Today in History

  • Associated Press
  • Monday, May 13, 2013 1:50pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, May 14, the 134th day of 2013. There are 231 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History: On May 14, 1973, the United States launched Skylab 1, its first manned space station. (Skylab 1 remained in orbit for six years before burning up during re-entry in 1979.)

On this date:

In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 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 1863, Union forces defeated the Confederates in the Battle of Jackson, Miss.

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

In 1913, the Rockefeller Foundation was founded in New York.

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 1973, the National Right to Life Committee was incorporated.

In 1988, 27 people, mostly teens, were killed when their church bus collided with a pickup truck going the wrong direction on a highway near Carrollton, Ky. (Truck driver Larry Mahoney served 9½ years in prison for manslaughter.)

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: More than 100 immigrants were abandoned in a locked trailer at a Texas truck stop; 19 of them died. (Truck driver Tyrone Williams was later sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for his role in the deaths; of the 13 others indicted in the case, two had charges against them dismissed, one who cooperated with prosecutors was sentenced to the three days in jail and the others were given sentences ranging from 14 months to 23 years.) In Chechnya, a female suicide bomber killed 18 people in an apparent attempt on the life of the Moscow-backed chief administrator (Akhmad Kadyrov). Death claimed actress Dame Wendy Hiller at age 90; actor Robert Stack at age 84; and Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dave DeBusschere at age 62.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush opened a celebratory visit to Israel, which was marking the 60th anniversary of its birth. John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination during a surprise appearance at a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice. Justine Henin, 25, became the first woman to retire from tennis while atop the WTA rankings.

One year ago: President Barack Obama sought to tarnish Republican Mitt Romney as a corporate titan who got rich by cutting rather than creating jobs; Romney’s campaign responded that the former Massachusetts governor alone had helped spur more public and private jobs than Obama did for the nation.

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