Today in History

  • Thursday, May 15, 2014 1:49pm
  • Life

Today is Friday, May 16, the 136th day of 2014. There are 229 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented. “Wings” won “best production,” while Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress.

On this date:

In 1763, the English lexicographer, author and wit Samuel Johnson first met his future biographer, James Boswell.

In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.

In 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the 11 articles of impeachment against him.

In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

In 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.

In 1943, the nearly month-long Warsaw Ghetto Uprising came to an end as German forces crushed the Jewish resistance and blew up the Great Synagogue.

In 1948, CBS News correspondent George Polk, who’d been covering the Greek civil war between communist and nationalist forces, was found slain in Salonika Harbor.

In 1953, Associated Press correspondent William N. Oatis was released by communist authorities in Czechoslovakia, where he’d been imprisoned for two years after being forced to confess to espionage while working as the AP’s Prague bureau chief.

In 1961, Park Chung-hee seized power in South Korea in a military coup.

In 1974, former U.S. Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst pleaded guilty to failing to testify fully at his Senate confirmation hearing about an investigation of International Telephone &Telegraph Corp.; he was fined $100 and given a suspended 30-day sentence.

In 1984, comedian Andy Kaufman died in Los Angeles at 35.

In 1989, during his visit to Beijing, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, formally ending a 30-year rift between the two Communist powers.

Ten years ago: The Bush administration announced a new initiative to speed up the approval process for new combination AIDS drugs designed to bring cheap, easy-to-use treatment to millions of people in Africa and the Caribbean. Pope John Paul II named six new saints, including Gianna Beretta Molla, revered by abortion foes because she’d refused to end her pregnancy despite warnings it could kill her. (Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician, died in 1962 at 39, a week after giving birth to her fourth child.)

Five years ago: The ruling Congress party swept to a resounding victory in India’s mammoth national elections. Rachel Alexandra became the first filly to win the Preakness Stakes since 1924, holding off a late charge by Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird to capture the middle jewel of the Triple Crown by a length.

One year ago: President Barack Obama named a temporary chief for the scandal-marred Internal Revenue Service and pressed Congress to approve new security money to prevent another Benghazi-style terrorist attack. Candice Glover won the 12th season of “American Idol” on Fox.

Associated Press

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