Today in History

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Associated Press

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Today is Friday, May 9, the 129th day of 2014. There are 236 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

On this date:

In 1754, a political cartoon in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette depicted a snake cut into eight pieces, each section representing a part of the American colonies; the caption read, "JOIN, or DIE."

In 1814, the Jane Austen novel "Mansfield Park" was first published in London.

In 1864, Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick was killed by a Confederate sniper during the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia.

In 1914, country music star Hank Snow was born in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada.

In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly became the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd's recently discovered flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)

In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia.

In 1945, U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1951, the U.S. conducted its first thermonuclear experiment as part of Operation Greenhouse by detonating a 225-kiloton device on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific nicknamed "George."

In 1961, in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decried the majority of television programming as a "vast wasteland."

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. (The committee ended up adopting three articles of impeachment against the president, who resigned before the full House took up any of them.)

In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.

In 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president.

Ten years ago: A bomb planted by Caucasus rebels destroyed the VIP section at a stadium during a Victory Day celebration in the Chechen capital of Grozny, killing some two dozen people, including the province's president, Akhmad Kadyrov (kuh-DEE'-ruhv). Canada rallied to beat Sweden for the second straight year in the gold-medal game at the world hockey championships, 5-3. Comedian Alan King died in New York at age 76.

Five years ago: The top religious adviser to Jordan's king thanked visiting Pope Benedict XVI for expressing regret after a 2006 speech that many Muslims deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. Pakistani warplanes pounded the Taliban-held Swat Valley in what the country's prime minister called a "war of the country's survival."

One year ago: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Washington with his frequent criticism of U.S. military operations in his country, said his government was ready to let U.S. have nine bases across Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most foreign forces in 2014. A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America's Cup races, killing English Olympic gold medalist Andrew "Bart" Simpson. Malcolm Shabazz, 29, grandson of civil rights activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City of blunt trauma injuries sustained in a bar dispute.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Geraldine McEwan is 82. Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 80. Rock musician Nokie Edwards (The Ventures) is 79. Actor Albert Finney is 78. Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 78. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 77. Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 77. Singer Tommy Roe is 72. Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 70. Actress Candice Bergen is 68. Pop singer Clint Holmes is 68. Actor Anthony Higgins is 67. Singer Billy Joel is 65. Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 65. Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 64. Actress Alley Mills is 63. Actress Amy Hill is 61. Actress Wendy Crewson is 58. Actor John Corbett is 53. Singer Dave Gahan (GAHN) (Depeche Mode) is 52. Actress Sonja Sohn is 50. Rapper Ghostface Killah is 44. Country musician Mike Myerson (Heartland) is 43. Actor Chris Diamantopoulos (dy-uh-MAN'-toh-POO'-lehs) is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamia (tuh-MEE'-ah) is 39. Rock musician Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish) is 37. Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 35. Actress Rosario Dawson is 35. Rock singer Andrew W.K. is 35. Actress Rachel Boston is 32. TV personality Audrina Patridge is 29.

Thought for Today: "A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch." — From "Mansfield Park" by Jane Austen (1775-1817).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, May 9)

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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