On May 26, 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors. (The initial blast was blamed on leaking catapult fluid ignited by the flames of a jet.)
On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther was banned by the Edict of Worms because of his religious beliefs and writings.
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the Montana Territory.
In 1868, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal on the remaining charges.
In 1913, Actors’ Equity Association was organized by a group of actors at the Pabst Grand Circle Hotel in New York.
In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was established by Congress.
In 1940, the evacuation of more than 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.
In 1942, the U.S. War Department formally established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). The Tule Lake Segregation Center for Japanese-American wartime internees opened in northern California.
In 1960, U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge accused the Soviets of hiding a microphone inside a wood carving of the Great Seal of the United States that had been presented to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
In 1969, the Apollo 10 astronauts returned to Earth after a successful eight-day dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing.
In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow. (The U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. (The marriage, however, ended in 1996.)
Ten years ago: Nearly a decade after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the attack. (Nichols later received 161 consecutive life sentences.) Fantasia Barrino was crowned the winner of “American Idol” in the Fox TV talent contest.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. California’s Supreme Court upheld the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that had taken place before the prohibition passed were still valid.
One year ago: President Barack Obama visited tornado-devastated Moore, Oklahoma, consoling people staggered by the loss of life and property and promising that the government will be behind them “every step of the way.” A Nigerian tugboat carrying 12 crew members capsized and sank in about 100 feet of water; a sole survivor (Harrison Odjegba Okene) was miraculously rescued three days later. Tony Kanaan won the Indianapolis 500. Ten fans were injured during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway when a nylon rope supporting a FOX Sports overhead television camera fell from the grandstands onto the track surface. The lesbian romance “Blue is the Warmest Color: The Life of Adele” won the Palme d’Or at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.
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