Today in History

AP News
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Posted: May 15, 2015 12:00 AM

Today is Friday, May 15, the 135th day of 2015. There are 230 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 15, 1975, U.S. forces invaded the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and captured the American merchant ship Mayaguez, which had been seized by the Khmer Rouge. (All 39 crew members had already been released safely by Cambodia; some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in connection with the operation.)

On this date:

In 1776, Virginia endorsed American independence from Britain.

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act establishing the Department of Agriculture.

In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil Co. was a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and ordered its breakup.

In 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight operated by Boeing Air Transport (a forerunner of United Airlines).

In 1940, DuPont began selling its nylon stockings nationally. The original McDonald's restaurant was opened in San Bernardino, California, by Richard and Maurice McDonald.

In 1955, the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France signed the Austrian State Treaty, which re-established Austria's independence.

In 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of the Project Mercury space program.

In 1970, just after midnight, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State College in Mississippi, were killed as police opened fire during student protests.

In 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed by Arthur H. Bremer while campaigning for president in Laurel, Maryland. (Bremer served 35 years for attempted murder.)

In 1988, the Soviet Union began the process of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, more than eight years after Soviet forces had entered the country.

In 1991, Edith Cresson was appointed by French President Francois Mitterrand (frahn-SWAH' mee-teh-RAHN') to be France's first female prime minister.

In 2000, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a key provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, saying that rape victims could not sue their attackers in federal court.

Ten years ago: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a surprise visit to Iraq to express support for its new government. The Czech Republic denied Canada its third straight title and won the world ice hockey championship 3-0 in Vienna, Austria. The movie "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Five years ago: Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old Australian who'd spent seven months at sea in her pink yacht, became the youngest person to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted as she arrived in Sydney. Lookin at Lucky, ridden by new jockey Martin Garcia, won the Preakness.

One year ago: President Barack Obama dedicated the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum deep beneath ground zero, calling it a symbol that says of America: "Nothing can ever break us."

Today's Birthdays: Playwright Sir Peter Shaffer is 89. Actress-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 79. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 79. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is 78. Singer Trini Lopez is 78. Singer Lenny Welch is 77. Actress-singer Lainie Kazan is 73. Actress Gunilla Hutton is 73. Country singer K.T. Oslin is 73. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is 67. Singer-songwriter Brian Eno is 67. Actor Nicholas Hammond (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 65. Actor Chazz Palminteri is 63. Baseball Hall-of-Famer George Brett is 62. Musician-composer Mike Oldfield is 62. Actor Lee Horsley is 60. TV personality Giselle Fernandez is 54. Actress Brenda Bakke is 52. Football Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith is 46. Singer-rapper Prince Be (PM Dawn) is 45. Actor Brad Rowe is 45. Actor David Charvet (shahr-VAY') is 43. Actor Russell Hornsby is 41. Rock musician Ahmet Zappa is 41. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Amy Chow is 37. Actor David Krumholtz is 37. Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler is 34. Actress Alexandra Breckenridge (TV: "The Walking Dead") is 33. Rock musician Brad Shultz (Cage the Elephant) is 33. Rock musician Nick Perri is 31. Tennis player Andy Murray is 28.

Thought for Today: "Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes." — Emily Dickinson, American poet (born 1830, died this date in 1886).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, May 15)

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