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UPI Almanac for Thursday, May 6, 2021

On May 6, 2001, John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque -- the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

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United Press International
Syria's Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro (L) meets Pope John Paul II at the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus' old city where the Tomb of Saint John Baptist is located May 6, 2001. Pope John Paul made history by becoming the first pontiff ever to enter a mosque and urged Christians and Muslims to forgive each other for the past. File Photo by Khaledal-Hariri/UPI
Syria's Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro (L) meets Pope John Paul II at the Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus' old city where the Tomb of Saint John Baptist is located May 6, 2001. Pope John Paul made history by becoming the first pontiff ever to enter a mosque and urged Christians and Muslims to forgive each other for the past. File Photo by Khaledal-Hariri/UPI | License Photo

Today is Thursday, May 6, the 126th day of 2021 with 239 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Neptune and Saturn. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury and Venus.

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Those born on this date are under the sign of Taurus. They include French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre in 1758; Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud in 1856; arctic explorer Robert Peary in 1856; silent screen star Rudolph Valentino in 1895; restaurateur Toots Shor in 1903; actor/director/writer Orson Welles in 1915; author Theodore White in 1915; baseball legend Willie Mays in 1931 (age 90); rock musician Bob Seger in 1945 (age 76); former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1953 (age 68); TV host Tom Bergeron in 1955 (age 66); musician John Flansburgh in 1960 (age 61); actor Roma Downey in 1960 (age 61); actor George Clooney in 1961 (age 60); Martin Brodeur, who set numerous records as an NHL goaltender, in 1972 (age 49); actor Gabourey Sidibe in 1983 (age 38); actor Adrianne Palicki in 1983 (age 38); rapper Meek Mill, born Robert Rihmeek Williams, in 1987 (age 34); actor Naomi Scott in 1993 (age 28); Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, member of the British royal family, in 2019 (age 2).

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On this date in history:

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In 1863, Confederate forces commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee routed Union troops under Gen. Joseph Hooker at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

In 1915, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox hit his first major league home run in a game against the New York Yankees.

In 1935, in the depths of the Depression, the Works Progress Administration was established to provide work for the unemployed.

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In 1937, the German passenger airship Hindenburg erupted in a fireball at Lakehurst, N.J., on its arrival from Europe after static electricity ignited the airship's flammable fabric skin. The disaster killed 35 of the 97 passengers and crew aboard the zeppelin.

In 1940, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. A rare, first-edition of the novel fetched $48,000 at auction in 2007.

In 1941, Josef Stalin became official leader of the Soviet government.

In 1954, 25-year-old British medical student Roger Bannister cracked track and field's most famous barrier, the 4-minute mile, during a meet at Oxford, England. His time: 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

In 1992, legendary actress Marlene Dietrich died at her Paris home at age 90.

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In 1994, the Channel Tunnel, a railway under the English Channel connecting Britain and France, was officially opened.

In 2001, John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque -- the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

In 2006, the largest rebel group in Sudan's Darfur region and the government of Sudan signed a peace agreement ending their three-year armed conflict that claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.

In 2009, Dave Bing, Hall of Fame star for the NBA's Detroit Pistons, was elected mayor of Detroit, succeeding the ousted Kwame Kilpatrick.

In 2010, British voters gave the Conservatives control of Parliament, making David Cameron, 43, Britain's youngest prime minister in almost 200 years.

In 2012, Socialist leader Francois Hollande was elected president of France.

In 2013, three women missing for 10 years were found alive in Cleveland. The man who had kept them as hostages pleaded guilty to charges including kidnapping and rape. He killed himself in prison.

In 2017, French lawmakers passed a bill that requires models to provide a doctor's note to prove they are healthy, a bid to crack down on dangerously skinny models in the nation's highly competitive fashion industry.

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In 2020, Israel's High Court ruled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can form a new government. His coalition was dissolved in December and a new election was held in March 2021.


A thought for the day: "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter." -- German actor Marlene Dietrich

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