A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  May 15, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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Today is May 15

In 2002, eight months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the White House said that President Bush had received a CIA briefing in August, 2001, warning that Osama bin Laden planned to hijack airplanes. But, there was no mention of possibly crashing planes into buildings. Officials said they had received many threats that summer but the warnings were not specific.

It was on this date in 1972 that former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, a symbol of segregation, was shot and wounded at he campaigned for the U.S presidency in Laurel, Md. Wallace, who died in 1998, was left paralyzed from the waist down. His assailant, Arthur Bremer, was sentenced to 67 years in prison for the shooting.

Maj. Gordon Cooper -- one of the original 7 Mercury astronauts -- was launched into space atop an Atlas rocket on this date in 1962. Cooper, inside his Faith 7 capsule, orbited the Earth 22 times before splashing down. In the movie "The Right Stuff," Cooper (portrayed by actor Dennis Quaid) was shown as being so cool that he fell asleep during the launch countdown.

A U.S Supreme Court justice resigned on this date in 1969. Justice Abe Fortas had been under fire for a money deal with jailed financier Louis Wolfson.

France got its first woman prime minister with the election, on this date in 1991, of Socialist and former trade minister Edith Cresson.

And the first regular Air Mail service was established between Washington, D.C., and New York City on this date in 1918. We don't know how much an air-mail stamp cost then.

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

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