TodayInHistory

Today is Sunday, May 10, the 131st day of 2020. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History

On May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).

On this date

In 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in the Virginia Colony, where, as deputy governor, he instituted harsh measures to restore order.

In 1774, Louis XVI acceded to the throne of France.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)

In 1975, Sony began selling its Betamax home videocassette recorder in Japan.

In 1978, Britain's Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa's first black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 2002, A tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip.

In 2005, a federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines' plan to terminate its employees' pension plans.

Ten years ago

President Barack Obama introduced Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, billing her as a unifying force for a fractured court. Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby, accused of kidnapping, raping and killing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, pleaded guilty in Tracy, California, to murder. (Huckaby was later sentenced to life in prison.) The European Union put up a staggering $1 trillion to contain its spreading government debt crisis.

Five years ago

Cuban President Raul Castro met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to thank him for working for U.S.-Cuba detente — and said he was so impressed by the pontiff, he was considering returning to the Catholic church. In the first round of Poland's presidential elections, Andrzej Duda narrowly edged out incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski. (Since neither candidate polled more than 50 percent, a runoff was held two weeks later; Duda won.)

One year ago

Trade talks between the U.S. and China broke up with no agreement, hours after President Donald Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. United Nations environmental officials said almost every country had agreed on a legally binding framework for reducing polluting plastic waste; the United States was a notable exception. On the first day that its stock was publicly traded, shares in Uber finished down 8%, reflecting lingering doubts about the company’s future prospects for profitability.

Today's Birthdays

Singer Donovan, 74.

Singer Dave Mason, 74.

Actor Mike Hagerty, 66.

Sports anchor Chris Berman, 65.

Rock singer Bono (U2), 60.

Actor Kenan Thompson, 42. 

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