TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Wednesday, May 20, the 141st day of 2020. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.

On this date:

In 1506, explorer Christopher Columbus died in Spain.

In 1873, Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent for men’s work pants made with copper rivets.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)

In 1939, regular trans-Atlantic mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, New York, bound for Marseille, France.

In 1956, the United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton announced that the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House would be permanently closed to motor vehicles as a security measure.

In 2009, suspended NFL star Michael Vick was released after 19 months in prison for running a dogfighting ring to begin two months’ home confinement.

One year ago: Nuclear officials in Iran said the country had quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran’s atomic program. A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody in Texas, becoming the sixth child in the past year to die after U.S. border agents detained them; an autopsy found that Carlos Hernandez Vasquez had died of complications of the flu.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 90. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 84. Actor David Proval is 78. Singer-actress Cher is 74. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 72. Rock musician Warren Cann is 70. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is 69. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 66. Delaware Gov. John Carney is 64. Actor Dean Butler is 64. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 62. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 62. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 61. Singer Susan Cowsill is 61. Actor John Billingsley is 60.

Thought for Today: “A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.” — Honore de Balzac, French author (born this date in 1799, died in 1850).