Today in History – FRIDAY May 12, 2023
Today is the 132nd day of 2023. There are 233 days left in the year.
By the Associated Press
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 12, 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.
On this date:
In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered to British forces.
In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, New Jersey.
In 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration were established to provide help for the needy and farmers.
In 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. The two- week Trident Conference, headed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opened in Washington.
In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).
In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.
In 1975, the White House announced the new Cambodian government had seized an American merchant ship, the Mayaguez, in international waters. (U.S. Marines gained control of the ship three days after its seizure, not knowing the 39 civilian members of the crew had already been released by Cambodia.)
In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope’s longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault. )
In 1986, the military action-drama film “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis and released by Paramount Pictures, had its world premiere in New York.
In 2008, a devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in China’s Sichuan province left more than 87,000 people dead or missing.
In 2009, five Miami men were convicted in a plot to blow up FBI buildings and Chicago’s Sears Tower; one man was acquitted. Suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk) was deported from the United States to Germany. (On this date in 2011, Demjanjuk, who maintained his innocence, would be convicted by a German court of being an accessory to the murder of tens of thousands of Jews; he died in March 2012 at age 91.)
In 2011, CEOs of the five largest oil companies went before the Senate Finance Committee, where Democrats challenged the executives to justify tax breaks at a time when people were paying $4 a gallon for gas.
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