TODAY HISTORY IN
Today is Thursday, May 6, the 126th day of 2021. There are 239 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History: On May 6, 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.
On this date:
• In 1527, unpaid troops loyal to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V attacked Rome, forcing Pope Clement VII to flee to safety; some scholars mark the ensuing sack of the city as the end of the Renaissance in Italy.
• In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years (Arthur had opposed an earlier version with a 20-year ban).
• In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.
• In 1915, Babe Ruth hit his first major-league home run as a player for the Boston Red Sox.
• In 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey; 35 of the 97 people on board were killed along with a crewman on the ground.
• In 1941, Josef Stalin assumed the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav (VEE’cheh-slav) M. Molotov. Comedian Bob Hope did his first USO show before an audience of servicemen as he broadcast his radio program from March Field in Riverside, California.
• In 1942, during World War II, some 15,000 American and Filipino troops on Corregidor island surrendered to Japanese forces.
• In 1957, Eugene O’Neill’s play “Long Day’s Journey into Night” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama; John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” won the Pulitzer for biography or autobiography.
• In 2004, President George W. Bush apologized for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, calling it “a stain on our country’s honor”; he rejected calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.
• In 2010, a computerized sell order triggered a “flash crash” on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrials to a loss of nearly 1,000 points in less than half an hour.
• In 2013, kidnap-rape victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who went missing separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house just south of downtown Cleveland. (Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison in September 2013 at the beginning of a life sentence plus 1,000 years.)
• In 2015, the NFL released a 243-report on “Deflategate” that stopped short of calling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady a cheater, but did call some of his claims “implausible” and left little doubt that he’d had a role in having footballs deflated before New England’s AFC title game against Indianapolis and probably in previous games.
Ten years ago: Brimming with pride, President Barack Obama met with the U.S. commandos he’d sent after terror mastermind Osama bin Laden during a visit to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Al-Qaida vowed to keep fighting the United States and avenge the death of bin Laden, which it acknowledged for the first time in an internet statement.
Five years ago: In his first remarks about Donald Trump’s status as the GOP’s presumptive nominee, President Barack Obama urged the media to undertake tougher scrutiny of presidential candidates, saying from the White House, “This is not entertainment; this is not a reality show.” For the second month in a row, the aerospace upstart SpaceX landed a rocket on an ocean platform just off the Florida coast, this time following the successful launch of a Japanese communications satellite.
One year ago: New York City began shutting down its subway system overnight to allow for additional cleaning and disinfecting of cars and stations. President Donald Trump reversed course on plans to wind down his COVID-19 task force; he said the force would shift its focus toward rebooting the economy and developing a vaccine.