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May 12, 2013

Today in History for Sunday, May 12, 2013

-- — Highlights in History

On May 12, 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. The two-week Trident Conference, headed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opened in Washington.

On this date

In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, S.C., surrendered to British forces.

In 1870, an act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba was given royal assent, to take effect in July.

In 1922, a 20-ton meteor crashed near Blackstone, Va.

In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, N.J.

In 1937, Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.

In 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.

In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).

Ten years ago

Suicide bombers attacked foreigners’ housing compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing 25 victims. A suicide truck-bomb attack killed at least 60 at a government compound in northern Chechnya. L. Paul Bremer, the new American civilian administrator of Iraq, arrived in Baghdad; coalition forces announced they had taken custody of Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha, the Iraqi scientist known as “Dr. Germ.” (Taha was later released after no charges were brought.) The Texas House ground to a standstill after 51 Democratic lawmakers left the state in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan. (The Democrats returned four days later from Oklahoma, having succeeded in killing the bill.)

Five years ago

A devastating earthquake in China’s Sichuan province killed some 70,000 people. Nearly 400 workers were arrested in an immigration raid at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. Irena Sendler, credited with saving some 2,500 Jewish children from the Holocaust, died in Warsaw, Poland, at age 98. Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg died on Captiva Island, Fla, at age 82. Indians second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera turned the 14th unassisted triple play in major league history during the second game of a doubleheader against Toronto. NBC announced that Jimmy Fallon would succeed Conan O’Brien as host of “Late Night.”

One year ago

At least 100,000 Spaniards angered by grim economic prospects and the handling of the international financial crisis turned out for street demonstrations, marking the one-year anniversary of a spontaneous movement that inspired similar protests elsewhere.

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