Today in History
Today is Friday, May 26, the 146th day of 2023. There are 219 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 26, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow. (The U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
On this date:
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the Montana Territory.
In 1865, Confederate forces west of the Mississippi surrendered in New Orleans.
In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was established by Congress.
In 1940, Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of some 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.
In 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors. (The initial blast was blamed on leaking catapult fluid ignited by the flames of a jet.)
In 1971, Don McLean recorded his song “American Pie” at The Record Plant in New York City (it was released the following November by United Artists Records).
In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.
In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. (The marriage ended in 1996.)
In 2004, nearly a decade after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the attack. (Nichols later received 161 consecutive life sentences.)
In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. California’s Supreme Court upheld the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that had taken place before the prohibition passed were still valid.
In 2011, Ratko Mladic (RAHT’-koh MLAH’-dich), the brutal Bosnian Serb general suspected of leading the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, was arrested after a 16-year manhunt. (Mladic was extradited to face trial in The Hague, Netherlands; he was convicted in 2017 on genocide and war crimes charges and is serving a life sentence.)
In 2020, Minneapolis police issued a statement saying George Floyd had died after a “medical incident,” and that he had physically resisted officers and appeared to be in medical distress; minutes after the statement was released, bystander video was posted online. Protests over Floyd’s death began, with tense skirmishes developing between protesters and Minneapolis police. Four police officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired.
Ten years ago: A U.S. drone strike killed Waliur Rehman (wah-lee-UR’ REH’-man), the No. 2 commander of the Pakistani Taliban. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a conservative firebrand and a favorite of tea party Republicans, said she would not run for another term in the U.S. House. The Rev. Andrew Greeley, 85, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and longtime newspaper columnist, died in Chicago.
Five years ago: Joshua Holt, who traveled to Venezuela from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman, but was jailed and labeled as the CIA’s top spy in Latin America, was set free by Venezuela’s anti-American government and returned to the United States with his wife. The leaders of North and South Korea met for the second time in a month in a surprise summit at a border village to discuss Kim Jong Un’s potential meeting with President Donald Trump.
One year ago: It was revealed that the gunman who massacred 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school was inside for more than an hour before he was killed in a shootout with police. The amount of time that elapsed stirred anger and questions among family members, who demanded to know why authorities did not storm the place and put a stop to the rampage more quickly. Moscow pressed the West to lift sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine, seeking to shift the blame for a growing food crisis. Ray Liotta, the actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” died at age 67.
Today’s Birthdays: Sportscaster Brent Musburger is 84. Rock musician Garry Peterson (Guess Who) is 78. Singer Stevie Nicks is 75. Actor Pam Grier is 74. Actor Philip Michael Thomas is 74. Country singer Hank Williams Jr. is 74. Former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is 74. Actor Margaret Colin is 65. Actor Doug Hutchison is 63. Actor Genie Francis is 61. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait is 61. Singer-actor Lenny Kravitz is 59. Actor Helena Bonham Carter is 57. Distance runner Zola Budd is 57. Rock musician Phillip Rhodes is 55. Actor Joseph Fiennes (FYNZ) is 53. Singer Joey Kibble (Take 6) is 52. Actor-producer-writer Matt Stone is 52. Singer Lauryn Hill is 48. Contemporary Christian musician Nathan Cochran is 45. Actor Elisabeth Harnois is 44. Actor Hrach Titizian is 44.