Today in History

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Posted: May 22, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2011. There are 223 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 22, 1861, in what's generally regarded as the first Union combat fatality of the Civil War, Pvt. Thornsbury Bailey Brown was shot and killed by a Confederate soldier at Fetterman Bridge in present-day West Virginia.

On this date:

In 1761, the first American life insurance policy was issued in Philadelphia to a Rev. Francis Allison, whose premium was six pounds per year.

In 1860, the United States and Japan exchanged ratifications of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce during a ceremony in Washington.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appeared before Congress to explain his decision to veto a bill that would have allowed World War I veterans to cash in bonus certificates before their 1945 due date.

In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a "Pact of Steel" committing the two countries to a military alliance.

In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.

In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest on record, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon's surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon began a visit to the Soviet Union, during which he and Kremlin leaders signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka.

In 1981 "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe was convicted in London of murdering 13 women and was sentenced to life in prison.

Ten years ago: Ford Motor Co. said it planned to spend more than $2 billion to replace up to 13 million Firestone tires on its vehicles because of safety concerns.

Five years ago: The Department of Veterans Affairs said personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a VA employee after he took the information home without authorization. Seven-year-old Braxton Bilbrey of Arizona swam from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco in 47 minutes.

One year ago: Addressing graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, President Barack Obama said the U.S. had to shape a world order as reliant on diplomacy as on the might of its military to lead, a repudiation of the go-it-alone approach forged by his predecessor, George W. Bush. An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 crashed after overshooting a runway at Mangalore International Airport, killing all but eight of the 166 people aboard. Jordan Romero, at age 13, became the youngest climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

Today's Birthdays: Movie reviewer Judith Crist is 89. Singer Charles Aznavour is 87. Actor Michael Constantine is 84. Conductor Peter Nero is 77. Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 73. Actor Frank Converse is 73. Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw is 71. Actress Barbara Parkins is 69. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 61. Actor-producer Al Corley is 55. Singer Morrissey is 52. Actress Ann Cusack is 50. Country musician Dana Williams (Diamond Rio) is 50. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela is 49. Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence is 47. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Johnny Gill (New Edition) is 45. Rock musician Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) is 44. Actress Brooke Smith is 44. Model Naomi Campbell is 41. Actress Anna Belknap is 39. Actress Alison Eastwood is 39. Singer Donell Jones is 38. Actor Sean Gunn is 37. Actress A.J. Langer is 37. Actress Ginnifer Goodwin is 33. Actress Maggie Q is 32. Olympic gold-medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is 29.

Thought for Today: "We have all, at one time or another, been performers, and many of us still are _ politicians, playboys, cardinals and kings." _ Laurence Olivier, British actor (born this date in 1907, died in 1989).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, May 22)

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