Today is Friday, May 11, the 132nd day of 2012. There are 234 days left in the year.
On May 11, 1862, during the Civil War, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled by its crew off Craney Island, Va., to prevent it from falling into Union hands.
On this date:
In 1812, British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons by John Bellingham, who was hanged a week later.
In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1937, “SPAM” was registered as a trademark by Hormel Foods, producer of the canned meat product.
In 1946, the first CARE packages arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France.
In 1950, President Harry Truman formally dedicated the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.
In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1973, charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the “Pentagon Papers” case were dismissed by Judge William Byrne, who cited government misconduct.
In 1981, legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats” opened in London.
In 1987, doctors in Baltimore transplanted the heart and lungs of an auto accident victim to a patient who gave up his own heart to another recipient. (Clinton House, the nation’s first living heart donor, died 14 months later.)
In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.