TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, May 20, the 140th day of 2021. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 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.

On this date:

In 1506, explorer Christopher Columbus died in Spain.

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which was intended to encourage settlements west of the Mississippi River by making federal land available for farming.

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 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenships restored after choosing to renounce them during World War II.

In 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.

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.

In 2015, four of the world’s biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup’s banking unit Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland — agreed to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 91. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 85. Singer-actor Cher is 75. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 73. Actor Dean Butler is 65. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 63. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 63. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 62. Singer Susan Cowsill is 62. TV personality Ted Allen is 56. Actor Mindy Cohn is 55. Former race car driver Tony Stewart is 50. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 49.