Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 11, 2018

Today is Friday, May 11, the 131st day of 2018. There are 234 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 11, 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese; the Americans took the island 19 days later.

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On this date:

In 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland.

In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.

In 1888, songwriter Irving Berlin was born Israel Baline in Temun, Russia.

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

In 1953, a tornado devastated Waco, Texas, claiming 114 lives.

In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1973, the espionage trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo in the “Pentagon Papers” case came to an end as Judge William M. Byrne dismissed all charges, citing government misconduct.

In 1988, master spy Harold “Kim” Philby, the notorious “third man” of a British espionage ring, died in the Soviet Union at age 76.

In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.

In 1998, India set off three underground atomic blasts, its first nuclear tests in 24 years. A French mint produced the first coins of Europe’s single currency, the euro.

Ten years ago: Serbia’s pro-Western president, Boris Tadic (boo-RIHS’ TAH’-dich), declared victory in parliamentary elections in a stunning upset over ultranationalists. Parvati Shallow was the last woman standing on CBS’ “Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites.” (Shallow had previously come in sixth place on “Survivor: Cook Islands.”)

Five years ago: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (nah-WAHZ’ shah-REEF’) declared victory following a historic election marred by violence. A pair of car bomb attacks in Turkey killed 52 people near the Syrian border.

One year ago: President Donald Trump signed an executive order launching a commission to review alleged voter fraud and voter suppression, building upon his unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election. The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nominee for U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer (LYT’-hy-zur), by a vote of 82-14 despite complaints from some Republicans.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 91. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is 85. Jazz keyboardist Carla Bley is 82. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 77. Actress Pam Ferris is 70. White House chief of staff John F. Kelly is 68. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (SHOH’-reh ahg-DAHSH’-loo) is 66. Actress Frances Fisher is 66. Sports columnist Mike Lupica is 66. Actor Boyd Gaines is 65. Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 63. Actress Martha Quinn is 59. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 55. Actor Tim Blake Nelson is 54. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 50. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 50. Actor Nicky Katt is 48. Actor Coby Bell is 43. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso (PER’-tuh KEE’-wee-lahk-soh) is 40. Actor Austin O’Brien is 37. Actor-singer Jonathan Jackson is 36. Rapper Ace Hood is 30. Latin singer Prince Royce is 29. Actress Annabelle Attanasio (TV: “Bull”) is 25. Musician Howard Lawrence (Disclosure) is 24.