Today In History, May 4
Today is Sunday, May 4, the 124th day of 2014. There are 241 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 4, 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female prime minister after the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections.
On this date:
In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
In 1864, Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia was chartered.
In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.
In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal.
In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)
In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Imperial Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)
In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)"; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for "The Music from Peter Gunn."
In 1964, the daytime drama "Another World" began a 35-year run on NBC-TV.
In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
In 1974, Expo '74, a six-month-long world's fair, opened in Spokane, Washington.
In 1989, fired White House aide Oliver North was convicted of shredding documents and two other crimes and acquitted of nine other charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair. (However, the three convictions were later overturned on appeal.)
In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
Ten years ago: The Army disclosed that the deaths of 10 prisoners and abuse of 10 more in Iraq and Afghanistan were under criminal investigation, as U.S. commanders in Baghdad announced interrogation changes. The United States walked out of a U.N. meeting to protest its decision minutes later to give Sudan a third term on the Human Rights Commission.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama promised to crack down on companies "that ship jobs overseas" and duck U.S. taxes with offshore havens. Jeff Kepner, of Augusta, Georgia, underwent the nation's first double-hand transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Mexican officials lowered a swine flu alert level in their capital. Cleveland's LeBron James was named the NBA's MVP. Actor, comedian and director Dom DeLuise, 75, died in Santa Monica, California.
One year ago: National Rifle Association leaders told members during a meeting in Houston that the fight against gun control legislation was far from over, and vowed that none in the organization would ever have to surrender their weapons. A limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be. Orb powered to a 2 1/2-length victory on a sloppy track to win the Kentucky Derby. Floyd Mayweather came back from a year's absence to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.
Today's Birthdays: The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 86. Opera singer Roberta Peters is 84. Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 84. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 77. Rock musician Dick Dale is 77. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 70. Actor Richard Jenkins is 67. Country singer Stella Parton is 65. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 64. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 64. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 63. Singer-actress Pia Zadora is 62. Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sharon Jones is 58. Country singer Randy Travis is 55. Actress Mary McDonough is 53. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 47. Actor Will Arnett is 44. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 42. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 42. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 39. Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 37. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 36. Singer Lance Bass ('N Sync) is 35. Actor Alexander Gould is 20. Actress Amara Miller is 14.
Thought for Today: "The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be." - Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (c.604-531 B.C.).