Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 5, 2018

Today is Saturday, May 5, the 125th day of 2018. There are 240 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 5, 1862, Mexican troops defeated French occupying forces in the Battle of Puebla.

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On this date:

In 1494, during his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica.

In 1818, political philosopher Karl Marx, co-author of “The Communist Manifesto” and author of “Das Kapital,” was born in Prussia.

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

In 1892, Congress passed the Geary Act, which required Chinese in the United States to carry a certificate of residence at all times, or face deportation.

In 1927, “To the Lighthouse,” Virginia Woolf’s fifth novel, was published in London.

In 1942, wartime sugar rationing began in the United States.

In 1945, in the only fatal attack of its kind during World War II, a Japanese balloon bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing the pregnant wife of a minister and five children. Denmark and the Netherlands were liberated as a German surrender went into effect.

In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state. The baseball musical “Damn Yankees,” starring Stephen Douglass as Joe Hardy, Gwen Verdon as Lola and Ray Walston as Applegate, opened on Broadway.

In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

In 1978, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream had its beginnings as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened an ice cream parlor at a converted gas station in Burlington, Vermont.

In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food.

In 1994, Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Bill Clinton.

Ten years ago: Three men were arrested and beaten by Philadelphia police officers after a vehicle chase in a scene videotaped by a WTXF-TV news helicopter. (The three men were later acquitted of attempted murder and all other charges stemming from a shooting that led to their arrests; four of the 18 police officers at the scene were fired and a number of others were disciplined.) Irvine Robbins, co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 90.

Five years ago: In Afghanistan, seven Americans and one German soldier were killed in three separate attacks. Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting at a Tucson, Arizona, shopping mall, received the 2013 Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. LeBron James of the Miami Heat was the overwhelming choice as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Brett Rumford won the China Open by four strokes to become the first Australian in 41 years to win consecutive European Tour titles.

One year ago: President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation, a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government operating through September. The Labor Department reported a burst of hiring in April 2017 as employers added 211,000 jobs, more than double the weak showing in March.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Pat Carroll is 91. Former AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney is 84. Saxophonist Ace Cannon is 84. Country singer-musician Roni Stoneman is 80. Actor Michael Murphy is 80. Actor Lance Henriksen is 78. Comedian-actor Michael Palin is 75. Actor John Rhys-Davies is 74. Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 73. Rock musician Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) is 70. Actress Melinda Culea is 63. Actress Lisa Eilbacher is 61. Actor Richard E. Grant is 61. Former broadcast journalist John Miller is 60. Rock singer Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 59. NBC newsman Brian Williams is 59. Rock musician Shawn Drover (Megadeth) is 52. TV personality Kyan (KY’-ihn) Douglas is 48. Actress Tina Yothers is 45. Rhythm and blues singer Raheem DeVaughn is 43. Actor Santiago Cabrera is 40. Actor Vincent Kartheiser is 39. Singer Craig David is 37. Actress Danielle Fishel is 37. Actor Henry Cavill is 35. Actor Clark Duke is 33. Soul singer Adele is 30. Rock singer Skye Sweetnam is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris Brown is 29. Figure skater Nathan Chen is 19.