By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 16, the 136th day of 2017. There are 229 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 16, 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.
On this date:
In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.”
In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
In 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.
In 1946, the Irving Berlin musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley, opened on Broadway.
In 1957, federal agent Eliot Ness, who organized “The Untouchables” team that took on gangster Al Capone, died in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, at age 54.
In 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical as well as deadly reform movement aimed at purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.”
In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
In 1977, a New York Airways helicopter idling atop the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan toppled over, killing four passengers who were waiting to board and sending debris falling to the street below, killing a fifth person.
In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in California v. Greenwood, ruled that police can search discarded garbage without a search warrant. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
In 1992, the space shuttle Endeavour completed its maiden voyage with a safe landing in the California desert.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.
Ten years ago: Anti-war Democrats in the Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war. Britain’s army reversed course and announced that Prince Harry would not be sent to Iraq with his regiment due to “specific threats” from insurgents. (The prince did end up serving in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, until word of his deployment there got out.) British Prime Minister Tony Blair paid a farewell visit to President George W. Bush at the White House. Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE’) took over from Jacques Chirac (zhahk shih-RAHK’) as France’s president.
Five years ago: Gen. Ratko Mladic (RAHT’-koh MLAH’-dich) went on trial at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands, accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. (Mladic’s trial wrapped up in Dec. 2016, and the judges are considering their verdicts.) Mary Richardson Kennedy, 52, the estranged wife of Robert Kennedy Jr., died in Bedford, New York, a suicide.
One year ago: President Barack Obama called on the nation to support law enforcement officers as he bestowed the Medal of Valor on 13 who risked their lives. The International Space Station reached the orbital milestone of 100,000 laps around Earth, akin to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles in 17 1/2 years. Surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital said a cancer patient was recovering well after the nation’s first penis transplant, a groundbreaking operation that could give new hope to accident victims and wounded veterans.