Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Thursday, May 9, the 129th day of 2019. There are 236 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 9, 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.

On this date:

In 1712, the Carolina Colony was officially divided into two entities: North Carolina and South Carolina.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly became the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd’s flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)

In 1945, with World War II in Europe at an end, Soviet forces liberated Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1958, “Vertigo,” Alfred Hitchcock’s eerie thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, premiered in San Francisco, the movie’s setting.

In 1961, in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decried the majority of television programming as a “vast wasteland.”

In 1962, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology succeeded in reflecting a laser beam off the surface of the moon.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon made a surprise and impromptu pre-dawn visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he chatted with a group of protesters who’d been resting on the Memorial steps after protests against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings.

In 1994, South Africa’s newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first black president.

In 2008, jury selection began in the Chicago trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly, accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. (Kelly was later acquitted on all counts.)

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