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On This Day: Janet Guthrie becomes first woman to compete in Indy 500

On May 29, 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500. She completed 27 laps before her car became disabled.

Janet Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977. She is seen here when she first qualified for the race. File Photo courtesy of INDYCAR/Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Janet Guthrie was the first woman to drive in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977. She is seen here when she first qualified for the race. File Photo courtesy of INDYCAR/Indianapolis Motor Speedway

On this date in history:

In 1660, Charles II was restored to the English throne.

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In 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original 13 states to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1914, the Canadian Pacific Transatlantic liner Empress of Ireland sank in the early-morning hours following a collision with the liner Storstadt, a much smaller vessel, in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. More than 1,000 people died in what is the largest maritime accident in Canadian peacetime history.

In 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first humans to reach the top of Mount Everest.

In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500. She completed 27 laps before her car became disabled. On the same day in 2005, Danica Patrick became the first woman to lead during the same race.

In 1985, British soccer fans attacked Italian fans preceding the European Cup final in Brussels. The resulting stadium stampede killed 38 people and injured 400.

In 1990, renegade Communist Boris Yeltsin was elected president of Russia.

File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

In 1996, in Israel's first selection of a prime minister by direct vote, Benjamin Netanyahu defeated Shimon Peres. The margin of victory was less than 1 percent.

In 1997, Zaire rebel leader Laurent Kabila was sworn in as president of what was again being called the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2004, the National World War II memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington. Thousands of veterans of the war, which ended nearly 59 years earlier, attended the ceremony.

File Photo by Greg Whitesell/UPI

In 2009, U.S. music producer Phil Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 slaying of actress Lana Carlson.

In 2010, two mosques of a religious minority in Pakistan were attacked by intruders firing weapons and throwing grenades. Officials put the death toll at 98.

In 2018, a Harvard study determined at least 4,645 people in Puerto Rico died as a result of Hurricane Maria, a sharp contrast to the official government death toll of 64.

In 2019, special counsel Robert Mueller released his first public statement, saying that while there's no evidence President Donald Trump colluded with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, there were several "episodes" in which he obstructed justice.

File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

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