectful to 9/11 victims and whether opposition to it exposed anti-Muslim biases.
    Today’s Birthdays
    Actress Pat Carroll is 85.
    Former AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney is 72.
    Saxophonist Ace Cannon is 78.
    Country singer-musician Roni Stoneman is 74.
    Actor Michael Murphy is 74.
    Actor Lance Henriksen is 72.
    Comedian-actor Michael Palin is 69.
    Actor John Rhys-Davies is 68.
    Actor Roger Rees is 68.
    Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 67.
    Rock musician Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) is 64.
    Page 2 of 2 - Actor Richard E. Grant is 55.
    Broadcast journalist-turned-FBI spokesman John Miller is 54.
    Rock singer Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 53.
    NBC News anchor Brian Williams is 53.
    Rock musician Shawn Drover (Megadeth) is 46.
    TV personality Kyan Douglas is 42.
    Actress Tina Yothers is 39.
    Actor Vincent Kartheiser is 33.
    Singer Craig David is 31.
    Actress Danielle Fishel is 31.
    Actor Henry Cavill is 29.
    Soul singer Adele is 24.
    Rock singer Skye Sweetnam is 24.
    Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris Brown is 23.
    Thought for Today
    “It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” — Alan B. Shepard Jr., American astronaut (1923-1998).

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