Today in History

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Posted: May 19, 2012 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, May 19, the 140th day of 2012. There are 226 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 19, 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe sang a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" to guest-of-honor President John F. Kennedy during a star-studded Democratic fundraiser at New York's Madison Square Garden (the third of four arenas to bear that name).

On this date:

In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.

In 1909, the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets), under the direction of Sergei Diaghilev, debuted in Paris.

In 1921, Congress passed, and President Warren G. Harding signed, the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, also known as "Lawrence of Arabia," died in Dorset, England, six days after being injured in a motorcycle crash.

In 1943, in an address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country's full support in the fight against Japan.

In 1964, the State Department disclosed that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the U.S. embassy in Moscow.

In 1967, the Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the United States and Britain banning nuclear and other weapons from outer space as well as celestial bodies such as the moon. (The treaty entered into force in October 1967.)

In 1971, poet Ogden Nash, known for his humorous light verses, died in Baltimore at age 68.

In 1981, five British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army landmine in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

In 1992, in a case that drew much notoriety, Mary Jo Buttafuoco of Massapequa, N.Y., was shot and seriously wounded by her husband Joey's teenage lover, Amy Fisher. Vice President Dan Quayle sparked controversy by criticizing the CBS sitcom "Murphy Brown" for having its title character, played by Candice Bergen, decide to have a child out of wedlock.

In 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at age 64.

Ten years ago: Boston Cardinal Bernard Law said in a letter distributed to parishes that he did not become aware until 1993 of sexual abuse allegations against the Rev. Paul Shanley. (Immediately afterward, Law said Shanley's authorization to serve as a priest was rescinded.) Walter Lord, author of "A Night To Remember," a minute-by-minute retelling of the Titanic disaster, died in New York at age 84.

Five years ago: Group of Eight financial officials wrapped up two days of talks in Germany by calling for more aid, increased debt relief and responsible lending to Africa. Curlin nipped Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense to win the Preakness Stakes.

One year ago: President Barack Obama for the first time endorsed the Palestinians' demand that their eventual state be based on borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, a position that put him sharply at odds with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Former Irish Prime Minister Garret FitzGerald, 85, died in Dublin. Katie Couric, the first regular solo anchorwoman of a network evening newscast, signed off the "CBS Evening News" for the last time after five years.

Today's Birthdays: PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer is 78. TV personality David Hartman is 77. Actor James Fox is 73. Actress Nancy Kwan is 73. Author-director Nora Ephron is 71. Actor Peter Mayhew is 68. Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend (The Who) is 67. Concert pianist David Helfgott is 65. Rock singer-musician Dusty Hill (ZZ Top) is 63. Singer-actress Grace Jones is 60. Rock musician Phil Rudd (AC-DC) is 58. Actor Steven Ford is 56. Rock musician Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) is 50. Actor Jason Gray-Stanford is 42. Rock singer Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 40. Actor Drew Fuller is 32. Christian rock musician Tim McTague is 29. Actor Eric Lloyd is 26.

Thought for Today: "Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole that is called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And perhaps there is no need to do so, either." _ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, May 19)

(Comments, questions and suggestions can be emailed to history(at)ap.org)

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