Today in history

Today is Monday, May 13, the 133rd day of 2019. There are 232 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

Today’s highlight:

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.

On this date:

In 1568, forces loyal to Mary, Queen of Scots were defeated by troops under her half-brother and Regent of Scotland, the Earl of Moray, in the Battle of Langside, thwarting Mary’s attempt to regain power almost a year after she was forced to abdicate.

In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).

In 1917, three shepherd children reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary near Fatima, Portugal; it was the first of six such apparitions that the children claimed to have witnessed.

In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamp, costing 24 cents and featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, was publicly issued. (On some of the stamps, the “Jenny” was printed upside-down, making them collector’s items.)

In 1940, in his first speech as British prime minister, Winston Churchill told Parliament, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were spat upon and their limousine battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1972, 118 people died after fire broke out at the Sennichi Department Store in Osaka, Japan.

In 1973, in tennis’ first so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1 in Ramona, California. (Billie Jean King soundly defeated Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in September.)

In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group’s row house, igniting a fire that killed 11 people and destroyed 61 homes.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated federal appeals Judge Stephen G. Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Harry A. Blackmun; Breyer went on to win Senate confirmation.

In 2002, President George W. Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty to shrink their countries’ nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited the Abu Ghraib prison camp in Iraq, where he insisted the Pentagon did not try to cover up abuses there. During a campaign swing in West Virginia, President George W. Bush said he felt “disgraced” by the images of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners but told his listeners that actions of a handful of Americans should not sully the nation’s military.

Ten years ago: A judge in West Palm Beach sentenced two men to death for the drug-debt slaying of a family of four on the side of a Florida highway, including two young boys who died in their mother’s arms. Atlantis’ astronauts captured the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope for five days of repair work. Pittsburgh’s Adam LaRoche and Florida’s Ross Gload became the first baseball players to have home runs taken away following a video replay review.

Five years ago: A mine fire in Soma, Turkey, killed 301 workers. A European court, in an important test of the “right to be forgotten,” ruled that Google had to amend some of its search results at the request of ordinary people when they showed links to outdated, irrelevant information.

One year ago: President Donald Trump said he would help the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE get “back into business”; the Commerce Department had earlier moved to block the company from importing American components. Officials in Hawaii called for more evacuations near the Kilauea volcano amid signs of an imminent eruption at the volcano’s summit. (The eruption came four days later.) The body of 69-year-old “Superman” actress Margot Kidder was found by a friend near her Montana home in what was later ruled a suicide from a drug and alcohol overdose.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Buck Taylor is 81. Actor Harvey Keitel is 80. Author Charles Baxter is 72. Actress Zoe Wanamaker is 71. Actor Franklyn Ajaye is 70. Singer Stevie Wonder is 69. Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich is 67. Actress Leslie Winston is 63. Producer-writer Alan Ball is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is 58. “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert is 55. Rock musician John Richardson (The Gin Blossoms) is 55. Actor Tom Verica is 55. Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 53. Actress Susan Floyd is 51. Contemporary Christian musician Andy Williams (Casting Crowns) is 47. Actor Brian Geraghty is 44. Actress Samantha Morton is 42. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is 42. Former NBA player Mike Bibby is 41. Rock musician Mickey Madden (Maroon 5) is 40. Actor Iwan Rheon is 34. Actress-writer-director Lena Dunham is 33. Actor Robert Pattinson is 33. Actress Candice Accola King is 32. Actor Hunter Parrish is 32. Folk-rock musician Wylie Gelber (Dawes) is 31. NHL defenseman P.K. Subban is 31. Actress Debby Ryan is 26.

Thought for today: “What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar.” — Thomas R. Marshall, U.S. vice president (1854-1925). (To which American humorist Franklin P. Adams replied, “What this country really needs is a good five-cent nickel.”)

— Associated Press

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