Valdosta Daily Times

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May 15, 2012

Today in History for Tuesday, May 15, 2012

--- — Highlight in History

On May 15, 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed by Arthur H. Bremer while campaigning in Laurel, Md., for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Wallace died in 1998; Bremer was released from prison in November 2007 after serving 35 years of a 53-year sentence for attempted murder.)

On this date

In 1776, Virginia endorsed American independence from Britain.

In 1911, the Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil Co. was a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and ordered its breakup.

In 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).

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 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of the Project Mercury space program.

In 1970, just after midnight, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State College in Mississippi, were killed as police opened fire during student protests.

In 1975, U.S. forces invaded the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and recaptured the American merchant ship Mayaguez. (All 40 crew members had already been released safely by Cambodia; some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in the operation.)

Ten years ago

The White House acknowledged that in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush was told by U.S. intelligence that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network might hijack American airplanes, but that officials did not know suicide hijackers were plotting to use planes as missiles. Financier Martin Frankel pleaded guilty in New Haven, Conn., to 24 counts of securities fraud and racketeering, admitting that he’d looted insurance companies of more than $200 million.

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