Today is Thursday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2014. There are 223 days left in the year.
On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, outlined the goals of his “Great Society,” saying that it “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.”
On this date:
In 1761, the first American life insurance policy was issued in Philadelphia to a Rev. Francis Allison, whose premium was six pounds per year.
In 1860, the United States and Japan exchanged ratifications of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce during a ceremony in Washington.
In 1913, the American Cancer Society was founded in New York under its original name, the American Society for the Control of Cancer.
In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.
In 1947, the Truman Doctrine was enacted as Congress appropriated military and economic aid for Greece and Turkey.
In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, killing 1,655 people.
In 1963, Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis was attacked by right-wingers after delivering a speech in Thessaloniki; he died five days later. (The assassination inspired a book as well as the 1969 Costa-Gavras film “Z.”)
In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)
In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon began a visit to the Soviet Union, during which he and Kremlin leaders signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The island nation of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka.
In 1981 “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe was convicted in London of murdering 13 women and was sentenced to life in prison.
In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the last time.
Ten years ago: In Tunisia, Arab leaders convened their annual summit, but the opening session was overshadowed by the walkout of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who criticized peace efforts. Filmmaker Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a scathing commentary on Bush White House actions after the Sept. 11 attacks, won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Samuel C. Johnson Jr., who’d built the family’s S.C. Johnson Wax company into a consumer products giant, died at age 76.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama promised graduating midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy that, as their commander in chief, he would only send them “into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary.” Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Lebanon to reinforce U.S. support for the government ahead of key parliamentary elections.
One year ago: Lois Lerner, an Internal Revenue Service supervisor whose agents had targeted conservative groups, swore to a House committee she did nothing wrong, then refused to answer further questions, citing her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself. Chechen immigrant Ibragim Todashev a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was fatally shot by an FBI agent in Orlando, Florida. In a brutal daylight attack in London, two men with butcher knives hacked to death an off-duty British soldier, Lee Rigby, before police wounded them in a shootout. (The attackers were later sentenced to life in prison.)