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2003–A series of tornado outbreaks begin in the United States and Canada that last until May 11, 2003. Ultimately, 401 tornadoes and 1,587 large, damaging hailstorms would be reported throughout 19 American states and one Canadian province. It would become the most severe week of weather in U.S. history.



612–Byzantine Emperor, Constantine III, is born Heraclius Novus Constantinus.

752–Mayan King Bird Jaguar IV of Yaxchilan (present-day Chiapas, Mexico) assumes the throne.

1152–Matilda of Boulogne, Queen of England, dies of a fever at Hedingham Castle, Essex, England, at age 47.

1270–Béla IV of Hungary dies in Rabbits' Island (present-day Margaret Island, Budapest), at age 63.

1415–Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, is born at Raby Castle, Durham, England. She was the mother of two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III.

1446–Margaret of York is born at Fotheringhay Castle, Oundle, Northamptonshire, England. She was a daughter of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, and the sister of two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III.

1469–Statesman, Niccolo Machiavelli, is born Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli in Florence, Republic of Florence. He was a historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is heralded as one of the founders of modern political science and political ethics. "Machiavellianism" is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in his literary masterpiece The Prince. The book itself gained enormous notoriety and wide readership because most people assumed he was teaching and endorsing evil and immoral behavior. The term "Machiavellian" is associated with deceit, deviousness, ambition, and brutality.

1481–The largest of three earthquakes strikes the island of Rhodes and causes an estimated 30,000 casualties.

1481–Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed the Conqueror, dies of poisoning in Hunkarcayiri, near Gebze, Kocaeli Province, Turkey, at age 49.

1491–Kongo monarch, Nkuwu Nzinga, is baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of Joao I.

1494–Christopher Columbus first sights land that will be called Jamaica.

1632–Nurse and Saint, Catherine of St. Augustine, is born Catherine de Simon de Longpré in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Province of Normandy, Kingdom of France. She founded the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec.

1715–A total solar eclipse is visible across northern Europe and northern Asia, as predicted by Edmond Halley to within four minutes accuracy.

1758–Pope Benedict XIV (1740-1758), dies of gout in Rome, Papal States, at age 83.

1764–Princess Élisabeth of France is born Élisabeth Philippine Marie Hélène de France at the Palace of Versailles in France. She was the youngest sibling of King Louis XVI.

1791–The Constitution of Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed.

1802–Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.

1826–Charles XV of Sweden is born Carl Ludvig Eugen at Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden.

1830–The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened in the county of Kent, England. It's the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

1837–The University of Athens is founded in Athens, Greece.

1849–Journalist and reformer, Jacob Riis, is born in Ribe, Denmark. He came to America looking for work as a carpenter, then started working as a reporter. Within a few years, he bought the struggling South Brooklyn News and transformed it into a profitable reform journal. At The New York Tribune, he exposed the terrible conditions of the slums. He was one of the first photo-journalists, taking pictures of slum life, which he published in a book How the Other Half Lives.

1850–Old West outlaw, Johnny Ringo, is born John Peters Ringo in Greensfork, Indiana. He was a known associate of the loosely federated group of outlaw Cochise County Cowboys in frontier Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona Territory.

1851–Most of San Francisco, California, is destroyed by fire.

1855–American adventurer, William Walker, departs from San Francisco, Californis, with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.

1860–Charles XV of Sweden-Norway is crowned King of Sweden.

1867–The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.

1870–Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein is born Victoria Louise Sophia Augusta Amelia Helena at Frogmore House, Windsor, England. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

1877–Labatt Park baseball stadium, near the forks of the Thames River in central London, Ontario, Canada, has its first game. It is the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world.

1889–Character actress, Beulah Bondi, is born Beulah Bondy in Valparaiso, Indiana. She appeared in the films It’s a Wonderful Life, The Gorgeous Hussy, Of Human Hearts, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Our Town, The Snake Pit, A Summer Place, and Tammy Tell Me True.

1898–Golda Mier, fourth Israeli Prime Minister (1969-1974), is born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev, the Ukraine. Israel's first woman (and the world's fourth woman) to hold such an office, she has been described as the "Iron Lady" of Israeli politics. She was often portrayed as the "strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people."

1900–The 26th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Boland, riding Lieut Gibson, wins in 2:06.

1901–The Great Fire of 1901 begins to burn in Jacksonville, Florida.

1902–The 28th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Winkfield, riding Alan-a-Dale, wins in 2:08.

1902–Actor, Walter Slezak, is born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. He appeared in the films Sodom and Gomorrah, Lifeboat, The Princess and the Pirate, Step Lively, Riffraff, The Pirate, Bedtime for Bonzo, Call Me Madam, Come September, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Heidi, Black Beauty, and Treasure Island.

1903–Singer-actor, Bing Crosby, is born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington. Crosby's trademark warm bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, having sold over one billion records, tapes, compact discs, and digital downloads around the world. He starred in the “Road” movies with Bob Hope and also appeared in the films Anything Goes, Pennies from Heaven, Birth of the Blues, Holiday Inn, Going My Way, The Bells of St. Mary's, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Country Girl, High Society, and High Time. He recorded sozens of songs over his long career, but is best known for the classic holiday song, White Christmas. He was married to nighclub singer, Dixie Lee, and actress, Kathryn Grant. His son was actor, Gary Crosby, and his daughter is actress, Mary Crosby.

1906–Actress, Mary Astor, is born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke in Quincy, Illinois. She is best known for the role of Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon. She also appeared in the films Dodsworth, The Prisoner of Zenda, Brigham Young, Meet Me in St. Louis, Little Women, A Kiss Before Dying, Return to Peyton Place, Youngblood Hawke, and Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

1907–Newspaper columnist, Earl Wilson, is born in Rockford, Ohio. He was an American journalist, gossip columnist, and author, perhaps best known for his nationally syndicated newspaper column, “It Happened Last Night.” Wilson's column originated from The New York Post and ran from 1942 until 1983. His writing about the Broadway scene during the "Golden Age" of show business formed the basis for a book published in 1971, The Show Business Nobody Knows. He appeared in the films A Face in the Crowd, College Confidential, and Beach Blanket Bingo.

1909–The 35th Kentucky Derby: Vincent Powers, riding Wintergreen, wins in 2:08.

1913–Raja Harishchandra, the first full-length Indian feature film, is released marking the beginning of the Indian film industry.

1913–Playwright, William (Motter) Inge, is born in Independence, Kansas. He wrote Come Back, Little Sheba and Picnic, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize. His films include Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Splendor in the Grass, All Fall Down, The Stripper, and Bus Riley’s Back in Town.

1916–Irish nationalist, Padraic Pearse, and two others are executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Uprising.

1917–Playwright, Betty Comden, is born Basya Cohen in the Bronx, New York. With her partner, Adolph Green, she wrote many Broadway hits. They worked with Leonard Bernstein to create On the Town and Wonderful Town; with Jule Styne on Peter Pan and Bells Are Ringing; and they wrote the screenplay for the movie Singin' in the Rain.

1919–Folksinger and political activist, Pete Seeger, is born in New York, New York. He learned to play the banjo and ukulele as a boy, later dropping out of Harvard University to travel around the country, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains, all the while building his huge repertoire of folk songs. In the 1950s, he was part of The Weavers, a leftist singing group. Seeger's version of the folk song, Big Muddy, was censored from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS-TV, because it was read by some as a complaint against American Vietnam policy. His songs include Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, Wreck of the John B, Across the Wide Missouri, Rock Island Line, Little Boxes, Draft Dodger Rag, and I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag.

1920–A Bolshevik coup fails in the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

1920–Pianist, John (Aaron) Lewis, of the Modern Jazz Quartet, is born in La Grange, Illinois.

1921–The Government of Ireland Act 1920 is passed, dividing Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

1921–West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to enforcement issues.

1921–Boxer, Sugar Ray Robinson, Middleweight-Welterweight Champion, is born Walter Smith, Jr. in Detroit, Michigan. He is frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time. He turned professional in 1940, at the age of 19, and by 1951, he had a professional record of 128-1-2 with 84 knockouts. From 1943 to 1951, Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak, the third longest in professional boxing history. He held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back two-and-a-half years later to regain the middleweight title in 1955.

1922–Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr., is born Robert Henry De Niro in Syracuse, New York. He was an abstract expressionist painter. In 1945, he was included in a group show at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century in New York, which was a leading gallery for the art of both established European modernists and members of the emerging Abstract Expressionist group, such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell. His work is shown in several museum collections including Brooklyn Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Crocker Art Museum, The Denver Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. He is the father of actor, Robert De Niro.

1926–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: William Burke Miller, of The Louisville Courier-Journal, for his work in connection with the story of the trapping in Sand Cave, Kentucky, of Floyd Collins; Fiction: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (Harcourt); Drama: Craig's Wife by George Kelly (Little); History: A History of the United States by Edward Channing (Macmillan); Biography or Autobiography: The Life of Sir William Osler by Harvey Cushing (Oxford University Press); Poetry: What's O'Clock by Amy Lowell (Houghton). Sinlair Lewis declined his award.

1932–Film historian and television host, Robert (John) Osborne, is born in Colfax, Washington. He is well known for his appearances on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), introducing prime time films. Prior to TCM, Osborne had been a host on The Movie Channel. In 1977, Osborne began his long-standing stint as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. The following year, he published 50 Golden Years of Oscar, which won the 1979 National Film Book award. Having joined the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he was elected its President in 1981, a position he would be re-elected to for the next two years.

1933–Soul singer, James (Joseph) Brown, is born in Barnwell, South Carolina. Dubbed “the hardest working man in show business” “Mr. Dynamite,” and the “Godfather of Soul.” Brown had big hits with Please Please Please, Try Me, I Got You (I Feel Good), Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud, and This is a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.

1934–Singer, Frankie Valli, of The Four Seasons, is born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, New Jersey. He is known for his unusually powerful falsetto voice. The group’s first hit was Sherry, followed by Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll, and December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night). As a solo artist, Valli's hits include Can't Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You, and Grease.

1935–Inventor, Ron Popeil, is born Ronald M. Popeil in New York, New York. He was a TV marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. Ron was the inventor and salesman of numerous kitchen-related gadgets, such as the Chop-O-Matic and the Veg-O-Matic, and started the trend of the infomercial.

1937–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: John J. O'Neill, William L. Laurence, Howard W. Blakeslee, Gobind Behari Lal, and David Dietz of The New York Herald Tribune, The New York Times, the Associated Press, Universal Service, and Scripps-Howard, for their coverage of science at the tercentenary of Harvard University; Fiction: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Macmillan); Drama: You Can't Take It with You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman (Farrar); History: The Flowering of New England 1815-1865 by Van Wyck Brooks (E.P. Dutton); Biography or Autobiography: Hamilton Fish by Allan Nevins (Dodd); Poetry: A Further Range by Robert Frost (Holt).

1939–The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

1940–Engineer, businessman, and philanthropist, David H. Koch, is born David Hamilton Koch in Wichita, Kansas. He joined the family business, Koch Industries (a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the United States), in 1970. He became president of the subsidiary, Koch Engineering, in 1979, and became a co-owner of Koch Industries, with older brother, Charles, in 1983. He is an influential libertarian, and he and his brother have donated to political advocacy groups and to political campaigns, almost entirely Republican.

1941–A German air raid takes place over Liverpool, England.

1941–The 67th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro, riding Whirlaway, wins in 2:01.

1942–Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island, in the Solomon Islands, during the first part of Operation Mo, which results in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia.

1943–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: George Weller, of The Chicago Daily News, for his graphic story of how a U.S. Navy Pharmacist's Mate under enemy waters in a submarine performed an operation for appendicitis saving a sailor's life; Fiction: Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair (Viking); Drama: The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder (Harper); History: Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes (Houghton); Biography or Autobiography: Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison (Little); Poetry: A Witness Tree by Robert Frost (Holt); Photography: Frank Noel, of the Associated Press, for his photo entitled "Water!"; Music: Secular Cantata No. 2: A Free Song by William Schuman.

1944–Pete Staples, of The Troggs, is born in England.

1945–The sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek, and Deutschland, by the Royal Air Force takes place in Lübeck Bay.

1946–The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo, Japan, against 28 Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1947–A new post-war Japanese constitution goes into effect.

1947–The 73rd Kentucky Derby: Eric Guerin, riding Jet Pilot, wins in 2:06.

1947–Magician, Doug Henning, is born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Debuting in 1974, Henning starred in The Magic Show on Broadway, for four and a half years. Throughout his career, Henning’s intention was always to return magic to its “glory days” of the great magicians and illusionists, such as Houdini.

1948–Jean Harlowe becomes the first film actress to be on the cover of Life magazine.

1948–The U.S. Supreme Court rules that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups are legally unenforceable.

1948–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Paul W. Ward, of The Baltimore Sun, for his series of articles published in 1947 on "Life in the Soviet Union"; Fiction: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener (Macmillan); Drama: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (New Directions); History: Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard De Voto (Harper); Biography or Autobiography: Forgotten First Citizen–John Bigelow by Margaret Clapp (Little); Poetry: The Age of Anxiety by W.H. Auden (Random); Photography: Frank Cushing, of The Boston Traveler.

1949–Astronaut, Albert Sacco, Jr., is born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an American chemical engineer who flew as a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia on shuttle mission STS-73 in 1995.

1950–Singer, Mary Hopkin, is born in Pontardawe, Wales. Her “Top 40” hits include Those Were the Days and Goodbye. She was one of the most successful artists signed to the Apple label, with her first album, Postcard, proving to be a big hit.

1951–London's Royal Festival Hall opens with the Festival of Britain.

1951–The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by President Harry Truman.

1951–Journalist, Alan Clayson, is born in Dover, Kent, England. He has written for a wide range of publications, including The Guardian, Record Collector, Mojo, Hello!, The Sunday Times, and Daily Telegraph. Clayson has written around 30 books. Best sellers include Backbeat (subsequently made into a film), Beat Merchants, and an authorized biography of The Yardbirds. Among his other subjects are Led Zeppelin, Serge Gainsbourg, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, Yoko Ono, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, and individual members of The Beatles (later published as a four-book box set).

1951–Singer, Christopher Cross, is born Christopher Charles Geppert in San Antonio, Texas. He had big hits with Ride Like the Wind and Sailing, then later recorded Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do), for the film Arthur.

1952–U.S. Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict are the first to land a plane at the North Pole.

1952–The 78th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro, riding Hill Gail, wins in 2:01. It is televised nationally for the first time, on the CBS-TV network.

1953–At Harvard's Fogg Museum, Dylan Thomas' “Under Milk Wood” is given its first American public reading.

1953–Bruce Hall, of REO Speedwagon, is born in Champaign, Illinois. He joined the band in 1977, replacing original bassist, Gregg Philbin.

1954–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Jim G. Lucas, of Scripps-Howard Newspapers, for his notable front-line human interest reporting of the Korean War; Fiction: No award given; Drama: The Teahouse of the August Moon by John Patrick (Putnam); History: A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton (Doubleday); Biography or Autobiography: The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh (Scribner); Poetry: The Waking by Theodore Roethke (Doubleday); Photography: Mrs. Walter M. Schau (an amateur from San Anselmo, California), for snapping a rescue at Redding, California; Music: Concerto For Two Pianos and Orchestra by Quincy Porter (American Composers Alliance).

1955–Steve Jones, of The Sex Pistols, is born in Hammersmith, London, England.

1957–Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.

1958–The 84th Kentucky Derby: Ismael Valenzuela, riding Tim Tam, wins in 2:05.

1960–The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

1960–The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is established.

1960–The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opens in New York City's Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.

1963–Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech, adding fire to the Civil Rights Movement.

1964–The British Invasion continues as Gerry and the Pacemakers perform Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1964–Sterling Campbell, drummer for Duran Duran and Soul Asylum, is born in New York, New York.

1965–The Beatles film scenes for their movie, Help!, on the Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge.

1965–The Today Show is the first to use satellite TV (the Early Bird Satellite).

1965–A 6.0 earthquake in El Salvador kills 125 people, injures 500 others, and leaves an estimated 48,000 homeless.

1965–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: J.A. Livingston, of The Philadelphia Bulletin, for his reports on the growth of economic independence among Russia's Eastern European satellites and his analysis of their desire for a resumption of trade with the West; Fiction: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau (Random); Drama: The Subject Was Roses by Frank D. Gilroy (Samuel French); Non-Fiction: O Strange New World by Howard Mumford Jones (Viking); History: The Greenback Era by Irwin Unger (Princeton University Press); Biography or Autobiography: Henry Adams by Ernest Samuels (Harvard University Press); Poetry: 77 Dream Songs by John Berryman (Farrar); Photography: Horst Faas, of the Associated Press, for his combat photography of the war in South Vietnam during 1964; Music: No award given.

1965–Fashion journalist, Nina Garcia, is born Ninotchka Garcia in Barranquilla, Colombia. She has held the post of Fashion Director at Elle and Marie Claire magazines, and has been a judge on the Lifetime reality TV series Project Runway since its first season.

1967–Beach Boy, Carl Wilson, appears in court on draft-evasion charges.

1968–In Paris, France, students and police clash violently at the start of a month of disturbances and strikes.

1968–The Beach Boys open a 17-date tour of the U.S. with a show in New York City. The second half of the concert is given over to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who lectures on "spiritual regeneration." The audience reaction is so negative, more than half of the tour dates are cancelled.

1969–Jim Morrison joins Eric Burdon and The Blues Image onstage for several songs at the Whisky A Go Go, in West Hollywood, California.

1969–A chart topper: Get Back by The Beatles.

1969–The 95th Kentucky Derby: Bill Hartack, riding Majestic Prince, wins in 2:01.

1969–Politician, Zakir Hussain, dies in New Delhi, Delhi, India, at age 72. He was the third President of India. He was the first Indian President to die in office.

1970–The 24th NBA Championship: The New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 4 games to 3.

1970–American fashion designer, Jeffrey Sebelia, is born in Los Angeles, California. He founded the clothing label Cosa Nostra, with clients including Dave Navarro, Gwen Stefani, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John, Madonna, and Tommy Lee. Sebelia's designs from his Cosa Nostra label are available in about two dozen stores worldwide. He was the winner of Season Three of the popular show Project Runway.

1971–New York City's Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center announces it will begin presenting rock, pop, and jazz concerts, along with its usual classical fare.

1971–All Things Considered debuts on 112 National Public Radio stations.

1971–Anti-war protesters begin four days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C., with the intention of shutting down the nation's capital.

1971–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Jimmie Lee Hoagland, of The Washington Post, for covering the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; Fiction: No award given; Drama: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel (Harper); Non-Fiction: The Rising Sun by John Toland (Random); History: Roosevelt–The Soldier of Freedom by James MacGregor Burns (Harcourt); Biography or Autobiography: Robert Frost–The Years of Triumph 1915-1938 by Lawrance Thompson (Holt); Poetry: The Carrier of Ladders by William S. Merwin (Atheneum); Photography: Jack Dykinga, of The Chicago Sun-Times, for his photography at the Lincoln and Dixon State Schools for the Retarded (Illinois); Music: Synchronisms No. 6 for Piano and Electronic Sound (1970) by Mario Davidovsky (E.B. Marks).

1972–Actor, Dan Blocker, dies of a pulmonary embolism following gall bladder surgery in Los Angeles, California, at age 43. He is best known for the role of Hoss on the TV series Bonanza. He appeared in the films The Girl in Black Stockings, The Young Captives, Come Blow Your Horn, Lady in Cement, and Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County.

1972–Actor, Bruce Cabot, dies of lung cancer in Woodland Hills, California, at age 68. He appeared in the films King Kong, Fury, Dodge City, Susan and God, Angel and the Badman, Fancy Pants, The Quiet American, The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, Hatari!, McLintock!, In Harm’s Way, The Green Berets, and Chisum.

1973–The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois, is topped out at 1,451 feet, as the world's tallest building.

1974–Princess Haya bint Al Hussein of Jordan is born in Amman, Jordan. A graduate of Oxford University in England, she is an accomplished equestrian who competed for Jordan in international show jumping competitions, and is the two-term President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI). She is married to Dubai ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

1975–Paramount's Kings Dominion, a family amusement park north of Richmond, Virginia, and south of Washington, D.C., opens to the public. The park features five magical lands: International Street, Old Virginia, Coney Island, The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera, and Lion Country Safari. Amusement attractions include: Rebel Yell (a twin-racing roller coaster), a Carousel (with 66 original hand-carved wooden horses), and a 332-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.

1975–The 101st Kentucky Derby: Jacinto Vasquez, riding Foolish Pleasure, wins in 2:02.

1975–Actor, (Karim) Dulé Hill, is born in East Brunswick, New Jersey. He is best known for the role of Charlie Young on the TV drama series The West Wing. He appeared in the films Men of Honor, Holes, and 10.5.

1976–Paul McCartney makes his first concert appearance in America in almost ten years as his group, Wings, commence their “Wings Over America” tour in Fort Worth, Texas.

1976–Paul Simon organizes a benefit show at Madison Square Garden for the financially troubled New York Public Library, which brings in over $30,000.

1976–The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Sydney Schanberg, of The New York Times, for his coverage of the Communist takeover in Cambodia, carried out at great risk when he elected to stay at his post after the fall of Pnom Penh; Fiction: Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow (Viking); Drama: A Chorus Line, conceived, choreographed and directed by Michael Bennett, book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, and lyrics by Edward Kleban; Non-Fiction: Why Survive? Being Old In America by Robert Neil Butler (Harper); History: Lamy of Santa Fe by Paul Horgan (Farrar); Biography or Autobiography: Edith Wharton–A Biography by R.W.B. Lewis (Harper); Poetry: Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery (Viking); Photography: Photographic Staff of The Louisville Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times for a comprehensive pictorial report on busing in Louisville's schools; Music: Air Music by Ned Rorem (Boosey & Hawkes). A special award is bestowed posthumously on Scott Joplin for his contributions to American music.

1978–The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as "spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the West Coast of the United States.

1978–Persistent thunderstorms cause widespread flooding in southeastern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Mississippi. Rainfall totals of 10 to 13.5 inches are reported around New Orleans, causing the worst flooding in 30 years. The water depth reached three to four feet in several hundred homes, and total property damage was estimated at $100 million.

1978–A fire on one of John Lennon’s farms in the community of Franklin, New York, completely demolishes the barn, garage, and tool shed.

1979–After the general election, Margaret Thatcher forms her first government as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1980–The 106th Kentucky Derby: Jacinto Vasquez, riding Genuine Risk, wins in 2:02.

1980–Celebrity chef, Marcel Vigneron, is born in Bainbridge Island, Washington. He is best known as the runner-up of the Second Season of the reality cooking series Top Chef, which aired 2006-2007. He later competed on Top Chef: All-Stars in 2011, and on The Food Network's The Next Iron Chef in 2012.

1986–Twenty-one people are killed and 41 others are injured after a bomb explodes in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka.

1986–The 112th Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker, riding Ferdinand, wins in 2:02.

1986–Actor, Robert Alda, dies after a long illness following a stroke in Los Angeles, California, at age 72. He appeared in the films Rhapsody in Blue, The Beast with Five Fingers, Cloak and Dagger, The Man I Love, Imitation of Life, and The Devil’s Hand.

1987–Heavy snow blankets the foothills of eastern Colorado, with 18 inches reported at Divide.

1989–Christine Jorgensen, the first transsexual, dies of bladder and lung cancer in San Clemente, California, at age 62. She traveled to Europe, and in Copenhagen, Denmark, obtained special permission to undergo a series of sex reassignment operations, starting in 1951. She returned to the United States in the early 1950s, and her transformation was the subject of a New York Daily News front page story. She became an instant celebrity, using the platform to advocate for transgender people, known for her directness and polished wit.

1991–Polish-born author, Jersy Kosinski, dies of suicide by suffocation and the ingesting of a lethal amount of alcohol and drugs in Manhattan, New York, at age 57. He had suffered from multiple illnesses towards the end of his life, and he was under attack from journalists who accused him of plagiarism. His suicide note read: "I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity." He wrote The Painted Bird and Being There.

1992–Artist, Robert De Niro, Sr., dies of cancer in New York, New York, at age 71. He was an abstract expressionist painter. The 1993 film, A Bronx Tale, was dedicated to De Niro, Sr. after his death. It was the directorial debut of his son, Robert De Niro.

1996–A 6.0 earthquake in Western Nei Mongol, China, kills 18 people and injures 300 others.

1996–Actor, Jack Weston, dies of lymphoma in New York, New York, at age 71. He appeared in the films I Want to Live!, Imitation of Life, Pease Don’t Eat the Daisies, The Honeymoon Machine, Palm Springs Weekend, The Cincinnati Kid, Wait Until Dark, The Thomas Crown Affair, The April Fools, Cactus Flower, The Four Seasons, Dirty Dancing, and Ishtar.

1997–The 123rd Kentucky Derby: Gary Stevens, riding Silver Charm, wins in 2:02.

1997–Classical guitarist, Narciso Yepes, dies of lymphoma in Murcia, Spain, at age 70.

1999–Oklahoma City is hit by a tornado that kills 42 people, injures 665 others, and causes $1 billion in damage. The tornado was one of 66 from the Oklahoma tornado outbreak.

1999–Native American potter, Blue Corn (also known as Crucita Calabaza), dies at the San Ildefonso Pueblo in Northern New Mexico, in at age 79. She is known for reviving San Ildefonso polychrome wares and had a very long and productive career. During the 1960s and 1970s, she conducted many workshops on pottery making in both the U.S. and Canada. Her pottery can be found in the Smithsonian Institution and other leading museums throughout America and Europe, as well as in private collections.

2000–The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.

2001–The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.

2002–An Indian Air Force military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight people and injurinf 17 others.

2003–New Hampshire's famous “Old Man of the Mountain” collapses.

2003–A series of tornado outbreaks begin in the United States and Canada that last until May 11, 2003. Ultimately, 401 tornadoes and 1,587 large, damaging hailstorms would be reported throughout 19 American states and one Canadian province. It would become the most severe week of weather in U.S. history.

2003–The 129th Kentucky Derby: Jose Santos, riding Funny Cide, wins in 2:01.

2003–Model-actress, Suzy Parker, dies of kidney failure in Montecito, California, at age 70. She worked non-stop for Revlon, Hertz, Westinghouse, Max Factor, Bliss, DuPont, Simplicity, and Smirnoff. She also was on the covers of around 70 magazines, including Vogue, Elle, Life, Look, Redbook, Paris Match, and McCall's. She is known for her appearance in The Twilight Zone episode "Number 12 Looks Just Like You." She appeared in the films Kiss Them for Me, Funny Face, Ten North Frederick, The Best of Everything, The Interns, and Chamber of Horrors.

2005–The first elected government officials in the history of Iraq are sworn in.

2006–Earl Woods, athlete and father of golfer, Tiger Woods, dies of a heart attack in Cypress, California, at age 74.

2007–Jamison Stone, age 11, bags a “wild hog” that weighs over 1,050 pounds, and measures 9 feet, 4 inches long, nose to tail. The catch takes place on a commercial hunting preserve with his father and several guides in eastern Alabama.

2007–Astronaut, Wally Schirra, Jr., dies of a heart attack due to malignant mesothelioma in La Jolla, California, at age 84. He flew the six-orbit, nine-hour Mercury-Atlas 8 mission on October 3, 1962, becoming the fifth American, and the ninth human, to ride a rocket into space.

2008–The 134th Kentucky Derby: Kent Desormeaux, riding Big Brown, wins in 2:01.

2011–Actor, Jackie Cooper, dies in Santa Monica, California, at age 88. He began as a child actor, starring in The Champ, then carried on with his acting career, as well as directing for both television and film. He starred in the sitcoms The People’s Choice and Hennesey. He appeared in the films Skippy, Broadway to Hollywood, Treasure Island, Zeigfeld Girl, Men of Texas, Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring, The Love Machine, The Astronaut, Journey into Fear, Superman, Izzy & Moe, and Surrender.

2013–Aorun zhaoi, a Theropod dinosaur, dating from 161 million years ago, is discovered in China.

2015–Two gunmen launch an attempted terrorist attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which is being held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, France.

2016–The Rhode Island Marine Architecture Project claims to have found the wreckage of the HMS Endeavour used by Royal Navy Lieutenant, James Cook, on his voyage to Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti between 1768 and 1771. The ship was scuttled in 1778, in Newport Harbor ahead of the Battle of Rhode Island in the American War of Independence.

2016–Senator Ted Cruz suspends his presidential campaign, putting Donald Trump in the position of the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party.


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Mayan King Bird Jaguar IV of Yaxchilan; Niccolo Machiavelli; Pope Benedict XIV; Jacob Riis; Labatt Park baseball stadium in London, Ontario, Canada; Bing Crosby; a poster for the film Raja Harishchandra; Pete Seeger; Sugar Ray Robinson; Robert Osborne; the Veg-O-Matic; Eddie Arcaro on Whirlaway; Doug Henning; Mary Hopkin; Christopher Cross; the Sex Pistols logo; The Beatles on the Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge, England, during the making of their film Help!; Nina Garcia; Zakir Hussain; The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel; Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois; “Wings Over America” performing in Fort Worth, Texas; John Lennon’s farmhouse in Franklin, New York; Christine Jorgensen; Jack Weston; New Hampshire's famous “Old Man of the Mountain”; Suzy Parker; and Aorun zhaoi, Theropod dinosaurs.

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