Today is Monday, May 28, the 149th day of 2012. There are 217 days left in the year. This is the Memorial Day observance.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 28, 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the sinking of the Titanic. Sen. William Alden Smith, R-Mich., chairman of the special subcommittee that looked into the disaster, cited a "state of absolute unpreparedness," improperly tested safety equipment and an "indifference to danger" on the part of the ship's captain, Edward Smith, as being among the causes of an "unnecessary tragedy."
On this date:
In 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.
In 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, made up of freed blacks, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.
In 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.
In 1918, the Battle of Cantigny (kahn-tee-NYEE') began during World War I as American troops captured the French town from the Germans.
In 1934, the Dionne quintuplets – Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne – were born to Elzire Dionne at the family farm in Ontario, Canada.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.
In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
In 1959, the U.S. Army launched Able, a rhesus monkey, and Baker, a squirrel monkey, aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight which both primates survived.
In 1961, Amnesty International had its beginnings with the publication of an article in the British newspaper The Observer, "The Forgotten Prisoners," by lawyer Peter Benenson.
In 1972, Edward, The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the English throne to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, died in Paris at age 77.
In 1985, David Jacobsen, director of the American University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, was abducted by pro-Iranian kidnappers (he was freed 17 months later).
In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust (mah-TEE'-uhs rust), a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow's Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)
Ten years ago: NATO declared Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance. President George W. Bush told Pope John Paul II at the Vatican he was concerned about the Roman Catholic Church's standing in America because of a sex-abuse scandal. NBC announced that Brian Williams would succeed Tom Brokaw as anchor of its "Nightly News" after the 2004 presidential election. Mildred Wirt Benson, creator of the "Nancy Drew" children's mystery stories, died in Toledo, Ohio, at age 96.
Five years ago: The United States and Iran broke a 27-year diplomatic freeze with a four-hour meeting in Baghdad about Iraqi security. President George W. Bush, during a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, honored U.S. troops who had fought and died for freedom and expressed his steely resolve to succeed in the war in Iraq. Miss Japan Rita Mori was crowned Miss Universe 2007 at the pageant in Mexico City.
One year ago: President Barack Obama praised Poland's transition to democracy following a meeting in Warsaw with President Bronislaw Komorowski. After a four-year blockade, Egypt permanently opened the Gaza Strip's main gateway to the outside world. North Korea freed Eddie Jun, an American it had held for a half year for reportedly proselytizing.
Today's Birthdays: Rockabilly singer-musician Sonny Burgess is 83. Actress Carroll Baker is 81. Producer-director Irwin Winkler is 81. Actor John Karlen is 79. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Jerry West is 74. Actress Beth Howland is 71. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is 68. Singer Gladys Knight is 68. Actress-director Sondra Locke is 68. Singer Billy Vera is 68. Singer John Fogerty is 67. Country musician Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss and Union Station) is 56. Actor Brandon Cruz (TV: "The Courtship of Eddie's Father") is 50. Country singer Phil Vassar is 48. Actress Christa Miller is 48. Singer-musician Chris Ballew (Presidents of the USA) is 47. Rapper Chubb Rock is 44. Singer Kylie Minogue (KY'-lee mihn-OHG') is 44. Actor Justin Kirk is 43. Television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck ("The View") is 35. Actor Jesse Bradford is 33. Actress Monica Keena is 33. Pop singer Colbie Caillat (kal-LAY') is 27. Actress Carey Mulligan is 27. Actor Joseph Cross is 26.
Thought for Today: "The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly." – Corra May Harris, American writer (1869-1935).
(Comments, questions and suggestions can be emailed to history(at)ap.org)
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