Today is Thursday, May 14, the 134th day of 2015 with 231 to follow. The moon is waning. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Venus.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include English portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough in 1727; Scottish reformer Robert Owen in 1771; German composer Otto Klemperer in 1885; actor Richard Deacon in 1921; opera star Patrice Munsel in 1925 (age 90); Hall of Fame hockey player Gump Worsley in 1929; singer Bobby Darin in 1936; Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Perez in 1942 (age 73); filmmaker George Lucas in 1944 (age 71); filmmaker Robert Zemeckis in 1952 (age 63); musician David Byrne in 1952 (age 63); Irish writer Eoin Colfer in 1965 (age 50); actor Tim Roth in 1961 (age 54); actor Cate Blanchett in 1969 (age 46).
On this date in history: In 1643, King Louis XIV, who would be known as "The Sun King," became ruler of France at the age of 4. In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner, a rural England physician, tested his smallpox vaccine. (It was a success.) In 1804, one year after the United States doubled its territory with the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition left St. Louis on a mission to explore the Northwest from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. In 1904, the Olympic Games were conducted in the United States for the first time -- in St. Louis. In 1942, the U.S. Congress established the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps for World War II duty. In 1948, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. In 1973, the United States launched Skylab, its first manned orbiting laboratory. (Skylab was in orbit until -- long abandoned -- it plunged to Earth July 11, 1979, scattering debris over the Indian Ocean and a remote area of western Australia.)
In 1988, a church bus was hit by a pickup truck going the wrong way on a road near Carrollton, Ky. The collision killed 27 bus passengers, mostly teenagers. (The pickup driver, intoxicated at the time of the crash, served just under 11 years in prison.) In 1992, Lyle Alzado, NFL lineman-turned-actor/businessman, died of brain cancer, which he had blamed on steroid abuse. He was 43. In 1998, entertainment legend Frank Sinatra died after suffering a heart attack. He was 82. In 2000, hundreds of thousands of mothers and other gun-control advocates took part in the "Million Mom March" in Washington and several other cities, demanding "sensible" gun laws and mourning the loss of children to firearms violence. In 2003, sheriff's deputies in Victoria, Texas, found dozens of people stuffed into a truck operated by smugglers of illegal aliens. Nineteen had died of the heat in the vehicle. In 2008, the polar bear was chosen for the endangered species list by the U.S. Commerce Department because of shrinkage in its sea-ice habitat blamed on global climate change. In 2010, two suicide bombers, one in a car and the other on foot, blew themselves up at an Iraqi soccer stadium as a match was beginning. Officials said at least 25 people were killed and 100 others injured. In 2012, a Gallup poll indicated 80 percent of Democrats supported President Barack Obama but just 59 percent of Republicans said they would be satisfied with Mitt Romney as their party's presidential nominee. In 2013, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a measure letting gay couples marry in Minnesota, making it the 12th U.S. state to permit same-sex marriage. In 2014, gunmen in a pickup truck opened fire on a large anti-government protest in Bangkok, killing three people and wounding 21.
A thought for the day: "If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert." -- David Ben-Gurion