Today in History

  • Thu May 17th, 2012 4:50pm
  • Life

Today is Sunday, May 20, the 141st day of 2012. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 1712, the first version of Alexander Pope’s satirical mock-heroic poem “The Rape of the Lock” was published anonymously in Lintot’s Miscellany. (Pope later revised and expanded the poem.)

On this date:

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which was intended to encourage settlements west of the Mississippi River by making federal land available for farming.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)

In 1942, during World War II, the Office of Civilian Defense was established.

In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenship restored after renouncing it during World War II.

In 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.

In 1969, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, referred to as “Hamburger Hill” by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

In 1985, the FBI arrested John A. Walker Jr., who was later convicted of heading a spy ring for the Soviet Union.

Today’s Birthdays

Actor-author James McEachin is 82. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 76. Actor David Proval is 70. Singer Joe Cocker is 68. Singer-actress Cher is 66. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 63. Rock musician Warren Cann is 60. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 58. Actor Dean Butler is 56. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 54. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 54. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 53. Singer Susan Cowsill is 53. Actor John Billingsley is 52. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 52. Singer Nick Heyward is 51. TV personality Ted Allen is 47. Actress Mindy Cohn is 46. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 44. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 40.

Thought for Today

“A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.” — Honore de Balzac (1799-1850).

Associated Press