National News

Today in history, and birthdays; It’s Thursday, May 9, the 129th day of 2019. There are 236 days left in the year.

Highlight: In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.

In 1712, the Carolina Colony was officially divided into two entities: North Carolina and South Carolina.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly became the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd’s flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)

In 1945, with World War II in Europe at an end, Soviet forces liberated Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1958, “Vertigo,” Alfred Hitchcock’s eerie thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, premiered in San Francisco, the movie’s setting.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon made a surprise visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he chatted with a group of protesters who’d been resting on the Memorial steps after protests against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings.

In 1994, South Africa’s newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first black president.

In 2008, jury selection began in the Chicago trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly, accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. (Kelly was later acquitted on all counts.)

In 2012, President Barack Obama declared his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage in a historic announcement that came three days after Vice President Joe Biden spoke in favor of such unions on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

In 2017, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, ousting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the midst of an FBI investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia’s meddling in the election that sent him to the White House.

Ten years ago: The top religious adviser to Jordan’s king thanked a visiting Pope Benedict XVI for expressing regret after a 2006 speech that many Muslims deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. Pakistani warplanes pounded the Taliban-held Swat Valley in what the country’s prime minister called a “war of the country’s survival.”

Five years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first trip to Crimea since its annexation, calling it “historic justice” during a Victory Day display of military pomp and patriotism. A judge struck down Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state had “no rational reason” for preventing gay couples from marrying.

One year ago: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea to finalize plans for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; three Americans who had spent more than a year in prison were freed during his visit.


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