Today's Highlight in History:
On May 28, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of freed blacks, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.
On this date:
In 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.
In 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.
In 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a "state of absolute unpreparedness," improperly tested safety equipment and an "indifference to danger" as some of the causes of an "unnecessary tragedy."
In 1929, the first all-color talking picture, "On with the Show," opened in New York.
In 1934, the Dionne quintuplets — Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne — were born to Elzire Dionne at the family farm in Ontario, Canada.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.
In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
In 1959, the U.S. Army launched Able, a rhesus monkey, and Baker, a squirrel monkey, aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight which both primates survived.
In 1961, Amnesty International had its beginnings with the publication of an article in the British newspaper The Observer, "The Forgotten Prisoners."
In 1977, 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Ky.
In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust, a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow's Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)
In 1998, comic actor Phil Hartman of "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" fame was shot to death at his home in Encino, Calif., by his wife, Brynn, who then killed herself.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed a 10-year, $350 billion package of tax cuts, saying they already were "adding fuel to an economic recovery." Amnesty International released a report saying the U.S.-led war on terror had made the world a more dangerous and repressive place, a finding dismissed by Washington as "without merit." Actress Martha Scott died in Van Nuys, Calif., at age 90.
Five years ago: The White House reacted angrily to a highly critical memoir by President George W. Bush's former press secretary, Scott McClellan, who wrote that Bush had relied on an aggressive "political propaganda campaign" instead of the truth to sell the Iraq war. Nepal's lawmakers abolished the monarchy and declared the country a republic, ending 239 years of royal rule.
One year ago: President Barack Obama paid tribute on Memorial Day to the men and women who died defending America, pointing to Vietnam veterans as an under-appreciated and sometimes maligned group of war heroes. Nineteen people, including 13 children, were killed in a mall fire in Qatar.
Today's Birthdays: Rockabilly singer-musician Sonny Burgess is 84. Actress Carroll Baker is 82. Producer-director Irwin Winkler is 82. Actor John Karlen is 80. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Jerry West is 75. Actress Beth Howland is 72. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is 69. Singer Gladys Knight is 69. Actress-director Sondra Locke is 69. Singer Billy Vera is 69. Singer John Fogerty is 68. Country musician Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss and Union Station) is 57. Actor Louis Mustillo is 55. U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.., is 53. Actor Brandon Cruz (TV: "The Courtship of Eddie's Father") is 51. Country singer Phil Vassar is 49. Actress Christa Miller is 49. Singer-musician Chris Ballew (Presidents of the USA) is 48. Rapper Chubb Rock is 45. Singer Kylie Minogue is 45. Actor Justin Kirk is 44. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is 42. Television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck ("The View") is 36. Actor Jesse Bradford is 34. Actress Monica Keena is 34. Pop singer Colbie Caillat is 28. Actress Carey Mulligan is 28. Actor Joseph Cross is 27.
Thought for Today: "Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden." — Marcus Garvey, Jamaican black nationalist (1887-1940).
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