Today is Monday, May 9, the 129th day of 2011. There are 236 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 9, 1961, in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decried the majority of television programming as a "vast wasteland" of "game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons."
On this date:
In 1754, a cartoon in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette showed a snake cut in pieces, with each part representing an American colony; the caption read, "JOIN, or DIE."
In 1883, Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset was born in Madrid.
In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia.
In 1945, U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.
In 1951, the U.S. conducted its first thermonuclear experiment as part of Operation Greenhouse by detonating a 225-kiloton device on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific nicknamed "George."
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
In 1978, the bullet-riddled body of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, who'd been abducted by the Red Brigades, was found in an automobile in the center of Rome.
In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.
In 1987, 183 people were killed when a New York-bound Polish jetliner crashed while attempting an emergency return to Warsaw.
In 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president.
Ten years ago: China sought U.S. understanding for its refusal to allow a damaged U.S. Navy spy plane to fly home, saying its public would be outraged if the aircraft flew again over Chinese territory. A stampede at a soccer match in Ghana killed at least 123 people.
Five years ago: Freed by rescuers drilling round-the-clock by hand, two men walked out of an Australian mine where they had been trapped for two weeks by an earthquake. (The joy over the survival of Brant Webb and Todd Russell was tempered by the loss of Larry Knight, who died in the same rock collapse.)
One year ago: Lena Horne, 92, the enchanting jazz singer known for her signature song, "Stormy Weather," and for her triumph over bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, died in New York. Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history, leading the Oakland Athletics in a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Today's Birthdays: CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace is 93. Actress Geraldine McEwan is 79. Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 77. Rock musician Nokie Edwards (The Ventures) is 76. Actor Albert Finney is 75. Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 75. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 74. Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 74. Singer Tommy Roe is 69. Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 67. Actress Candice Bergen is 65. Pop singer Clint Holmes is 65. Actor Anthony Higgins is 64. Singer Billy Joel is 62. Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 62. Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 61. Actress Alley Mills is 60. Actress Amy Hill is 58. Actress Wendy Crewson is 55. Actor John Corbett is 50. Singer Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) is 49. Actress Sonja Sohn is 47. Rapper Ghostface Killah is 41. Country musician Mike Myerson (Heartland) is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamia (tuh-MEE'-ah) is 36. Rock musician Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish) is 34. Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 32. Actress Rosario Dawson is 32. Actress Rachel Boston is 29. TV personality Audrina Patridge is 26.
Thought for Today: "Television has changed the American child from an irresistible force into an immovable object." _ Laurence J. Peter, Canadian-born educator (1919-1990).
(Above Advance for Use Monday, May 9)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.