Today in History 5/14/20

Published 2:17 pm Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Today is Thursday, May 14, the 135th day of 2020. There are 231 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 14, 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II.
On this date:
In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter.
In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory as well as the Pacific Northwest left camp near present-day Hartford, Ill.
In 1863, Union forces defeated the Confederates in the Battle of Jackson, Miss.
In 1948, according to the current-era calendar, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv by David Ben-Gurion, who became its first prime minister; U.S. President Harry S. Truman immediately recognized the new nation.
In 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. (The Pact was dissolved in 1991.)
In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Ala.
In 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney held a news conference in New York to announce the creation of the Beatles’ latest business venture, Apple Corps.
In 1998, singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82. The hit sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.
In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana for medical purposes.
In 2003, more than 100 immigrants were abandoned in a locked trailer at a Texas truck stop; 19 of them died. (Truck driver Tyrone Williams was later sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for his role in the deaths; of the 13 others indicted in the case, two had charges against them dismissed, one who cooperated with prosecutors was sentenced to three days in jail and the others were given sentences ranging from 14 months to 23 years.)
In 2008, the Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice. Justine Henin, 25, became the first woman to retire from tennis while atop the WTA rankings.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama heatedly condemned what he called a “ridiculous spectacle” of oil executives shifting blame for the BP oil spill in congressional hearings and denounced a “cozy relationship” between their companies and the federal government. Space shuttle Atlantis thundered away on what turned out to be its next-to-last voyage into orbit. NBC canceled the long-running police/courtroom drama “Law & Order” after 20 seasons on the air.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, at a Camp David summit, assured Arab allies they were safe from the threat of an empowered Iran, pledging an “ironclad commitment” to the Sunni governments of the Persian Gulf. B.B. King, 89, the “King of the Blues,” died in Las Vegas. Award-winning poet Franz Wright, 62, died in Waltham, Mass.
One year ago: Former Rep. Anthony Weiner left a New York City halfway house after completing his prison sentence for illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl. Comedy actor Tim Conway, winner of four Emmy Awards on “The Carol Burnett Show” after earlier starring aboard “McHale’s Navy,” died in Los Angeles; he was 85. The New Orleans Pelicans bucked long odds to win the NBA draft lottery, giving the team the right to draft former Duke star Zion Williamson. Montana gov. Steve Bullock announced that he was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. (He would end his campaign in December, becoming the third Western governor to fail to gain momentum.)
Today’s Birthdays: Photo-realist artist Richard Estes is 88. Actress Dame Sian Phillips is 87. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is 78. Movie producer George Lucas is 76. Guitarist Gene Cornish is 76. Actress Meg Foster is 72. Movie director Robert Zemeckis is 69. Rock singer David Byrne is 68. Actor Tim Roth is 59. Rock singer Ian Astbury (The Cult) is 58. Rock musician C.C. (aka Cecil) DeVille is 58. Actor Danny Huston is 58. Rock musician Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) is 54. Fabrice Morvan (ex-Milli Vanilli) is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raphael Saadiq is 54. Actress Cate Blanchett is 51. Singer Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 51. Movie writer-director Sofia Coppola is 49. Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is 48. Actor Gabriel Mann is 48. Singer Natalie Appleton (All Saints) is 47. Singer Shanice is 47. Actress Carla Jimenez is 46. Rock musician Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 42. Alt-country musician-singer Ketch Secor is 42. Rock singer-musician Dan Auerbach is 41. Rock musician Mike Retondo (Plain White T’s) is 39. Actress Amber Tamblyn is 37. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is 36. Actress Lina Esco is 35. Retired NFL player Rob Gronkowski is 31. Actress Miranda Cosgrove is 27.
Thought for Today: “Silence cannot hide anything — which is more than you can say for words.” — From the play “The Ghost Sonata” by Swedish author-playwright August Strindberg (born 1849, died this date in 1912).

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