Wednesday, May 18, 2022

On This Day :: May 18

1911 – The Czech-born Austrian composer Gustav Mahler died. He had completed nine symphonies and several song cycles, notably “Das Lied von der Erde” (The Song of the Earth).

1944 – A Polish-led Allied force finally evicted German troops from Monte Cassino, Italy, after four months of siege.

1974 – India successfully tested its first nuclear device, in the Rajasthan Desert.

1977 – The United States, the Soviet Union and 29 other nations signed a U.N. pact banning artificial use of the weather as a weapon of war, pledging they would never attack each other with man-made storms, earthquakes or tidal waves.

1980 – The Mount St. Helens volcano in the U.S. state of Washington erupted, creating a cloud of ash 2,500 miles (4,000 km) long and 1,000 miles (1,600 km) wide.

1993 – Danes voted in a referendum to ratify the Maastricht Treaty, a year after rejecting it in a previous vote.

2003 – World’s first bottle-nose dolphin conceived through artificial insemination using frozen-then-thawed semen is born, named “Charlie”.

2005 – U.S. actor and master impressionist Frank Gorshin, best known for his maniacally menacing turn as the Riddler on the 1960s TV series “Batman”, died aged 72.

2006 – Nepal’s parliament approved a plan to curtail the powers of the king, including his control of the army, a historic move for a country that has traditionally considered the monarch to be a god.

2009 – Sri Lanka declared total victory in one of the world’s most intractable wars, after killing the separatist Tamil Tigers’ leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and taking control of the entire country for the first time since 1983.

2015 – Landslide kills dozens in Colombia’s northwest mountains.

On This Day :: May 17

1900 – A small British cavalry force finally relieved the garrison under Colonel Robert Baden-Powell at Mafeking (now Mafikeng) in South Africa after 217 days’ siege by Dutch-speaking Boer settlers.

1989 – Hundreds of thousands of protesters fill Tiananmen Square in biggest popular upheaval in China since the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s.

1997 – Laurent Kabila said he had taken power as head of state in Zaire. His forces took control of the capital Kinshasa. Kabila also renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

2000 – Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader at the centre of a U.N. hostage crisis in Sierra Leone, was captured in the capital Freetown.

2001 – A Russian-built Yak-40 plane carrying 30 people including Iranian Transport Minister Rahman Dadman and other deputy ministers crashed in northern Iran, killing all on board.

2004 – Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to allow same-sex marriage.

2005 – A ferry with about 200 people on board sank in the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. Only 50 survived.

2006 – Romano Prodi was sworn in as Italian prime minister.

2007 – North and South Korea sent trains across heavily-armed border for first time since their 1950-1953 war.

2011 – First Pillow Fighting World Championships takes place in New York.

2016 – World’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, arrives in port for its maiden voyage.

On This Day :: May 16

1900 – Joan of Arc canonised.

1975 – Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to climb Everest.

1986 – Members of the military junta that led Argentina to defeat in the 1982 Falklands war with Britain were sentenced to between eight and 14 years’ imprisonment and stripped of their rank. Former President Leopoldo Galtieri was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

1990 – The American entertainer Sammy Davis Jr died of throat cancer aged 64.

1997 – President Mobutu Sese Seko fled into exile as rebels closed in on Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

2002 – Belgium became the second country after the Netherlands to decriminalise euthanasia when the lower house of parliament passed a bill giving patients the “right to die”.

2003 – Suicide bombers set off at least five blasts in Morocco’s biggest city, Casablanca. Forty-five people were killed, including 12 suicide bombers, and about 60 people were injured.

2005 – The Democratic Republic of Congo adopted a new constitution in line with a peace deal meant to end a five-year war.

2005 – The Kuwaiti parliament passed legislation granting women the right to vote and stand in elections.

2011 – Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Cape Canaveral on its 25th and final flight.

2014 – Twin explosions at Nairobi’s open-air Gikomba market.

On This Day :: May 15

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1934 – Karlis Ulmanis seized power in a coup in Latvia.

1940 – Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the United States.

1955 – The Vienna Treaty, signed by Britain, France, the United States and Soviet Union, restored Austrian sovereignty.

1957 – Britain dropped its first hydrogen bomb on Christmas Island in the Pacific.

1990 – “Portrait of Doctor Gachet” by Vincent Van Gogh sold for a record $82.5 million at Christies in New York.

1991 – President Francois Mitterrand appointed Edith Cresson as France’s first woman prime minister. Known for her outspokenness, she was replaced after less than a year.

1996 – Atal Bihari Vajpayee became India’s first Hindu nationalist prime minister after his Bharatiya Janata Party emerged as the largest single group in a hung parliament.

2001 – After nearly eight years of marriage, Japan’s Princess Masako was confirmed pregnant with a possible heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne, the world’s oldest monarchy.

2002 – Former Yugoslav Army general Mile Mrksic and Milan Martic, a former rebel leader in Croatia, arrived in The Hague to surrender to the war crimes tribunal.

2007 – Canadian publisher Thomson Corp. agreed to buy Reuters for about 8.7 billion pounds ($17.2 billion) and Reuters Founders Share Company, which had the power to block a change of ownership at the 156-year-old company, backed the deal.

2010 – Australian yachtswoman Jessica Watson becomes youngest person to sail solo, unassisted around the world.

On This Day :: May 14

1948 – The state of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, eight hours before the British mandate in Palestine was to end.

1955 – The Warsaw Pact was signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

1987 – The American film actress Rita Hayworth died. She was best known for her roles in “Blood and Sand” and “Gilda”.

1989 – Tens of thousands demonstrated for democratic reforms in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on the eve of a visit to China by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

1998 – The American singer and entertainer Frank Sinatra died.

2001 – Silvio Berlusconi won a general election at the head of a centre-right alliance that formed Italy’s 59th government since 1945.

2003 – Algerian armed forces freed 17 European tourists who had been kidnapped by outlawed Islamist militants and held for two months in the Sahara Desert.

2004 – The South Korean Constitutional Court reinstated President Roh Moo-hyun by overturning parliament’s vote to impeach him.

2005 – Former European Union trade chief Pascal Lamy was proclaimed the next head of the World Trade Organisation after his only remaining rival pulled out.

2006 – Idriss Deby was declared winner of Chad’s presidential election, securing a third five-year term.

2011 – Manchester United crowned champions of England for record 19th time.

On This Day :: May 13

1961 – Gary Cooper, who won Oscars for his roles in the films “Sergeant York” and “High Noon”, died aged 60.

1965 – Israel and West Germany agreed to establish diplomatic relations. Several Arab countries broke ties with West Germany.

1968 – Talks between North Vietnamese and American negotiators began in Paris aimed at ending the Vietnam War.

1981 – Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded as he drove through a crowd of 20,000 in St Peter’s Square in Rome. The gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, was arrested.

1992 – Three astronauts simultaneously walked in space for the first time. They repaired the Intelsat-6 satellite from the U.S. shuttle Endeavour in a walk lasting eight hours 29 minutes.

1999 – Gene Sarazen, one of only four players to win each of golf’s four major professional tournaments, died aged 97.

2002 – U.S. President George W. Bush announced an agreement with Russia on a treaty to sharply cut the two countries’ nuclear arsenals to 1,700-2,200, from about 6,000 to 7,000.

2005 – Pope Benedict announced that he had decided to put his predecessor Pope John Paul II on the fast track to possible sainthood.

2009 – European Commission imposes record 1.06 billion euro ($1.45 billion) fine on chipmaker Intel Corp.

2014 – More than 150 miners killed in explosion at coal mine in Turkey.

On This Day :: May 12

1926 – Jozef Pilsudski led a successful military coup in Poland.

1943 – The German commander in North Africa, General von Arnim, surrendered in World War Two.

2001 – The American singer Perry Como died. His relaxed vocal style endured through six decades with such easy-listening ballads as “Catch a Falling Star” and “It’s Impossible”.

2002 – Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter landed in Havana on a private visit, the highest-profile American to visit since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.

2006 – Around 200 people died when an oil pipeline exploded on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital Lagos after thieves tapped into it to steal fuel.

2006 – Justin Gatlin of the U.S. sets new 100m world record with a time of 9.76 seconds.

2008 – A 7.9 magnitude earthquake centred in Sichuan province devastated southwestern China, killing nearly 70,000 people.

2008 – The American artist Robert Rauschenberg, labelled a “Titan” of American art by the New York Times, died aged 82.

2008 – Irena Sendler, a Polish woman who saved thousands of Jewish children during World War Two by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, died.

2014 – Narendra Modi wins world’s largest-ever election in India.

2015 – Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia.

On This Day :: May 11

1943 – U.S. amphibious forces landed on Attu in the Aleutians, the first American territory to be recaptured from the Japanese.

1949 – Israel admitted to the United Nations.

1981 – Bob Marley, Jamaican-born singer who with his group The Wailers popularised reggae, died of cancer.

1996 – A ValuJet Airlines DC-9 crashed in the swampy Everglades near Miami International Airport, killing 110.

1997 – Garry Kasparov was defeated at chess by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue — the first time a machine had triumphed over a reigning world champion.

1998 – The first euro coin to be minted came off the presses in France.

1998 – India conducted three underground nuclear tests, bringing worldwide condemnation and heightened tension with Pakistan.

2000 – India welcomed its billionth citizen when a baby girl was born at Delhi’s state-run Safdarjang Hospital.

2008 – Nepali police detained 562 Tibetan women at an anti-China rally in Kathmandu, the first all-women protest against Chinese rule in their homeland.

2011 – Fatal earthquake hits historic buildings in Lorca, Spain.

2016 – Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer strikes out a record 20 batters.

On This Day :: May 10

1904 – Sir Henry Morton Stanley, British-born journalist and African explorer, died. He was famous for his rescue of the Scottish missionary explorer David Livingstone in 1871.

1933 – Nazis, nationalist students and professors in black robes gathered on a square in central Berlin to burn books by Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Bertolt Brecht and other authors condemned by Adolf Hitler’s followers as “un-German”.

1940 – Winston Churchill took over as British prime minister following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.

1941 – Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, flew from Augsburg and parachuted down near Glasgow, Scotland, in an apparent attempt to negotiate a peace deal. He was arrested and imprisoned.

1963 – Pope John XXIII received the Balzan Peace Prize, the first peace prize ever awarded to a pope.

1981 – Francois Mitterrand elected as first Socialist president in France.

1994 – Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.

1995 – Britain lifted a 23-year ban on ministerial talks with Sinn Fein, the political ally of the Irish Republican Army guerrillas in Northern Ireland.

1997 – 1,560 people were killed and 2,810 injured when an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked rural areas of eastern Iran.

2005 – Germany unveiled a new memorial in Berlin for the six million Jewish victims of Nazi terror. 2013 – Final piece of One World Trade Center is attached, making it the tallest building in the U.S

On This Day :: May 9

1901 – Australia’s first parliament opened in Melbourne.

1926 – Americans Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first people to fly over the North Pole.

1927 – Canberra replaced Melbourne as the capital of Australia.

1978 – The body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in the boot of a car in Rome; he had been kidnapped and murdered by the Red Brigades.

1986 – Sherpa Tenzing Norgay died; he shared with Edmund Hillary the achievement of being the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.

2001 – A total of 126 people died after a stampede at Accra’s main soccer stadium when police fired teargas at rioting fans. It was Africa’s worst soccer disaster.

2001 – Nicos Sampson, leader of a brief Greek-inspired coup which prompted the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, died aged 66.

2002 – A radio-controlled landmine exploded in Kaspiisk in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan killing 42 people and wounding 150 during a Victory Day parade.

2004 – Chechnya’s Moscow-backed president, Akhmad Kadyrov, was killed when a bomb blast tore through a packed stadium in Grozny.

2014 – 111-year-old Alexander Imich certified as world’s oldest living man.

2015 – Russia’s Victory Day parade in Moscow marks 70th anniversary of end of World War Two.

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On This Day :: May 18

1911 - The Czech-born Austrian composer Gustav Mahler died. He had completed nine symphonies and several song cycles, notably "Das Lied von der Erde"...

On This Day :: May 17

1900 - A small British cavalry force finally relieved the garrison under Colonel Robert Baden-Powell at Mafeking (now Mafikeng) in South Africa after 217...

On This Day :: May 16

1900 - Joan of Arc canonised. 1975 - Junko Tabei of Japan became the first woman to climb Everest. 1986 - Members of the military junta...


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