Highlight in History
On May 5, 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.
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 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.