Today in History, May 12th
Today is Monday, May 12, the 132nd day of 2014. There are 233 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 12, 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.
On this date:
In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered to British forces.
In 1870, an act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba was given royal assent, to take effect in July.
In 1914, author and broadcast journalist Howard K. Smith was born in Ferriday, Louisiana.
In 1922, a 20-ton meteor crashed near Blackstone, Virginia.
In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, New Jersey.
In 1937, Britain's King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.
In 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. The two-week Trident Conference, headed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opened in Washington.
In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).
In 1963, Betty Miller became the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean as she landed her Piper Apache in Brisbane, Australia, having left Oakland, California, on April 30, making three stopovers along the way.
In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.
In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope's longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)
In 1994, British Labor Party leader John Smith died at age 55.
Ten years ago: Members of Congress expressed outrage after they were privately shown fresh pictures and videos of Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. troops. NBC completed a merger with the Universal television and entertainment businesses to create a major media conglomerate.
Five years ago: The government warned that without changes, Social Security would be depleted in 2037, and the Medicare trust fund would become insolvent in 2017. Five Miami men were convicted in a plot to blow up FBI buildings and Chicago's Sears Tower; one man was acquitted. Suspected Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk was deported from the United States to Germany. On the second day of his Holy Land tour, Pope Benedict XVI took his message of peace to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
One year ago: Pope Francis gave the Catholic church new saints, including hundreds of 15th-century martyrs who were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam, as he led his first canonization ceremony before tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square. Nineteen people were wounded when shots rang out during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans (nine people have been charged in connection with the case). Serena Williams kept her No. 1 ranking and added career title No. 50 as she beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Madrid Open.
Today's Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra is 89. Critic John Simon is 89. Composer Burt Bacharach is 86. Actress Millie Perkins is 76. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jayotis Washington is 73. Country singer Billy Swan is 72. Actress Linda Dano is 71. Musician Ian McLagan is 69. Actress Lindsay Crouse is 66. Singer-musician Steve Winwood is 66. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 64. Actor Bruce Boxleitner is 64. Singer Billy Squier is 64. Country singer Kix Brooks is 59. Actress Kim Greist is 56. Rock musician Eric Singer (KISS) is 56. Actor Ving Rhames is 55. Rock musician Billy Duffy is 53. Actor Emilio Estevez is 52. Actress April Grace is 52. Actress Vanessa A. Williams (TV: "Soul Food") is 51. TV personality/chef Carla Hall (TV: "The Chew") is 50. Country musician Eddie Kilgallon is 49. Actor Stephen Baldwin is 48. Actor Scott Schwartz is 46. Actress Kim Fields is 45. Actress Samantha Mathis is 44. Actress Jamie Luner is 43. Actor Christian Campbell is 42. Actress Rhea Seehorn is 42. Actor Mackenzie Astin is 41. Actress Rebecca Herbst (TV: "General Hospital") is 37. Actress Malin (MAH'-lin) Akerman is 36. Actor Jason Biggs is 36. Actor Rami Malek (RAH'-mee MA'-lihk) is 33. Actress-singer Clare Bowen (TV: "Nashville") is 30.Actress Emily VanCamp is 28. Actor Malcolm David Kelley is 22. Actors Sullivan and Sawyer Sweeten (TV: "Everybody Loves Raymond") are 19.
Thought for Today: "Dissent is not sacred; the right of dissent is." - Thurman Arnold, American lawyer (1891-1969).