Today in History

  • Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:45pm
  • Life

Today is Friday, May 24, the 144th day of 2013. There are 221 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, was dedicated by President Chester Alan Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland.

On this date:

In 1775, John Hancock was elected president of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph.

In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message “What hath God wrought” from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America’s first telegraph line.

In 1918, Bela Bartok’s one-act opera “Bluebeard’s Castle” had its premiere in Budapest.

In 1935, the first major league baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.

In 1937, in a set of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935.

In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North Atlantic, killing all but three of the 1,418 men on board.

In 1959, former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles died in Washington, D.C. at age 71.

In 1961, a group of Freedom Riders was arrested after arriving at a bus terminal in Jackson, Miss., charged with breaching the peace for entering white-designated areas. (They ended up serving 60 days in jail.)

In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.

In 1976, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde supersonic transport service to Washington.

In 1980, Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.

In 2001, 23 people were killed when the floor of a Jerusalem wedding hall collapsed beneath dancing guests, sending them plunging several stories into the basement.

Ten years ago: Furious crowds hurled debris and insults at Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika when he visited a town devastated by a deadly earthquake. The U.S.-led coalition ordered Iraqis to give up their weapons by mid-June. British actress Rachel Kempson, matriarch of the Redgrave acting dynasty, died in Millbrook, N.Y., four days short of her 93rd birthday.

Five years ago: British actor Rob Knox, 18, who had completed filming a minor role in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” was stabbed to death during a brawl in London. (His attacker, Karl Bishop, was later sentenced to life in prison.) Comedy performer and director Dick Martin of TV’s “Laugh-In” fame died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 86.

One year ago: President Barack Obama doubled down on criticism of rival Mitt Romney’s background as a venture capitalist, telling a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds there might be value in such experience but “not in the White House.” Brian Banks, a former high school football star whose dreams of a pro career were shattered by what turned out to be a false rape accusation, burst into tears as a judge in Long Beach, Calif., threw out the charge that had sent Banks to prison for more than five years.

Associated Press

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