TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Friday, May 15, the 136th day of 2020. There are 230 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 15, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, whose members came to be known as WACs. Wartime gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 Eastern states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.

On this date:

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act establishing the Department of Agriculture.

In 1918, U.S. airmail began service between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.

In 1970, just after midnight, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State College in Mississippi, were killed as police opened fire during student protests.

In 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed while campaigning for president in Laurel, Maryland, by Arthur H. Bremer, who served 35 years for attempted murder.

In 2000, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a key provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, saying that rape victims could not sue their attackers in federal court.

One year ago: Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed into law the most stringent abortion legislation in the nation, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. (The law remains blocked by court challenges.) President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, a former newspaper publisher who had written a flattering political biography of Trump. (Black had been convicted of fraud in 2007 and spent more than three years in prison.) California fire officials said an investigation found that power lines owned by Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. had sparked a Northern California blaze that killed 85 people and nearly destroyed the town of Paradise in 2018; it was the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 84. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 84. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is 83. Singer Trini Lopez is 83. Singer Lenny Welch is 82. Actress-singer Lainie Kazan is 78. Actress Gunilla Hutton is 78. Country singer K.T. Oslin is 78. Actor Chazz Palminteri is 74. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is 72. Singer-songwriter Brian Eno is 72. Actor Nicholas Hammond (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 70. Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett is 67. Musician-composer Mike Oldfield is 67. Actor Lee Horsley is 65. TV personality Giselle Fernandez is 59.

Thought for Today: “Martyrdom has always been a proof of the intensity, never of the correctness of a belief.” — Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931).