By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Wednesday, May 1, the 121st day of 2019. There are 244 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 1, 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
On this date:
In 1786, Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Vienna.
In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. Singer Kate Smith made her debut on CBS Radio on her 24th birthday.
In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York.
In 1945, a day after Adolf Hitler took his own life, Admiral Karl Doenitz effectively became sole leader of the Third Reich with the suicide of Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels.
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1964, the computer programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was created by Dartmouth College professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz.
In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. (They divorced in 1973.) Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president of Nicaragua.
In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1975, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Brewers broke baseball’s all-time RBI record previously held by Babe Ruth during a game against the Detroit Tigers (Milwaukee won, 17-3).
In 1982, the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, was opened by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”
In 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation (because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).
Ten years ago: Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.) Singer-actor-impressionist Danny Gans, one of Las Vegas’ most popular entertainers, died at age 52.
Five years ago: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called a 50-percent jump in reports by members of the military of sexual assaults the previous year a “clear threat” to both male and female service members’ lives and well-being, and said he’d ordered Pentagon officials to increase efforts to get male victims to report abuse.
One year ago: Entering the State Department headquarters for the first time as America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to reinvigorate American diplomacy and help the United States get “back our swagger.”