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UPI Almanac for Thursday, May 1, 2014

Empire State Building dedicated, Amtrak begins, Osama bin Laden killed ... on this date in history.
By United Press International   |   May 1, 2014 at 3:30 AM   |   Comments

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Today is Thursday, May 1, the 121st day of 2014 with 244 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Mars and Mercury.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include Arthur Wellesley, the first duke of Wellington, in 1769; sharpshooter Calamity Jane, real name Martha Jane Cannary Burke, in 1852; U.S. Army Gen. Mark Clark in 1896; singer Kate Smith in 1907; actors Louis Nye in 1913 and Glenn Ford in 1916; television personality Jack Paar in 1918; actor Dan O'Herlihy in 1919; author Joseph Heller in 1923; game show host Art Fleming in 1924; Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter in 1925; singers Sonny James in 1929 (age 85); Judy Collins in 1939 (age 75), Rita Coolidge in 1945 (age 69) and Tim McGraw in 1967 (age 47); Hong Kong film director John Woo in 1946 (age 68); jockey Steve Cauthen in 1960 (age 54); and actor Emilia Clarke in 1987 (age 27).


On this date in history:

In 1786, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" was first performed.

In 1884, construction began on the world's first skyscraper -- the 10-story Home Insurance Co. building in Chicago.

In 1893, U.S. President Grover Cleveland opened the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

In 1898, during the Spanish-American war, forces under U.S. Navy Adm. George Dewey routed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines.

In 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City. (It remained the world's tallest building for 40 years.)

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers, who was captured.

In 1971, Amtrak, the U.S. national rail service that combined the operations of 18 passenger railroads, went into service.

In 1991, Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics stole his 939th base, making him the all-time leader; Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers pitched his record seventh no-hitter.

In 1993, Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa and others in his entourage were killed in a suicide bomb blast.

In 1997, 18 years of Conservative Party rule in Great Britain ended with a Labor Party victory in elections, allowing party leader Tony Blair to succeed John Majors as prime minister.

In 1999, Charismatic, a 31-1 long shot, won the 125th Kentucky Derby.

In 2001, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan was convicted in Birmingham, Ala., in a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. He was given four life sentences.

In 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush, speaking from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, declared that major combat in Iraq was over and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the end of major U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

In 2005, five men in Madain, Iraq, confessed to the kidnapping and slaying of British aid worker Margaret Hassan.

In 2008, the U.S. Congress gave final approval to a bill making it illegal for employers and insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of genetic history. (It became law May 24.)

In 2009, U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced he would retire in June. He was on the court 19 years.

In 2010, thousands of tourists and theatergoers were evacuated from New York's Times Square area for more than 8 hours so police could disarm a malfunctioned bomb found in an SUV, parked with its motor running and smoke coming from rear vents. (Faisal Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison for the bombing attempt.)

In 2011, al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden, architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the face of global terrorism, was killed in a U.S. midnight commando raid on his compound near the Pakistani capital.

In 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking from Afghanistan in a televised address to Americans, said Afghans will be "fully responsible" for their security by 2014.

In 2013, Chris Kelly of the rap duo Kris Kross died at the age of 34. (The medical examiner’s office in Atlanta later announced the cause of death was a drug overdose.)


A thought for the day: "You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal." -- Elizabeth Taylor

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