Today is Saturday, May 11, the 131st day of 2019. There are 234 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 11, 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
On this date:
In 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant (STY’-veh-sunt) arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland.
In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.
In 1943, during World War II, U.S. forces landed on the Aleutian island of Attu, which was held by the Japanese; the Americans took the island 19 days later.
In 1953, a tornado devastated Waco, Texas, claiming 114 lives.
In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1973, the espionage trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo in the “Pentagon Papers” case came to an end as Judge William M. Byrne dismissed all charges, citing government misconduct.
In 1987, doctors in Baltimore transplanted the heart and lungs of an auto accident victim to a patient who gave up his own heart to another recipient. (Clinton House, the nation’s first living heart donor, died 14 months later.)
In 1998, India set off three underground atomic blasts, its first nuclear tests in 24 years. A French mint produced the first coins of Europe’s single currency, the euro.
In 2006, Lawmakers demanded answers after a USA Today report that the National Security Agency was secretly collecting records of millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls; President George W. Bush sought to assure Americans their civil liberties were being “fiercely protected.”
In 2010, Conservative leader David Cameron, at age 43, became Britain’s youngest prime minister in almost 200 years after Gordon Brown stepped down and ended 13 years of Labour government.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama fired the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. David McKiernan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Five U.S. troops were shot and killed at a mental health clinic on a Baghdad base; the shooter, Sgt. John Russell, was later sentenced to life in prison without parole. American journalist Roxana Saberi, imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for four months, was freed. President Barack Obama met at the White House with representatives of the health care industry who promised to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel on a visit to the Holy Land. The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
Five years ago: Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine said voters overwhelmingly favored sovereignty in balloting that the Ukraine central government and the West denounced as an illegal sham. Musa Dayib, a 15-month-old toddler, miraculously survived an 11-story fall from a Minneapolis high-rise apartment balcony. Jeb Stuart Magruder, 79, a Watergate conspirator-turned minister, died in Danbury, Connecticut.
One year ago: President Donald Trump unveiled his long-promised plan to bring down drug prices; the plan mostly spared the pharmaceutical industry and didn’t include his campaign pledge to use the Medicare program’s buying power to directly negotiate lower prices for seniors. R&B singer R. Kelly went ahead with a concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, despite calls for a boycott stemming from longstanding allegations of sexual misconduct.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 92. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is 86. Jazz keyboardist Carla Bley is 83. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 78. Actress Pam Ferris is 71. Former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly is 69. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (SHOH’-reh ahg-DAHSH’-loo) is 67. Actress Frances Fisher is 67. Sports columnist Mike Lupica is 67. Actor Boyd Gaines is 66. Country musician Mark Herndon (formerly with Alabama) is 64. Actress Martha Quinn is 60. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 56. Actor Tim Blake Nelson is 55. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 51. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 51. Actor Nicky Katt is 49. Actor Coby Bell is 44. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso (PER’-tuh KEE’-wee-lahk-soh) is 41. Actor Austin O’Brien is 38. Actor-singer Jonathan Jackson is 37. Rapper Ace Hood is 31. Latin singer Prince Royce is 30. Actress Annabelle Attanasio (TV: “Bull”) is 26. Musician Howard Lawrence (Disclosure) is 25.