A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  May 12, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Today is May 12.

Former President Jimmy Carter began an historic trip to Cuba on this date in 2002. He was the first U.S. president, in or out of office, to visit the island since communists seized control in 1959. While there, Carter criticized Fidel Castro's one-party rule, urged more political freedom and called on the U.S. to lift its embargo against Cuba.

The "Mayaguez incident" began on this date in 1975 when a Cambodian gunboat fired on the American cargo ship Mayaguez, forcing it into a Cambodian port. During a U.S military rescue two days later, all 39 crewmen aboard were freed but a number of American servicemen died during the mission.

George VI was crowned king of England at London's Westminster Abby on this date in 1937 -- succeeding his brother Edward VIII, who had abdicated to marry "the woman he loved," American divorcee Wallis Simpson. King George died in 1952 and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II, Britain's current reigning monarch.

It was on this date in 1949 that Soviet authorities announced the end of a land blockade of Berlin. The blockade had lasted 328 days but was neutralized by the Allies' Berlin airlift of food and other supplies to the divided city in East Germany.

CIA Director Robert Gates said on this date in 1992 that he had begun declassifying all relevant information on the President Kennedy assassination to end the "insidious, perverse notion" that the CIA was involved.

And it was on this date in 1965 that the Rolling Stones laid down the basic tracks for what would become perhaps the band's most famous song -- "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" -- at Chicago's Chess Studios. The song would be finished in Los Angeles.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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