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May 16, 2012

Today in History for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

-- — Today is Wednesday, May 16, the 137th day of 2012. There are 229 days left in the year.

Highlight in History

On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.

On this date

In 1763, the English lexicographer, author and wit Samuel Johnson first met his future biographer, James Boswell.

In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.

In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.”

In 1910, the U.S Bureau of Mines was established. (It ceased operations in 1996, its functions having been transferred to other agencies.)

In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

In 1929, the first Academy Awards were presented. The movie “Wings” won “best production,” while Emil Jannings (YAHN’-ings) and Janet Gaynor were named best actor and best actress.

In 1939, the government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, N.Y.

In 1948, CBS News correspondent George Polk, who’d been covering the Greek civil war between Communist and nationalist forces, was found slain in Solonica Harbor.

In 1955, American author and critic James Agee died in New York at age 45.

In 1961, Park Chung-hee seized power in South Korea in a military coup.

In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

In 1992, the space  shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage with a safe landing in the California desert.

Ten years ago

Congressional Democrats demanded to be told what President George W. Bush knew about terrorist threats before Sept. 11 as the White House and its GOP allies defended the president for not disclosing intelligence that Osama bin Laden wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes. The remains of kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl were unearthed in Pakistan.

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