Today in History

  • Sun May 13th, 2012 9:05pm
  • Life

Today is Monday, May 14, the 135th day of 2012. There are 231 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On May 14, 1912, the first movie inspired by the Titanic disaster was released just a month after the British liner sank. “Saved From the Titanic,” a one-reel drama produced by the Eclair Film Co. of Fort Lee, N.J., starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who had been an actual passenger on the doomed ship; she wore for the movie the same outfit she was wearing when rescued. (“Saved From the Titanic” is considered lost, the only known copies having been destroyed in a fire in 1914.)

On this date:

In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age four upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter.

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory as well as the Pacific Northwest left camp near present-day Hartford, Ill.

In 1811, Paraguay achieved independence from Spain with the bloodless overthrow of the country’s royal governor.

In 1900, the Olympic games opened in Paris, held as part of the 1900 World’s Fair.

In 1942, Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” was first performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

In 1948, according to the current-era calendar, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv.

In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Ala.

In 1962, the Anthony Burgess novel “A Clockwork Orange,” set in a dystopian future England, was first published by Heinemann of London. Prince Juan Carlos, the future king of Spain, married Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark in Athens.

In 1973, the United States launched Skylab 1, its first manned space station.

In 1987, actress Rita Hayworth died in New York at age 68.

In 1998, singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82. The hit sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.

Ten years ago: NATO and Russia reached a historic agreement in Reykjavik, Iceland, to combat common security threats in the post-Sept. 11 era. Former President Jimmy Carter addressed Cuba in an unprecedented hour of live, uncensored television, telling Cubans that their country did not meet international standards of democracy.

Five years ago: DaimlerChrysler said it was selling almost all of Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management for $7.4 billion, backing out of a troubled 1998 takeover. The trial of suspected al-Qaida operative Jose Padilla opened in Miami. (Padilla and two co-defendants were convicted of terrorism conspiracy and material support after a three-month trial; Padilla was sentenced to 17 years in prison.)

One year ago: At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and potential candidate for president of France, was removed from a Paris-bound plane and charged with sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo. (Strauss-Kahn later resigned; the charges against him were eventually dropped.)

Associated Press