Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

May 20, 2013

Today in History for Monday, May 20, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

On this date

In 1712, the original version of Alexander Pope’s satirical mock-heroic poem “The Rape of the Lock” was published anonymously in Lintot’s Miscellany.

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which was intended to encourage settlements west of the Mississippi River by making federal land available for farming.

In 1902, the United States ended a three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas Estrada Palma.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)

In 1939, regular trans-Atlantic mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Marseille, France.

In 1942, during World War II, the Office of Civilian Defense was established.

In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenship restored after renouncing it during World War II.

In 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.

In 1969, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, referred to as “Hamburger Hill” by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

In 1970, some 100,000 people demonstrated in New York’s Wall Street district in support of U.S. policy in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In 1988, Laurie Dann, 30, walked into a Winnetka, Ill., elementary school classroom, where she shot to death 8-year-old Nicholas Corwin and wounded several other children. After wounding a young man at his home, Dann took her own life.

In 1993, an estimated 93 million people tuned in for the final first-run episode of the sitcom “Cheers” on NBC.

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