Today in History
Today is Thursday, May 19, the 139th day of 2022. There are 226 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.
On this date:
In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.
In 1913, California Gov. Hiram Johnson signed the Webb-Hartley Law prohibiting “aliens ineligible to citizenship” from owning farm land, a measure targeting Asian immigrants, particularly Japanese.
In 1920, ten people were killed in a gun battle between coal miners, who were led by a local police chief, and a group of private security guards hired to evict them for joining a union in Matewan, a small “company town” in West Virginia.
In 1921, Congress passed, and President Warren G. Harding signed, the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.
In 1943, in his second wartime address to the U.S. Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support in the fight against Japan; that evening, Churchill met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House, where the two leaders agreed on May 1, 1944 as the date for the D-Day invasion of France (the operation ended up being launched more than a month later).
In 1962, film star Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday to You” to President John F. Kennedy during a Democratic fundraiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
In 1967, the Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the United States and Britain, banning nuclear and other weapons from outer space as well as celestial bodies such as the moon. (The treaty entered into force in October 1967.)
In 1993, the Clinton White House set off a political storm by abruptly firing the entire staff of its travel office; five of the seven staffers were later reinstated and assigned to other duties.
In 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at age 64.
In 2003, WorldCom Inc. agreed to pay investors $500 million to settle civil fraud charges.
In 2018, Britain’s Prince Harry wed American actress Meghan Markle in a service that reflected Harry’s royal heritage and his bride’s biracial roots, as well as their shared commitment to put a more diverse, modern face on the monarchy.
In 2020, a Trump administration policy of quickly expelling most migrants stopped along the border because of the COVID-19 pandemic was indefinitely extended.
Ten years ago: Chen Guangcheng (chehn gwahng-chung), a blind Chinese legal activist, was hurriedly taken from a hospital and put on a plane for the United States, closing a nearly monthlong diplomatic tussle that had tested U.S.-China relations.
Five years ago: Sweden dropped a rape investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remained holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid arrest and possible extradition to the United States to face charges stemming from the publication of thousands of pages of classified documents. Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., whose penchant for sexting strangers ended his political career, pleaded guilty in Manhattan to a sex charge, tearfully apologizing for communications with a 15-year-old girl. (Weiner received a 21-month prison sentence.) Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN’ roh-HAH’-nee) trounced a hard-line challenger to secure reelection.
One year ago: The House voted to create an independent commission on the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, sending the legislation to the Senate. (Senate Republicans would block creation of the panel.) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to press ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, pushing back against calls from the United States to wind down the operation.
Today’s Birthdays: TV personality David Hartman is 87. Actor James Fox is 83. Actor Nancy Kwan is 83. Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend (The Who) is 77. Concert pianist David Helfgott is 75. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Archie Manning is 73. Singer-actor Grace Jones is 71. Rock musician Phil Rudd is 68. Actor Steven Ford is 66. Actor Toni Lewis is 62. Rock musician Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) is 60. Actor Polly Walker is 56. Actor Jason Gray-Stanford is 52. Gospel singer Israel Houghton is 51. Rock singer Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 50. Former race car driver Dario Franchitti is 49. TV personality Kim Zolciak Biermann (TV: “Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 44. Country/rock singer Shooter Jennings is 43. Actor Drew Fuller is 42. Actor-comedian Michael Che (chay) (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 39. Christian rock musician Tim McTague (Underoath) is 39. Actor Eric Lloyd is 36. Pop singer Sam Smith is 30. Actor Nolan Lyons is 21.