Today’s Highlight in History
On May 13, 1981: Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.
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In 1607: English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).
In 1914: Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis was born in Lafayette, Alabama.
In 1917: Three shepherd children reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary near Fatima, Portugal; it was the first of six such apparitions that the children claimed to have witnessed.
In 1940: In his first speech as British prime minister, Winston Churchill told Parliament, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
In 1972: 118 people died after fire broke out at the Sennichi Department Store in Osaka, Japan.
In 1973: In tennis’ first so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1 in Ramona, California. (Billie Jean King soundly defeated Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in September.)
In 1985: A confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group’s row house, igniting a fire that killed 11 people and destroyed 61 homes.
In 1994: President Bill Clinton nominated federal appeals Judge Stephen G. Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Harry A. Blackmun; Breyer went on to win Senate confirmation.
In 2002: President George W. Bush announced that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would sign a treaty to shrink their countries’ nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.
In 2016: The Obama administration issued a directive requiring public schools to permit transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
In 2019: Doris Day, the sunny blond film star and singer who appeared in comedic roles opposite Rock Hudson and Cary Grant in the 1950s and 1960s, died at her California home at the age of 97.
In 2020: The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ coronavirus stay-at-home order, ruling that his administration had overstepped its authority by extending the order for another month.
Ten years ago: The mutilated bodies of 49 people were found near Monterrey, Mexico, apparent victims of a drug cartel. Donald “Duck” Dunn, 70, the bassist who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s as part of the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs, died in Tokyo while on tour.
Five years ago: Donald Trump used his first commencement address as president to urge graduates of Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, to follow their convictions, prepare to face criticism and relish the opportunity to be an “outsider.” Pope Francis, during a Mass in Fatima, Portugal, added two shepherd children to the roster of Catholic saints, honoring siblings Francisco and Jacinta Marto, who reported visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years earlier.
One year ago: Israel said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory. Communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. Prosecutors said an active-duty Marine Corps officer who was seen on camera scuffling with a police officer and helping other members of a pro-Trump mob force their way into the Capitol on Jan. 6 had been charged in the riot; Maj. Christopher Warnagiris was the first active-duty member to be charged in the insurrection.