Today is Saturday, May 9, the 130th day of 2020. There are 236 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History
On May 9, 1945, with World War II in Europe at an end, Soviet forces liberated Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.
On this date
In 1712, the Carolina Colony was officially divided into two entities: North Carolina and South Carolina.
In 1864, Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick was killed by a Confederate sniper during the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia.
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly became the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd's flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)
In 1958, "Vertigo," Alfred Hitchcock's eerie thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, premiered in San Francisco, the movie's setting.
In 1961, in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decried the majority of television programming as a "vast wasteland."
In 1962, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology succeeded in reflecting a laser beam off the surface of the moon.
In 1965, Russian-born American pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed publicly for the first time in 12 years with a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon made a surprise and impromptu pre-dawn visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he chatted with a group of protesters who'd been resting on the Memorial steps after protests against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings.
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. (The committee ended up adopting three articles of impeachment against the president, who resigned before the full House took up any of them.)
In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.
In 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president.
Ten years ago
Lena Horne, 92, the enchanting jazz singer known for her signature song, "Stormy Weather," and for her triumph over bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them, died in New York. Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history, leading the Oakland Athletics in a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Five years ago
North Korea announced it had successfully test-fired a newly developed ballistic missile from a submarine in the latest display of the country's advanced military capabilities. Actress Elizabeth Wilson, 94, died in New Haven, Connecticut. Renowned country fiddler Johnny Gimble, 88, died in Dripping Springs, Texas.
One year ago
President Donald Trump said he would nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense; Shanahan had served as acting secretary since the beginning of the year following the resignation of Jim Mattis. (Shanahan would step down weeks later before his nomination went to the Senate, citing a “painful” family situation.) Trump honored the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox at the White House; all of the team’s white players attended, but nearly a dozen team members, all players of color, skipped the visit, as did manager Alex Cora, who had expressed frustration with the administration’s response to a devastating hurricane in his native Puerto Rico. Pope Francis issued a groundbreaking new church law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities.
Singer Tommy Roe, 78.
Actress Candice Bergen, 74.
Singer Billy Joel, 71.
Actress Rosario Dawson, 41.