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Thursday, May 13, 2004


Today is Thursday, May 13th.

The 134th day of 2004.

There are 232 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.


On this date:

In 1607, Captains John Smith and Christopher Newport landed near James River in the future town of Jamestown in Virginia; established the next day, the first permanent English settlement in the future United States.

In 1648, Margaret Jones of Plymouth was found guilty of witchcraft and was sentenced to be hanged by the neck.

In 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip left Britain for Australia with the first convicts to populate the Australian Penal Colony. He successfully landed eleven ships full of convicts on January 18, 1788, at Botany Bay. The group moved north eight days later and settled at Port Jackson.

In 1835, The first foreign embassy in Hawaii was established.

In 1842, Composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, who collaborated with Sir William Gilbert in writing 14 comic operas, was born in London.

In 1846, The United States declared that a state of war already existed against Mexico.

In 1865, The last land engagement of the American Civil War was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south Texas, more than a month after Gen. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, VA.

In 1873, Ludwig M. Wolf patented the sewing machine lamp holder.

In 1911, The New York Giants set a major league baseball record. Ten runners crossed home plate before the first out of the game against St. Louis.

In 1912, The Royal Flying Corps was established in England.

In 1913, Igor Sikorsky flew the first four engine aircraft.

In 1917, Three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

In 1918, The first U.S. airmail stamps, featuring a picture of an airplane, were introduced. (On some of the stamps, the airplane was printed upside-down, making them collector's items.)

In 1940, In his first speech as prime minister of Britain, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

In 1941, Rock'n'Roll Hall of Famer Richie Valens (Richard Steven Valenzuela) was born in Pacoima, CA. He died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 when he still only 17.

In 1947, The Taft-Hartley Act is approved by the U.S. Senate which intended to limit the power of Unions by restricting the weapons they could employ.

In 1950, The Diner's Club issues its first credit cards.

In 1954, The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Act, authorizing the construction of the artificial waterway, is signed by President Eisenhower.

In 1954, The musical play "The Pajama Game" opened on Broadway.

In 1958, Vice President Nixon's limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-U.S. demonstrators in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1967, Mickey Mantle hit his 500th homerun.

In 1969, President Nixon called for a draft lottery with 19-year olds going first.

In 1978, The final episode of "Bionic Woman" aired.

In 1982, The Chicago Cubs became the first major league baseball team to win 8,000 games.

In 1985, A confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped an explosive onto the group's headquarters; 11 people died in the resulting fire.

In 1987, President Reagan said his personal diary confirmed that he'd talked with Saudi Arabia's King Fahd about Saudi help for the Nicaraguan Contras at a time when Congress banned military aid, but Reagan said he did not solicit secret contributions.

In 1989, President G. H. W. Bush called for the overthrow of Manuel Noriega...a general whom Bush said not only controlled the government of Panama but was a drug smuggler besides. Bush would later send in a large U.S. military force to arrest Noriega as a cocaine trafficker.

In 1993, The final episode of "Knots Landing" aired.

In 2002, President G. W. Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty to shrink their countries' nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

Ten years ago (1994):

President Clinton nominated federal appeals Judge Stephen G. Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Harry A. Blackmun.

Five years ago (1999):

Russian lawmakers opened hearings on whether President Boris Yeltsin should be impeached. (The lower chamber of parliament ended up rejecting all five charges raised against Yeltsin, including one accusing him of starting the Chechen War.)

Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and columnist Meg Greenfield died in Washington at age 68.

One year ago (2003):

A judge ruled that Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols should stand trial in state court on 160 counts of first-degree murder.

The government unveiled a more colorful version of the new $20.

Algerian army commandos freed 17 European tourists who'd been kidnapped in the Sahara Desert by an al-Qaida-linked terror group.


Today's Birthdays:

Actress Beatrice Arthur is 78.

Critic Clive Barnes is 77.

Actor Buck Taylor is 66.

Actor Harvey Keitel is 65.

Actress Senta Berger is 63.

Author Charles Baxter is 57.

Actor Franklin Ajaye is 55.

Singer Stevie Wonder is 54.

Basketball player Dennis Rodman is 43.

Actor Tom Verica is 40.

Country singer Lari White is 39.

Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 38.

Actress Susan Floyd is 36.

Actress Samantha Morton is 27.


Thought for Today:

"A nation is a society united by a delusion about its ancestry and by a common hatred of its neighbours." -

- William Ralph Inge, English religious leader and author (1860-1954).