Today is Wednesday, May 15, the 135th day of 2019. There are 230 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight: On May 15, 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight operated by Boeing Air Transport, a forerunner of United Airlines.
On this date:
In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, married her third husband, James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, who had been implicated in (but acquitted of) the death of Mary’s second husband, Lord Darnley.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act establishing the Department of Agriculture.
In 1918, U.S. airmail began service between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
In 1940, DuPont began selling its nylon stockings nationally. The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in San Bernardino, California, by Richard and Maurice McDonald.
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, whose members came to be known as WACs. Wartime gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 Eastern states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.
In 1948, hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
In 1963, Weight Watchers was incorporated in New York.
In 1968, two days of tornado outbreaks began in 10 Midwestern and Southern states; twisters were blamed for 72 deaths, including 45 in Arkansas and 18 in Iowa.
In 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed while campaigning for president in Laurel, Maryland, by Arthur H. Bremer, who served 35 years for attempted murder.
In 1975, U.S. forces invaded the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and captured the American merchant ship Mayaguez, which had been seized by the Khmer Rouge. (All 39 crew members had already been released safely by Cambodia; some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in connection with the operation.)
In 1988, the Soviet Union began the process of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, more than eight years after Soviet forces entered the country.
In 2008, California’s Supreme Court declared same-sex couples in the state could marry — a victory for the gay rights movement that was overturned the following November by the passage of Proposition 8, which was ultimately struck down by the courts.
Ten years ago: General Motors told about 1,100 dealers their franchises would be terminated. CIA Director Leon Panetta defended the agency against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s charge that she was misled in 2002 about the use of waterboarding on detainees. Pope Benedict XVI ended his Mideast visit at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama dedicated the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum deep beneath ground zero, calling it a symbol that says of America: “Nothing can ever break us.”
One year ago: Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games for violating baseball’s drug agreement, becoming one of the most prominent players disciplined under the sport’s anti-doping rules.
Today’s birthdays: Actress-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 83. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 83. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is 82. Singer Trini Lopez is 82. Singer Lenny Welch is 81. Actress-singer Lainie Kazan is 77. Actress Gunilla Hutton is 77. Country singer K.T. Oslin is 77. Actor Chazz Palminteri is 73. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is 71. Singer-songwriter Brian Eno is 71. Actor Nicholas Hammond (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 69. Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett is 66. Musician-composer Mike Oldfield is 66. Actor Lee Horsley is 64. TV personality Giselle Fernandez is 58. Rapper Grandmaster Melle Mel is 58. Actress Brenda Bakke is 56. Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith is 50. Actor Brad Rowe is 49. Actor David Charvet is 47. Actor Russell Hornsby is 45. Rock musician Ahmet Zappa is 45. Olympic gold medal gymnast Amy Chow is 41. Actor David Krumholtz is 41. Rock musician David Hartley (The War on Drugs) is 39. Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler is 38. Actress Alexandra Breckenridge is 37. Rock musician Brad Shultz (Cage the Elephant) is 37. Rock musician Nick Perri is 35. Tennis player Andy Murray is 32.
Thought for today: “Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes.” — Emily Dickinson, American poet (born 1830, died this date in 1886).
— Associated Press