Today is Thursday, May 10, the 131st day of 2012. There are 235 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
On this date:
In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in the Virginia Colony, where, as deputy governor, he instituted harsh measures to restore order.
In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.
In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.
In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.
In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide.)
In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its submerged navigation of the globe.
In 1977, actress Joan Crawford, 72, died in New York.
In 1981, Socialist Francois Mitterrand defeated incumbent Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the second round of France's presidential election.
In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office to become South Africa's first black president.
Ten years ago: A tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip. Cuban activists delivered more than 11,000 signatures to the National Assembly demanding a referendum on broad changes in the socialist system, an unprecedented challenge to Fidel Castro's 43-year rule. Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen was sentenced by a federal judge to life in prison without parole for spying for Moscow. NBA owners approved the Hornets' move to New Orleans, ending the team's 14-year era in Charlotte.
Five years ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he would step down June 27. (Blair was succeeded by Gordon Brown.) The Democratic-controlled House, by a vote of 255-171, defeated legislation to require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within nine months. A federal jury in Santa Ana, Calif., convicted Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak of conspiring to export U.S. defense technology to China. (Mak was later sentenced to 24 1/2 years in federal prison.)
One year ago: The bulging Mississippi River rolled into the Mississippi Delta after cresting before daybreak at Memphis, Tenn., causing widespread damage. In a one-two punch against Moammar Gadhafi's forces, NATO war planes struck a command center in Tripoli and pounded targets around the besieged port of Misrata. Burt Reinhardt, one of CNN's first presidents, died in Marietta, Ga., at age 91.
Today's Birthdays: Author Bel Kaufman ("Up the Down Staircase") is 101. Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 82. Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 74. TV-radio personality Gary Owens is 73. Actor David Clennon is 69. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 68. Singer Donovan is 66. Singer Dave Mason is 66. Actor Bruce Penhall is 55. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 54. Actress Victoria Rowell is 53. Rock singer Bono (BAH'-noh) (U2) is 52. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 51. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 49. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 49. Model Linda Evangelista is 47. Rapper Young MC is 45. Actor Erik Palladino is 44. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 44. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 40. Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 40. Actress Andrea Anders is 37. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 37. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 35. Actor Kenan Thompson is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 32. Rock musician Joey Zehr (The Click Five) is 29. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 27. Actress Odette Annable (TV: "House, M.D.") is 27. Actress Lauren Potter (TV: "Glee") is 22.
Thought for Today: "Nothing recedes like success." _ Walter Winchell, American columnist and broadcaster (1897-1972).
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, May 10)
(Comments, questions and suggestions can be emailed to history(at)ap.org)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.