Today in History

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Posted: May 13, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Friday, May 13, the 133rd day of 2011. There are 232 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca (MEH'-met AH'-lee AH'-juh).

On this date:

In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).

In 1846, the United States declared that a state of war already existed with Mexico.

In 1861, Britain's Queen Victoria declared her country's neutrality in the American Civil War, but also acknowledged that the Confederacy had belligerent rights.

In 1917, three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamps, featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, were issued to the public. (On a few of the stamps, the biplane was inadvertently printed upside-down, making them collector's items.)

In 1940, Britain's new prime minister, Winston Churchill, told Parliament: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were spat upon and their limousine battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1961, actor Gary Cooper died in Los Angeles six days after turning 60.

In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group's row house; 11 people died in the resulting fire that destroyed 61 homes.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated federal appeals Judge Stephen G. Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

Ten years ago: Moderate Basque nationalists won a key election in Spain's semiautonomous Basque region. The center-right won Italy's parliamentary elections, setting the stage for the return to power of media magnate Silvio Berlusconi (behr-loos-KOH'-nee). Actor-playwright Jason Miller ("That Championship Season") died in Scranton, Pa., at age 62.

Five years ago: Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton helped Tulane University celebrate its "miracle" commencement, nine months after Hurricane Katrina put two-thirds of the campus under water and scattered students to more than 600 schools nationwide.

One year ago: Three Pakistani men who authorities say supplied funds to Times Square car bomb suspect Faisal Shahzad (FY'-sul shah-ZAHD') were arrested in a series of raids in New England. President Barack Obama met with police officers who responded to the attempted car-bombing, greeting them at the New York Police Department's high-tech Real Time Crime Center.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Buck Taylor is 73. Actor Harvey Keitel is 72. Author Charles Baxter is 64. Actor Franklyn Ajaye is 62. Actress Zoe Wanamaker is 62. Singer Stevie Wonder is 61. Former NBA All-Star Dennis Rodman is 50. Actor-comedian Stephen Colbert (kohl-BEHR') is 47. Rock musician John Richardson (The Gin Blossoms) is 47. Actor Tom Verica is 47. Country singer Lari White is 46. Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 45. Actress Susan Floyd is 43. Contemporary Christian musician Andy Williams (Casting Crowns) is 39. Actress Samantha Morton is 34. Rock musician Mickey Madden (Maroon 5) is 32. Actor Robert Pattinson is 25. Actor Hunter Parrish is 24.

Thought for Today: "The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have." _ Ring Lardner, American humorist (1885-1933).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, May 13)

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