Today in History
Today is Friday, May 19, the 139th day of 2023. 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 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: President Barack Obama, in a soaring commencement address on work, sacrifice and opportunity, told graduates of historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta to seize the power of their example as black men graduating from college and use it to improve people’s lives. At least one person was killed and dozens were injured as a series of tornadoes hit Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Illinois. Taylor Swift won eight awards, including album and artist of the year, at the Billboard Music Awards.
Five years ago: 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. Justify won the Preakness in foggy Baltimore, on the way to a Triple Crown sweep. Starbucks announced a new policy allowing anyone to sit in its cafes or use its restrooms, even if they don’t buy anything; the policy came five weeks after two black men who hadn’t bought anything were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. First lady Melania Trump returned to the white House following a weeklong hospitalization for kidney treatment.
One year ago: President Joe Biden embarks on a six-day trip to South Korea and Japan aiming to build rapport with the two nations’ leaders while also sending an unmistakable message to China: Russia’s faltering invasion of Ukraine should give Beijing pause about its own saber-rattling in the Pacific. The nation’s oldest civil rights organization said it will propose a sweeping plan meant to protect Black Americans from white supremacist violence, in response to a hate-fueled massacre that killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, New York. Vangelis, the Greece-born electronic composer who wrote the Academy Award-winning score for “Chariots of Fire” and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series, died at age 79.
Today’s Birthdays: TV personality David Hartman is 88. Actor James Fox is 84. Actor Nancy Kwan is 84. Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend (The Who) is 78. Concert pianist David Helfgott is 76. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Archie Manning is 74. Singer-actor Grace Jones is 72. Rock musician Phil Rudd is 69. Actor Steven Ford is 67. Actor Toni Lewis is 63. Rock musician Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) is 61. Actor Polly Walker is 57. Actor Jason Gray-Stanford is 53. Gospel singer Israel Houghton is 52. Rock singer Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 51. Former race car driver Dario Franchitti is 50. TV personality Kim Zolciak Biermann (TV: “Real Housewives of Atlanta”) is 45. Country/rock singer Shooter Jennings is 44. Actor Drew Fuller is 43. Actor-comedian Michael Che (chay) (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 40. Christian rock musician Tim McTague (Underoath) is 40. Actor Eric Lloyd is 37. Pop singer Sam Smith is 31. Actor Nolan Lyons is 22.