Today in history

  • Fri May 25th, 2012 4:26pm
  • Life

Today is Saturday, May 26, the 147th day of 2012. There are 219 days left in the year.

Today’s highlights:

On May 26, 1942, the U.S. War Department formally established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) during World War II as a way of boosting morale among American troops overseas. That same day, Radio Tokyo boasted of recent victories in the Pacific War and declared that “the Japanese people can look forward to a triumphal march into London and a victory march in New York.” The Tule Lake Segregation Center, which held Japanese-American wartime internees, opened in northern California.

On this date:

In 1521, Martin Luther was banned by the Edict of Worms (vohrms) because of his religious beliefs and writings.

In 1868, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal on the remaining charges.

In 1913, Actors’ Equity Association was organized 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 1941, the American Flag House, where Betsy Ross once lived, was donated to the city of Philadelphia.

In 1952, representatives of the United States, Britain, France and West Germany signed the Bonn Convention granting conditional sovereignty to, and ending the Allied occupation of, West Germany.

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 1992, Charles Geschke, president and chief operating officer of Adobe Systems Inc., was kidnapped in the company’s parking lot in Mountain View, Calif., and held for ransom. (Geschke was rescued four days later; his kidnappers were arrested.)

Ten years ago: Fourteen people were killed when barges being pushed by a towboat crashed into the piers of the Interstate 40 bridge in Oklahoma, causing part of the structure to fall into the Arkansas River. President George W. Bush visited Paris, where he met with French President Jacques Chirac. Alvaro Uribe was elected Colombia’s president. Helio Castroneves won his second straight Indianapolis 500 despite a protest filed by Paul Tracy. Roman Polanski’s film “The Pianist” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Five years ago: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and American commander Gen. David Petraeus flew to Iraq’s blistering western desert in a rare joint outing to highlight gains there in the fight against insurgents.

One year ago: Congress passed a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers contained in the Patriot Act to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists; President Barack Obama, in France, signed the measure using an autopen machine minutes before the provisions were set to expire at midnight. Astronauts Mike Fincke and Gregory Chamitoff made history as the final spacewalkers of NASA’s 30-year shuttle program, completing construction of the International Space Station with the smooth addition of an extension pole. Ratko Mladic, the brutal Bosnian Serb general suspected of leading the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, was arrested after a 16-year manhunt.

Associated Press