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May 5, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, May 5, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Freedom 7, a Mercury capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.



Ten years ago

Searchers using dogs and heavy equipment went from one crumbled home to another after tornado-packed storms flattened communities in four Midwestern states. In Colombia, a botched rescue attempt resulted in the deaths of a state governor, former defense minister and eight other hostages being held by rebels; three hostages survived. Walter Sisulu, the quiet giant of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle for five decades, died in Johannesburg at age 90.

Five years ago

Three men were arrested and beaten by Philadelphia police officers after a vehicle chase in a scene videotaped by a TV news helicopter. (The three men were later acquitted of attempted murder and all other charges stemming from a shooting that led to their arrests; four of the 18 police officers at the scene were fired and a number of others were disciplined.) Irvine Robbins, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 90.

One year ago

In what his aides described as his first political rally of the election year, President Barack Obama, in Columbus, Ohio, tore into Mitt Romney as a willing and eager “rubber stamp” for failed policies.  Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation’s 50 nuclear reactors. I’ll Have Another caught Bodemeister down the stretch and pulled away in the final furlong to win the Kentucky Derby.

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