Valdosta Daily Times

May 21, 2013

Today in History for Tuesday, May 21, 2013


The Associated Press

-- — Highlight in History

On May 21, 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, about 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland.

On this date

In 1471, King Henry VI of England died in the Tower of London at age 49.

In 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.

In 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was officially organized.

In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

In 1892, the opera “Pagliacci,” by Ruggero Leoncavallo, premiered in Milan, Italy.

In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 33 1/2 hours.

In 1941, a German U-boat sank the American merchant steamship SS Robin Moor in the South Atlantic after the ship’s passengers and crew were allowed to board lifeboats.

In 1956, the United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1959, the musical “Gypsy,” inspired by the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway with Ethel Merman starring as Mama Rose.

In 1972, Michelangelo’s Pieta, on display at the Vatican, was damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ.

In 1982, during the Falklands War, British amphibious forces landed on the beach at San Carlos Bay.

In 1998, teen gunman Kip Kinkel opened fire inside Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., killing two students, a day after he’d killed his parents. (Kinkel was sentenced to nearly 112 years in prison.) In the wake of deadly protests, Indonesia President Suharto stepped down after 32 years in power.



Ten years ago

Christie Whitman resigned as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. The most devastating earthquake to hit Algeria in two decades killed at least 2,200 people. Ruben Studdard edged Clay Aiken to win the second “American Idol” competition on Fox.



Five years ago

Oil prices blew past $130 a barrel and gas prices climbed above $3.80 a gallon. Israel and Syria unexpectedly announced the resumption of peace talks after an eight-year break. David Cook won “American Idol” in a landslide over David Archuleta.



One year ago

President Barack Obama and other world leaders meeting in Chicago locked in place an Afghanistan exit path that would keep their troops fighting there for two more years. Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi (dah-ROON’ RAH’-vee), who’d used a webcam to spy on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who then committed suicide, was sentenced to 30 days in jail (he served 20). A Yemeni man detonated a bomb during a rehearsal for a military parade, killing 96 fellow soldiers; al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen claimed responsibility. Grammy-winning polka great Eddie Blazonczyk, 70, died in Palos Heights, Ill.