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May 6, 2014

Today in History for Tuesday, May 6, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On May 6, 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

On this date

In 1863, the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia ended with a Confederate victory over Union forces.

In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.

In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.

In 1942, during World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to Japanese forces.

In 1962, in the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.

Ten years ago

President George W. Bush apologized for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, calling it “a stain on our country’s honor”; he rejected calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. The FBI arrested Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield as part of the investigation into the Madrid train bombings; however, the bureau later said Mayfield’s arrest had been a mistake, and apologized. The final first-run episode of “Friends” aired on NBC, drawing an average 52.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Five years ago

After a day of meetings at the White House, President Barack Obama declared he’d gotten the commitments he wanted from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to more aggressively fight Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill making Maine the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage (however, the law was later overturned by a public vote).

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