Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 4, 2018

Today is Friday, May 4, the 124th day of 2018. There are 241 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 4, 1968, the Oroville Dam in Northern California was dedicated by Gov. Ronald Reagan; the 770-foot-tall earth-filled structure, a pet project of Reagan’s predecessor, Pat Brown, remains the tallest dam in the United States, but was also the scene of a near disaster in February 2017 when two spillways collapsed, threatening for a time to flood parts of three counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

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On this date:

In 1626, Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island.

In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

In 1830, the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel “Paul Clifford,” with its famous opening, “It was a dark and stormy night…,” was first published in London.

In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.

In 1919, the comic strip character Harold Teen made his debut in the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune in “The Love Life of Harold Teen” by Carl Ed (eed).

In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)

In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for “The Music from Peter Gunn.”

In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C. to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.

In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

In 1980, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, died three days before his 88th birthday.

In 1998, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski (kah-ZIHN’-skee) was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, California, under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush visited Greensburg, Kansas, where he hailed the resilience of the town and its tiny high school graduating class, one year after a tornado barreled through with astonishing fury. A river boat sank in a remote Amazon region in northern Brazil, killing at least 48 people. Iraq’s first lady (Hiro Ibrahim Ahmed) escaped unharmed from a bomb attack in downtown Baghdad that struck her motorcade.

Five years ago: National Rifle Association leaders told members during a meeting in Houston that the fight against gun control legislation was far from over, and vowed that none in the organization would ever have to surrender their weapons. A limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be. Orb powered to a 2 1/2-length victory on a sloppy track to win the Kentucky Derby. Floyd Mayweather came back from a year’s absence to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

One year ago: President Donald Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier in New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea, which reinforced the ties between the U.S. and Australia. A U.S. service member was killed in Somalia during an operation against the extremist group al-Shabab, the first American combat death there in more than two decades. Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s 95-year-old husband, Prince Philip, was retiring from royal duties.

Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 90. Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 88. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 81. Rock musician Dick Dale is 81. Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator George Will is 77. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 74. Actor Richard Jenkins is 71. Country singer Stella Parton is 69. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 68. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 68. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 67. Singer-actress Pia Zadora is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 65. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., is 64. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 61. Country singer Randy Travis is 59. Actress Mary McDonough is 57. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 51. Actor Will Arnett is 48. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 46. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 46. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 43. Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 41. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 40. Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 39. Actress Ruth Negga is 37. Rapper/singer Jidenna is 33. Actor Alexander Gould is 24. Country singer RaeLynn is 24. Actress Amara (uh-MAH’-ruh) Miller is 18. Actress Brooklynn Prince (Film: “The Florida Project”) is eight.