Today in History

Today is Monday, May 5, the 125th day of 2014. There are 240 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight

On May 5, 1862, Mexican troops defeated French occupying forces in the Battle of Puebla. (The Cinco de Mayo holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory.)

On this date:

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

In 1891, New York’s Carnegie Hall (then named “Music Hall”) had its official opening night.

In 1914, actor Tyrone Power was born in Cincinnati.

In 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. (Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.)

In 1934, the first Three Stooges short for Columbia Pictures, “Woman Haters,” was released.

In 1942, wartime sugar rationing began in the United States.

In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state. The baseball musical “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway.

In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

In 1964, the Granada TV documentary “Seven Up!,” which profiled a group of 7-year-old British children, first aired on Britain’s ITV network. (The subjects were revisited every seven years in sequels called “7 Plus Seven,” “21 Up,” “28 Up,” etc., the latest one to date being “56 Up.”)

In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, the first of its Triple Crown victories.

In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food.

In 1994, Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Bill Clinton, who considered the punishment too harsh.

Ten years ago: Seeking to calm international outrage, President George W. Bush acknowledged mistakes but stopped short of an apology as he condemned the abuse and deaths of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers during appearances on two Arabic-language TV networks. (Bush did offer an apology the following day.) Picasso’s 1905 painting “Boy with a Pipe” sold for $104 million at Sotheby’s in New York, breaking the record at that time for an auctioned painting.

Five years ago: Connie Culp, America’s first face transplant recipient, appeared before reporters at the Cleveland Clinic. (Culp underwent the procedure after being shot by her husband in a failed murder-suicide attempt.) Texas health officials confirmed the first death of a U.S. resident with swine flu.

One year ago: In Afghanistan, seven Americans and one German soldier were killed in three separate attacks. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping mall, received the 2013 Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. LeBron James of the Miami Heat was the overwhelming choice as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Brett Rumford won the China Open by four strokes to become the first Australian in 41 years to win consecutive European Tour titles.

Associated Press

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