Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

Today is Saturday, May 19, the 139th day of 2018. There are 226 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 19, 1943, in his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support in the fight against Japan; that evening, Churchill met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House, where the two leaders agreed on May 1, 1944 as the date for the D-Day invasion of France (the operation ended up being launched more than a month later).

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On this date:

In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

In 1649, England was declared a republic by Parliament following the execution of King Charles I. (The monarchy was restored in 1660.)

In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.

In 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed the Webb-Hartley Law prohibiting “aliens ineligible to citizenship” from owning farm land, a measure targeting Asian immigrants, particularly Japanese.

In 1927, the silent movie “Wings,” a World War I drama starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen, had its world premiere in San Antonio, Texas, where it was filmed. (“Wings” went on to win the first Academy Award for best picture.)

In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, also known as “Lawrence of Arabia,” died in Dorset, England, six days after being injured in a motorcycle crash.

In 1958, British actor Ronald Colman died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 67.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday to You” to President John F. Kennedy during a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 1973, Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes, the second of his Triple Crown victories.

In 1981, five British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army landmine in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

In 1993, the Clinton White House set off a political storm by abruptly firing the entire staff of its travel office; five of the seven staffers were later reinstated and assigned to other duties.

In 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at age 64.

Ten years ago: Chinese stood still and sirens wailed to mourn the country’s nearly 87,000 earthquake victims. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, less than a week after Hillary Rodham Clinton overwhelmingly won the state’s primary. Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox shut down Kansas City 7-0 for the first no-hitter of the season.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, told graduates of historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people’s lives.

One year ago: Sweden dropped a rape investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remained holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid arrest and possible extradition to the United States to face charges stemming from the publication of thousands of pages of classified documents. Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., whose penchant for sexting strangers ended his political career, pleaded guilty in Manhattan to a sex charge, tearfully apologizing for communications with a 15-year-old girl. (Weiner received a 21-month prison sentence.) Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN’ roh-HAH’-nee) trounced a hard-line challenger to secure re-election.

Today’s Birthdays: PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer is 84. TV personality David Hartman is 83. Actor James Fox is 79. Actress Nancy Kwan is 79. Actor Peter Mayhew is 74. Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend (The Who) is 73. Concert pianist David Helfgott is 71. Rock singer-musician Dusty Hill (ZZ Top) is 69. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Archie Manning is 69. Singer-actress Grace Jones is 67. Rock musician Phil Rudd is 64. Actor Steven Ford is 62. Actress Toni Lewis is 58. Rock musician Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) is 56. Actress Polly Walker is 52. Actor Jason Gray-Stanford is 48. Gospel singer Israel Houghton is 47. Rock singer Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 46. Race car driver Dario Franchitti is 45. TV personality Kim Zolciak Biermann (TV: “Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 40. Country/rock singer Shooter Jennings is 39. Actor Drew Fuller is 38. Actor-comedian Michael Che (chay) (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 35. Christian rock musician Tim McTague (Underoath) is 35. Rock musician James Richardson (MGMT) is 35. Actor Eric Lloyd is 32. Pop singer Sam Smith is 26. Actor Nolan Lyons is 17.