Today in History

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Posted: May 12, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Thursday, May 12, the 132nd day of 2011. There are 233 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 12, 1937, Britain's King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.

On this date:

In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, S.C., surrendered to British forces.

In 1870, an act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba was given royal assent, to take effect in July.

In 1930, Chicago's Adler Planetarium first opened to the public.

In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, N.J.

In 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.

In 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.

In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD for short).

In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.

In 1978, the Commerce Department said hurricanes would no longer be given only female names.

In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope's longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)

Ten years ago: Singer Perry Como died in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Fla., at age 88.

Five years ago: Tony Snow made his debut as White House press secretary. A ruptured gas pipeline in southwestern Nigeria exploded as villagers were collecting fuel, killing up to 200 people. South Korean prosecutors indicted disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk on charges of fraud, embezzlement and bioethics violations linked to faked stem cell research. (Hwang was convicted in 2009 for embezzling research funds and illegally buying human eggs; he received a suspended prison term.)

One year ago: An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A330-200 jetliner plunged into the Libyan desert less than a mile from the runway in Tripoli after a flight from Johannesburg; a 9-year-old Dutch boy was the sole survivor of the crash that killed 103 people. An attacker hacked seven children and two adults to death in a rampage at a kindergarten in northwest China before taking his own life. Republicans chose Tampa, Fla., as the site of their 2012 presidential convention. Kelly Kulick, the first woman to win a PBA Tour title when she beat the men in the Tournament of Champions, won the U.S. Women's Open for her second women's major victory in 15 days.

Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra is 86. Critic John Simon is 86. Composer Burt Bacharach is 83. Actress Millie Perkins is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jayotis Washington is 70. Country singer Billy Swan is 69. Actress Linda Dano is 68. Musician Ian McLagan is 66. Actress Lindsay Crouse is 63. Singer-musician Steve Winwood is 63. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 61. Actor Bruce Boxleitner is 61. Singer Billy Squier is 61. Country singer Kix Brooks is 56. Actress Kim Greist is 53. Rock musician Eric Singer (KISS) is 53. Actor Ving Rhames is 52. Rock musician Billy Duffy is 50. Actor Emilio Estevez is 49. Actress April Grace is 49. Actress Vanessa A. Williams ("Melrose Place") is 48. Country musician Eddie Kilgallon is 46. Actor Stephen Baldwin is 45. Actor Scott Schwartz is 43. Actress Kim Fields is 42. Actress Samantha Mathis is 41. Actress Jamie Luner is 40. Actor Christian Campbell is 39. Actor Mackenzie Astin is 38. Actress Malin (MAH'-lin) Akerman is 33. Actor Jason Biggs is 33. Actress Emily VanCamp is 25. Actor Malcolm David Kelley is 19. Actors Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten ("Everybody Loves Raymond") are 16.

Thought for Today: "Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around." _ Katharine Hepburn, American actress (born this date in 1907, died 2003).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, May 12)

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