History | WayBackWhen™

History, WayBackWhen™

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 11

Today is Sunday, May 11, the 131st day of 2014. There are 234 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

Thought for Today:

“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.“ — Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 11, 1944, during World War II, Allied forces launched a major offensive against Axis lines in Italy.

On this date:

In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant (STY’-veh-suhnt) arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland.

In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.

In 1862, during the Civil War, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled by its crew off Craney Island, Virginia, to prevent it from falling into Union hands.

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

In 1953, a tornado devastated Waco, Texas, claiming 114 lives.

In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 1973, the espionage trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo in the “Pentagon Papers” case came to an end as Judge William M. Byrne dismissed all charges, citing government misconduct.

In 1985, 56 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.

In 1989, the final first-run episode of “Dynasty” aired on ABC-TV.

In 1994, Arkansas put to death convicted murderers Jonas Whitmore and Edward Charles Pickens; it was the first time a state executed two people on the same day since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.

In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.

Ten years ago:

A grisly video on an al-Qaida-linked website showed the beheading of businessman Nick Berg, an American who’d been kidnapped in Iraq.

Six Israeli soldiers were killed when their armored personnel carrier was blown up by Palestinian militants in Gaza City.

NBA star Kobe Bryant pleaded not guilty in a Colorado court to a rape charge. (Prosecutors later dropped the case.)

Five years ago:

President Barack Obama fired the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. David McKiernan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Five U.S. troops were shot and killed at a mental health clinic on a Baghdad base; the shooter, Sgt. John Russell, was later sentenced to life in prison without parole.

American journalist Roxana Saberi, imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for four months, was freed.

President Barack Obama met at the White House with representatives of the health care industry who promised to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel on a visit to the Holy Land.

The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

One year ago:

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared victory following a historic election marred by violence.

A pair of car bomb attacks in Turkey killed 52 people near the Syrian border.

Today’s Birthdays:

Comedian Mort Sahl is 87

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is 81

Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 73

Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (SHOH’-reh ahg-DAHSH’-loo) is 62

Actress Frances Fisher is 62

Actor Boyd Gaines is 61

Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 59

Actress Martha Quinn is 55

Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 51

Actor Tim Blake Nelson is 50

Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 46

Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 46

Actor Nicky Katt is 44

Actor Coby Bell is 39

Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso (PER’-tuh KEE’-wee-lahk-soh) is 36

Actor-singer Jonathan Jackson is 32

Rapper Ace Hood is 26

Flashback: What Happened on May 10, ....


•  1865 The Grand Lodge of Masons was established in West Virginia.

•  1875 The Concord State Normal School opened in Athens, Mercer County, with J. H. French as principal. It later became Concord State College.

•  1913 Mother’s Day was first observed in Grafton, Taylor County, after campaign led by Taylor County native Anna Jarvis to have the holiday created.

•  1913 Governor Henry Hatfield released Mother Jones from the military prison on May 10, 1913. She left immediately for Washington, D.C. to demand a federal investigation of the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek strike.

•  1943 An accident killed three workers and injured 12 others at the Union Carbide plant in South Charleston.

•  1960 The vote totals in the West Virginia Democratic primaries were John F. Kennedy - 236,140, Hubert Humphrey - 152,187 for president; and Wally Barron - 187,501, Hulett Smith - 140,079, Orel Skeen - 39,907. In the Republican primary, Harold E. Neely upset Chapman Revercomb 102,618 to 83,028 for governor.

•  1968 The crash of a Piedmont Airlines plane at Kanawha Airport, Charleston, killed 32.

•  1992 Two women alleged on a Charleston television station that they had been sexually harrassed by Democratic candidate for attorney general Ed ReBrook of Charleston. Rebrook announced that he was filing a $20 million law suit for slander against the women and WCHS-TV. Two days later, he was defeated in the primary by Darrell McGraw.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 10

Today is Saturday, May 10, the 130th day of 2014. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 10, 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first black president.

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 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia, a complication resulting from being hit by friendly fire eight days earlier during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

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

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

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

In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to form the Methodist Church.

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.)

In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its submerged navigation of the globe.

In 1977, actress Joan Crawford died in New York.

In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua’s ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue).

In 1994, the state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush reacted with “deep disgust and disbelief” during a Pentagon visit as he examined new photos and video clips of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Citigroup agreed to pay $2.65 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by WorldCom investors who’d lost billions when company went bankrupt in an accounting scandal.

Five years ago:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise one-day visit to Baghdad to discuss U.S.-Iraqi economic relations with the prime minister.

Pope Benedict XVI urged Middle East Christians to persevere in their faith as 20,000 people filled a Jordanian sports stadium where the pontiff celebrated the first open-air Mass of his Holy Land pilgrimage.

Russia defended its gold medal at the World Hockey Championships in Bern, Switzerland, beating Canada 2-1 in a rematch of the previous year’s final.

One year ago:

The Internal Revenue Service apologized for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

U.S government scientists said worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, had hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans.

Today’s Birthdays:

Author Bel Kaufman (“Up the Down Staircase“) is 103

Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 81

Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 76

Actor David Clennon is 71

Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 70

Singer Donovan is 68

Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 68

Singer Dave Mason is 68

Actor Mike Hagerty is 60

Actor Bruce Penhall is 57

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 56

Actress Victoria Rowell is 55

Rock singer Bono (U2) is 54

Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 53

Actor Darryl M. Bell is 51

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 51

Model Linda Evangelista is 49

Rapper Young MC is 47

Actor Erik Palladino is 46

Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 46

Actor Lenny Venito is 45

Actor Dallas Roberts is 44

Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 42

Country musician David Wallace (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 42

Actress Andrea Anders is 39

Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 39

Rock musician Jesse Vest is 37

Actor Kenan Thompson is 36

Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 34

Rock musician Joey Zehr (The Click Five) is 31

Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 29

Actress Odette Annable is 29

Actress Lauren Potter is 24

Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 19

Flashback: What Happened on May 09, ....


•  1800 John Brown was born in Connecticut.

•  1853 Johnson Camden resigned as Nicholas County prosecuting attorney to devote more time to his position as clerk of the West Branch of the Exchange Bank of Virginia, Lewis County.

•  1863 Troops under Confederate General Jones destroyed the oil well machinery at Burning Springs, Wirt County.

•  1867 The State Immigration and Improvement Company of West Virginia was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Governor Arthur I. Boreman, Thomas Hornbrooke of Wheeling; J. B. Blair, J. H. Diss Debar of Parkersburg; A. S. Core of Ellenboro, Ritchie County; and Moses Sweetser of Washington, D. C. The company’s purpose was to introduce immigration into the state for mining, manufacturing, constructing internal improvements, and as real estate agents, with its main office in Parkersburg.

•  1955 A special session of legislature convened to discuss teacher pay raises and other educational issues. The legislature adjourned without producing a bill, due to a split over a controversial one-cent increase of consumer sales tax. That fall, the public schools opened with a significant drop in the number of teachers.

•  1977 The West Virginia Citizens Action Group (WVCAG) charged FMC with dumping cancer-causing chemicals.

•  1990 Former West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. fulfills agreement with Federal prosecutors by pleading guilty to extortion, mail fraud, and obstruction of justice charges.

•  1990 Senator John D. Rockefeller 4th, West Virginia Democrat, wins primary race for another term. John Yoder runs unopposed in Republican primary.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 09

Today is Friday, May 09, the 129th day of 2014. There are 236 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.“ — From “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen (1775-1817).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 09, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

On this date:

In 1754, a political cartoon in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette depicted a snake cut into eight pieces, each section representing a part of the American colonies; the caption read, “JOIN, or DIE.“

In 1814, the Jane Austen novel “Mansfield Park” was first published in London.

In 1864, Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick was killed by a Confederate sniper during the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia.

In 1914, country music star Hank Snow was born in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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 recently discovered flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)

In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia.

In 1945, U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1951, the U.S. conducted its first thermonuclear experiment as part of Operation Greenhouse by detonating a 225-kiloton device on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific nicknamed “George.“

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 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:

A bomb planted by Caucasus rebels destroyed the VIP section at a stadium during a Victory Day celebration in the Chechen capital of Grozny, killing some two dozen people, including the province’s president, Akhmad Kadyrov (kuh-DEE’-ruhv).

Canada rallied to beat Sweden for the second straight year in the gold-medal game at the world hockey championships, 5-3.

Comedian Alan King died in New York at age 76.

Five years ago:

The top religious adviser to Jordan’s king thanked visiting Pope Benedict XVI for expressing regret after a 2006 speech that many Muslims deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistani warplanes pounded the Taliban-held Swat Valley in what the country’s prime minister called a “war of the country’s survival.“

One year ago:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Washington with his frequent criticism of U.S. military operations in his country, said his government was ready to let U.S. have nine bases across Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most foreign forces in 2014.

A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America’s Cup races, killing English Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson.

Malcolm Shabazz, 29, grandson of civil rights activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City of blunt trauma injuries sustained in a bar dispute.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Geraldine McEwan is 82

Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 80

Rock musician Nokie Edwards (The Ventures) is 79

Actor Albert Finney is 78

Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 78

Producer-director James L. Brooks is 77

Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 77

Singer Tommy Roe is 72

Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 70

Actress Candice Bergen is 68

Pop singer Clint Holmes is 68

Actor Anthony Higgins is 67

Singer Billy Joel is 65

Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 65

Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 64

Actress Alley Mills is 63

Actress Amy Hill is 61

Actress Wendy Crewson is 58

Actor John Corbett is 53

Singer Dave Gahan (GAHN) (Depeche Mode) is 52

Actress Sonja Sohn is 50

Rapper Ghostface Killah is 44

Country musician Mike Myerson (Heartland) is 43

Actor Chris Diamantopoulos (dy-uh-MAN’-toh-POO’-lehs) is 39

Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamia (tuh-MEE’-ah) is 39

Rock musician Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish) is 37

Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 35

Actress Rosario Dawson is 35

Rock singer Andrew W.K. is 35

Actress Rachel Boston is 32

TV personality Audrina Patridge is 29

Flashback: What Happened on May 08, ....


•  1772 French and Indian War soldiers William Byrd, Samuel Meredith, James Walker, and William Christian petitioned for the right to survey land on the eastern bank of the Ohio River at the mouth of the Little Kanawha River at present-day Parkersburg, Wood County.

•  1979 WVPN public radio went on the air in Charleston.

•  1990 Former governor Arch Moore pleaded guilty to extortion, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, and two counts of tax fraud.

•  1992 The State Board of Education ruled that students from one county could attend public schools of another county without the approval of either county’s board of education. The case stemmed from a situation in Preston County, where residents were closer to schools in Tucker County than any schools in their own county.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 08

Today is Thursday, May 08, the 128th day of 2014. There are 237 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles, or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety.“ — Eric Sevareid, American news commentator (1912-1992).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 08, 1944, the first “eye bank” designed to preserve corneal tissues for transplants was established at New York Hospital.

On this date:

In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River.

In 1794, Antoine Lavoisier (lah-vwahz-YAY’), the father of modern chemistry, was executed on the guillotine during France’s Reign of Terror.

In 1884, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born in Lamar, Mo.

In 1914, Paramount Pictures was incorporated by W.W. Hodkinson.

In 1921, Sweden’s Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany’s forces had surrendered, and that “the flags of freedom fly all over Europe.“

In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon was shoved, stoned, booed and spat upon by anti-American protesters in Lima, Peru.

In 1962, the musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” opened on Broadway.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon announced that he had ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor during the Vietnam War.

In 1973, militant American Indians who’d held the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee for ten weeks surrendered.

In 1984, the Soviet Union announced it would boycott the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

In 1999, The Citadel, South Carolina’s formerly all-male military school, graduated its first female cadet, Nancy Ruth Mace. British actor Sir Dirk Bogarde died in London at age 78.

Ten years ago:

Former Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill returned home to a chorus of cheering family and friends in Macon, Miss. (Hamill, a truck driver, was wounded and captured when his convoy was ambushed April 09, 2004; he escaped May 2 from a farmhouse about 50 miles north of Baghdad.)

Five years ago:

White House aide Louis Caldera resigned for his role in a $328,835 photo-op flyover by an Air Force One jet above New York City that sparked panic and flashbacks to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Dominic DiMaggio, the Boston Red Sox center fielder and brother of Joe, died in Marion, Mass., at age 92.

One year ago:

A jury in Phoenix convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

George Karl was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for leading the Denver Nuggets to a team-record 57-win regular season.

An apparent game-tying homer by Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ruled a double by umpires in the ninth inning, and the Cleveland Indians held on to beat the Athletics 4-3.

Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who’d played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on “The Young and the Restless,“ died in Los Angeles at age 84.

Today’s Birthdays:

Comedian Don Rickles is 88

Naturalist Sir David Attenborough is 88

Singer Toni Tennille is 74

Actor James Mitchum is 73

Country singer Jack Blanchard is 72

Jazz musician Keith Jarrett is 69

Singer Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 63

Rock musician Chris Frantz (Talking Heads) is 63

Rockabilly singer Billy Burnette is 61

Rock musician Alex Van Halen is 61

Actor David Keith is 60

Actor Stephen Furst is 60

Actress Melissa Gilbert is 50

Rock musician Dave Rowntree (Blur) is 50

Country musician Del Gray is 46

Rock singer Darren Hayes is 42

Singer Enrique Iglesias is 39

Actor Matt Davis is 36

Singer Ana Maria Lombo (Eden’s Crush) is 36

Actor Domhnall Gleeson is 31

Actress Julia Whelan (WAY’-lan) is 30

Flashback: What Happened on May 07, ....


•  1887 The West Virginia Legislature created the second hospital for the insane in West Virginia in Spencer, Roane County. Credit for the act is generally given to State Senator William Woodyard of Spencer, who gave his support to Johnson N. Camden for United States Senate in exchange for the hospital’s location. It opened in 1893.

•  1947 WRON - AM radio went on the air in Ronceverte, the first radio station in Greenbrier County. It was owned by William Blake III.

•  1992 The State Supreme Court suspended convicted felon Logan County Circuit Court Judge Ned Grubb from his job without pay.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 07

Today is Wednesday, May 07, the 127th day of 2014. There are 238 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“When an old man dies, a library burns down.“ — African proverb.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 07, 1789, America’s first inaugural ball was held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who’d taken the oath of office a week earlier. (His wife, Martha, did not attend; she was back in Virginia, attending to family business.)

On this date:

In 1763, Pontiac, chief of the Ottawa Indians, attempted to lead a sneak attack on British-held Fort Detroit, but was foiled because the British had been tipped off in advance.

In 1824, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, had its premiere in Vienna.

In 1889, the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore opened its doors.

In 1915, nearly 1,200 people died when a German torpedo sank the British liner RMS Lusitania off the Irish coast.

In 1928, the minimum voting age for British women was lowered from 30 to 21 — the same age as men.

In 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Jonathan Wainwright went on a Manila radio station to announce the Allied surrender of the Philippines to Japanese forces during World War II.

In 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims (rams), France, ending its role in World War II.

In 1954, the 55-day Battle of Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam ended with Vietnamese insurgents overrunning French forces.

In 1964, Pacific Air Lines Flight 773, a Fairchild F27, crashed near San Ramon, Calif., after a passenger apparently shot both pilots, then himself, killing all 44 people on board.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford formally declared an end to the “Vietnam era.“ In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrated its takeover.

In 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who charged they’d suffered injury from exposure to the defoliant.

In 1994, Norway’s most famous painting, “The Scream” by Edvard Munch (muhnk), was recovered almost three months after it had been stolen from an Oslo museum.

Ten years ago:

Army Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, was charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. (England was later convicted of conspiracy, mistreating detainees and committing an indecent act, and sentenced to 36 months; she served half that term.)

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld offered “my deepest apology” to abused Iraqi prisoners and warned that videos and photos yet to come could further inflame worldwide outrage.

Five years ago:

A federal jury in Paducah, Ky., convicted a former soldier, Steven Dale Green, of raping and fatally shooting a 14-year-old girl after killing her parents and younger sister while he was serving in Iraq. (Green was sentenced to life without possibility of parole; he hanged himself in prison in February 2014.)

Former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson was indicted for murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. (Peterson was convicted of murdering Savio, and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.)

Mickey Carroll, one of the last surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,“ died in Crestwood, Mo., at age 89.

One year ago:

President Barack Obama and South Korea’s new leader, Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), met at the White House, where they projected a united front as they warned North Korea against further nuclear provocations.

Twenty-four people were killed by a gas tanker-truck explosion on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time, ending the day at 15,056.20, up 87.31 points.

Movie special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, 92, died in London.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., is 82

Singer Jimmy Ruffin is 75

Rhythm-and-blues singer Thelma Houston is 71

Actress Robin Strasser is 69

Singer-songwriter Bill Danoff is 68

Rock musician Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 68

Rock musician Prairie Prince is 64

Movie writer-director Amy Heckerling is 62

Actor Michael E. Knight is 55

Rock musician Phil Campbell (Motorhead) is 53

Country musician Rick Schell is 51

Rock singer-musician Chris O’Connor (Primitive Radio Gods) is 49

Actress Traci Lords is 46

Singer Eagle-Eye Cherry is 43

Actor Breckin Meyer is 40

Rock musician Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) is 28

Actress-comedian Aidy Bryant (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 27

Actor Taylor Abrahamse is 23

West Virginia Eighth Graders Receive Golden Horseshoe Award

Nearly 230 eighth grade students from across West Virginia on Thursday received the prestigious Golden Horseshoe award for outstanding knowledge of West Virginia history and culture.

State Superintendent Jim Phares inducted the students from all 55 counties as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society during a pinning ceremony at the Cultural Center. The award is considered one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in West Virginia.

“As a former history teacher it was a great honor to have a role in this ceremony,“ Phares said. “The Golden Horseshoe is coveted by many in the state, but received by very few. It is an honor that these students can be proud of for years to come.“

The Golden Horseshoe test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in the United States. The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award. Each county has at least two winners. The exam tests student knowledge on West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.

The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Spotswood organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier. At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe. Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, “Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.“ On the other side was written, “Order of the Golden Horseshoe.“ Because of this, the recipients became known as ‘The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.‘“

Golden Horseshoe Winners for Area Counties
County First Name Last Name
Barbour Maddi Carpenter
Barbour Brandon Messenger
Barbour Johnny Williams
Braxton Heath Cottrill
Braxton Timothy Harman
Braxton Logan Rose
Calhoun Caroline Mccumbers
Calhoun Robert Twist IV
Clay Joseph Dawson
Clay Laura Hundley
Clay David Tanner II
Doddridge Logan Gogan
Doddridge Joseph Heckert
Gilmer Ruthann Cain
Gilmer Sada Wright
Harrison Norman Junkins III
Harrison Joplin Kehrer
Harrison Dylan McCullough
Harrison Kendall Robey
Harrison Chase Sfameni
Harrison Matthew Strange
Harrison Leon Wilson
Lewis Benjamin Harman
Lewis Skylar Metz
Lewis Robert Mitchell
Nicholas Andrew Cook
Nicholas Eamonn Payton
Nicholas Joseph Perry
Nicholas Savannah Tinnel
Pleasants Corbin Bussey
Pleasants Lindsay George
Pleasants Ryan McFarland
Pleasants Andrea Watson
Pleasants Spencer Wren
Ritchie Ivy Scoville
Ritchie William Siers
Ritchie Jonathan Wilson
Roane Paige Davenport
Roane Christophe Deel
Roane Keira Shaffer
Tyler Colby Buchanan
Tyler Rosana Smith
Tyler Theodore Stackpole
Upshur Benjamin Bohman
Upshur Shelby Daugherty
Upshur Gabrielle Epp
Webster Ian Chapman
Webster Avery Clutter
Webster Waymon McCourt
Wirt Addie Bailey
Wirt Kyle Bentz
Wood Anna Fatta
Wood Andrew Gnegy
Wood Jordan Mader
Wood Ian McKnight
Wood Wade Powers
Wood Akshay Sambandham
Wood Kaylyn Smith


Flashback: What Happened on May 06, ....


•  1862 Union troops under Major George C. Trimble repulsed an attack by Confederate Moccasin Rangers under Captain George Downs at Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County.

•  1873 forest specialist and naturalist Alonzo B. Brooks was born in French Creek, Upshur County.

•  1904 The West Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs was accepted into the nation General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

•  1992 Democratic presidential candidate Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton campaigned in Charleston and Beckley, Raleigh County.

•  1992 Morgan Stanley and Company investment firm of New York was found liable for $32 million in damages resulting from the loss of $279 million from the state’s investment fund.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 06

Today is Tuesday, May 06, the 126th day of 2014. There are 239 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The people no longer believe in principles, but will probably periodically believe in saviours.“ — Jacob Christoph Burckhardt, Swiss historian (1818-1897).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 06, 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

On this date:

In 1840, Britain’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, officially went into circulation five days after its introduction.

In 1863, the Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia ended with a Confederate victory over Union forces.

In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years (Arthur had opposed an earlier version with a 20-year ban).

In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.

In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.

In 1942, during World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to Japanese forces.

In 1960, Britain’s Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. (They divorced in 1978.)

In 1962, in the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.

In 1981, Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

In 1994, former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones filed suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging he’d sexually harassed her in 1991. (Jones reached a settlement with Clinton in November 1998.) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand (frahn-SWAH’ mee-teh-RAHN’) formally opened the Channel Tunnel between their countries.

Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush apologized for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, calling it “a stain on our country’s honor”; he rejected calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.

The FBI arrested Oregon lawyer Brandon Mayfield as part of the investigation into the Madrid train bombings; however, the bureau later said Mayfield’s arrest had been a mistake, and apologized.

The final first-run episode of “Friends” aired on NBC, drawing an average 52.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Five years ago:

After a day of meetings at the White House, President Barack Obama declared he’d gotten the commitments he wanted from the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to more aggressively fight Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH’-chee) signed a bill making Maine the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage (however, the law was later overturned by a public vote).

One year ago:

Kidnap-rape victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three women who’d gone missing separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house just south of downtown Cleveland. (Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison in September 2013 at the beginning of a life sentence plus 1,000 years.)

Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced by a federal judge in Newark, N.J., to three months in prison for failing to pay about $1 million in taxes over the previous decade.

Italian statesman Giulio Andreotti, 94, died in Rome.

Today’s Birthdays:

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays is 83

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 80

Rock singer Bob Seger is 69

Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 69

Gospel singer-comedian Lulu Roman is 68

Actor Alan Dale is 67

Actor Ben Masters is 67

Actor Gregg Henry is 62

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 61

TV personality Tom Bergeron is 59

Actress Roma Downey is 54

Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 54

Actor George Clooney is 53

Actor Clay O’Brien is 53

Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 50

Actress Leslie Hope is 49

Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 47

Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 43

Actress Stacey Oristano is 35

Actress Adrianne Palicki is 31

Actress Gabourey Sidibe (GA’-bah-ray SIH’-duh-bay) is 31

Actress-comedian Sasheer Zamata (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 28

Actress-singer Naomi Scott is 21

Flashback: What Happened on May 05, ....


•  1882 The West Fork Boom Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: J. E. Williams, C. P. Moore, T. J. Moore, W. B. Williams, and A. A. Lewis, all of Weston, Lewis County. The company’s purpose was to construct booms on the West Fork River and its tributaries in Lewis County, with its main office at Weston.

•  1899 The State Industrial Home for Girls opened near Salem, Harrison County, with Elizabeth Clohan of Wheeling as superintendent.

•  1976 Federal jury found Governor Moore and his 1972 campaign manager “not guilty” of extortion charges.

•  1978 The United States Senate approved a $100 million water resources bill to provide flood control for the Tygart Valley.

•  1992 Democratic presidential candidate former California Governor Jerry Brown campaigned in Charleston and Ravenswood, Jackson County.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 05

Today is Monday, May 05, the 125th day of 2014. There are 240 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.“ — Ralph W. Sockman, American clergyman (1889-1970).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 05, 1862, Mexican troops defeated French occupying forces in the Battle of Puebla. (The Cinco de Mayo holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory.)

On this date:

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51, died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

In 1891, New York’s Carnegie Hall (then named “Music Hall”) had its official opening night.

In 1914, actor Tyrone Power was born in Cincinnati.

In 1925, schoolteacher John T. Scopes was charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching the theory of evolution. (Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.)

In 1934, the first Three Stooges short for Columbia Pictures, “Woman Haters,“ was released.

In 1942, wartime sugar rationing began in the United States.

In 1955, West Germany became a fully sovereign state. The baseball musical “Damn Yankees” opened on Broadway.

In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

In 1964, the Granada TV documentary “Seven Up!,“ which profiled a group of 7-year-old British children, first aired on Britain’s ITV network. (The subjects were revisited every seven years in sequels called “7 Plus Seven,“ ‘'21 Up,“ ‘'28 Up,“ etc., the latest one to date being “56 Up.“)

In 1973, Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, the first of its Triple Crown victories.

In 1981, Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food.

In 1994, Singapore caned American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Bill Clinton, who considered the punishment too harsh.

Ten years ago:

Seeking to calm international outrage, President George W. Bush acknowledged mistakes but stopped short of an apology as he condemned the abuse and deaths of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers during appearances on two Arabic-language TV networks. (Bush did offer an apology the following day.)

Picasso’s 1905 painting “Boy with a Pipe” sold for $104 million at Sotheby’s in New York, breaking the record at that time for an auctioned painting.

Five years ago:

Connie Culp, America’s first face transplant recipient, appeared before reporters at the Cleveland Clinic. (Culp underwent the procedure after being shot by her husband in a failed murder-suicide attempt.)

Texas health officials confirmed the first death of a U.S. resident with swine flu.

One year ago:

In Afghanistan, seven Americans and one German soldier were killed in three separate attacks.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting at a Tucson, Ariz., shopping mall, received the 2013 Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

LeBron James of the Miami Heat was the overwhelming choice as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player.

Brett Rumford won the China Open by four strokes to become the first Australian in 41 years to win consecutive European Tour titles.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Pat Carroll is 87

Former AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney is 80

Saxophonist Ace Cannon is 80

Country singer-musician Roni Stoneman is 76

Actor Michael Murphy is 76

Actor Lance Henriksen is 74

Comedian-actor Michael Palin is 71

Actor John Rhys-Davies is 70

Actor Roger Rees is 70

Rock correspondent Kurt Loder is 69

Rock musician Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) is 66

Actor Richard E. Grant is 57

Former CBS News correspondent John Miller is 56

Rock singer Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 55

NBC News anchor Brian Williams is 55

Rock musician Shawn Drover (Megadeth) is 48

TV personality Kyan (KY’-ihn) Douglas is 44

Actress Tina Yothers is 41

Rhythm and blues singer Raheem DeVaughn is 39

Actor Vincent Kartheiser is 35

Singer Craig David is 33

Actress Danielle Fishel is 33

Actor Henry Cavill is 31

Soul singer Adele is 26

Rock singer Skye Sweetnam is 26

Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris Brown is 25

Flashback: What Happened on May 04, ....


•  1852 The Virginia General Assembly passed an act authorizing the Bank of Virginia, the Farmers Bank of Virginia, the Bank of the Valley, the Exchange Bank of Virginia, or the Northwestern Bank of Virginia to establish a branch at Weston, Lewis County.

•  1901 Voters approved a bond to have electric lights installed in Shepherdstown, Jefferson County.

•  1922 Monroe Peyton was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a rape committed in Berkeley County.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 04

Today is Sunday, May 04, the 124th day of 2014. There are 241 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be.“ — Lao-tzu (low dzu), Chinese philosopher (c.604-531 B.C.).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 04, 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister after the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections.

On this date:

In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

In 1864, Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia was chartered.

In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.

In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal.

In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Imperial Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)

In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)“; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for “The Music from Peter Gunn.“

In 1964, the daytime drama “Another World” began a 35-year run on NBC-TV.

In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

In 1974, Expo ‘74, a six-month-long world’s fair, opened in Spokane, Wash.

In 1989, fired White House aide Oliver North was convicted of shredding documents and two other crimes and acquitted of nine other charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair. (However, the three convictions were later overturned on appeal.)

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

Ten years ago:

The Army disclosed that the deaths of ten prisoners and abuse of ten more in Iraq and Afghanistan were under criminal investigation, as U.S. commanders in Baghdad announced interrogation changes.

The United States walked out of a U.N. meeting to protest its decision minutes later to give Sudan a third term on the Human Rights Commission.

Five years ago:

President Barack Obama promised to crack down on companies “that ship jobs overseas” and duck U.S. taxes with offshore havens.

Jeff Kepner, of Augusta, Ga., underwent the nation’s first double-hand transplant at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Mexican officials lowered a swine flu alert level in their capital.

Cleveland’s LeBron James was named the NBA’s MVP.

Actor, comedian and director Dom DeLuise, 75, died in Santa Monica, Calif.

One year ago:

National Rifle Association leaders told members during a meeting in Houston that the fight against gun control legislation was far from over, and vowed that none in the organization would ever have to surrender their weapons.

A limousine taking nine women to a bachelorette party erupted in flames on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay, killing five of the passengers, including the bride-to-be.

Orb powered to a 2 1/2-length victory on a sloppy track to win the Kentucky Derby.

Floyd Mayweather came back from a year’s absence to win a unanimous 12-round decision over Robert Guerrero in their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

Today’s Birthdays:

The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 86

Opera singer Roberta Peters is 84

Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 84

Jazz musician Ron Carter is 77

Rock musician Dick Dale is 77

Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 70

Actor Richard Jenkins is 67

Country singer Stella Parton is 65

Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 64

Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 64

Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 63

Singer-actress Pia Zadora is 62

Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 61

Rhythm-and-blues singer Sharon Jones is 58

Country singer Randy Travis is 55

Actress Mary McDonough is 53

Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 47

Actor Will Arnett is 44

Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 42

Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 42

TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 39

Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 37

Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 36

Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 35

Actor Alexander Gould is 20

Actress Amara (uh-MAH’-ruh) Miller is 14

Flashback: What Happened on May 03, ....


•  1892 The West Virginia Colored Institute, later to become West Virginia State College, opened at Institute, Kanawha County, with James Edwin Campbell as principal.

•  1973 The West Virginia Board of Regents announced plans to combine Bluefield State College and Concord State College. The plan never materialized.

•  1992 The following Democratic candidates for governor met in a televised debate: Governor Gaston Caperton, Attorney General Mario Palumbo, State Senator Charlotte Pritt, and Larry Butcher.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 03

Today is Saturday, May 03, the 123rd day of 2014. There are 242 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“A man can become so accustomed to the thought of his own faults that he will begin to cherish them as charming little ‘personal characteristics.‘“ — Helen Rowland, American writer, journalist and humorist (1876-1950).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 03, 1944, U.S. wartime rationing of most grades of meats ended (however, rationing returned by year’s end).

On this date:

In 1791, Poland adopted a national constitution.

In 1802, Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city.

In 1916, Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Rising.

In 1933, Nellie T. Ross became the first female director of the U.S. Mint.

In 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable.

In 1952, the Kentucky Derby was televised nationally for the first time on CBS; the winner was Hill Gail.

In 1960, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical “The Fantasticks” began a nearly 42-year run at New York’s Sullivan Street Playhouse.

In 1973, Chicago’s 110-story Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) was topped out after two years of construction, becoming the world’s tallest building for the next 25 years.

In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labor government in parliamentary elections.

In 1984, Michael Dell founded Dell Computer Corp. while a student at the University of Texas in Austin.

In 1986, in NASA’s first post-Challenger launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control.

In 1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.

Ten years ago:

The U.S. military said it had reprimanded seven officers in the abuse of inmates at Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib (grayb) prison, the first known punishments in the case; two of the officers were relieved of their duties.

Former postmaster general Marvin Runyon died in Nashville at age 79.

Five years ago:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon told state television a nationwide shutdown and an aggressive informational campaign appeared to have helped curtail an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico.

Ricardo Martinelli won Panama’s presidential election.

One year ago:

President Barack Obama cast Mexico as a nation ready to take “its rightful place in the world” and move past the drug battles and violence that had defined its relationship with the United States; the president then headed to Costa Rica, where he told a press conference he didn’t foresee any circumstance requiring the U.S. to send ground troops into Syria.

Gunmen killed Chaudhry Zulfikar, Pakistan’s lead prosecutor investigating the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, as he drove to court in the capital.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor George Gaynes is 97

Actress Ann B. Davis is 88

Actor Alex Cord is 81

Singer Frankie Valli is 80

Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 68

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is 65

Pop singer Mary Hopkin is 64

Singer Christopher Cross is 63

Country musician Cactus Moser (Highway 101) is 57

Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) is 55

Country singer Shane Minor is 46

Actor Bobby Cannavale (ka-nuh-VAL’-ee) is 44

Music and film producer-actor Damon Dash is 43

Country musician John Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) is 43

Country-rock musician John Neff (Drive-By Truckers) is 43

Country singer Brad Martin is 41

Actress Christina Hendricks (TV: “Mad Men”) is 39

Actor Dule (doo-LAY’) Hill is 39

Country singer Eric Church is 37

Dancer Cheryl Burke (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 30

Soul singer Michael Kiwanuka is 27

Actress Jill Berard is 24

2014 West Virginia Golden Horseshe Winners

The Gilmer Free Press

More than 200 eighth grade students from around the state are now knights and ladies of the Golden Horseshoe.

They were inducted into the prestigious society Thursday morning at the state Culture Center in Charleston.

The Golden Horseshoe honors and rewards students for their appreciation and understanding of West Virginia and her people.

The Golden Horseshoe test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in the United States.

The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award.

Each county has at least two winners.

The exam tests student knowledge on West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.

Past recipients have included authors and state Supreme Court justices, a state attorney general and a state Board of Education president.

The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia.

Spotswood organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier. At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe.

Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, “Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.”  On the other side was written, “Order of the Golden Horseshoe.” Because of this, the recipients became known as ‘The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.’”

About 22,000 eighth graders take the test each year. Only 1% make the grade.

Before the students were inducted into the society, they gathered for a group picture on the steps of the state Capitol.

The number of winners is determined by population but every county is given a minimum of two winners.

Flashback: What Happened on May 02, ....


•  1853 Certain areas of present-day West Virginia experienced the effects of an earthquake.

•  1885 Workers placed state capital possessions on boats in Wheeling to be shipped to Charleston.

•  1890 The Grafton and Kanawha Railroad Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: John T. McGraw, George M. Whitescarver, Francis M. Durbin, Thomas E. Davis, and John S. S. Herr, all of Taylor County. The company’s purpose was to construct a railroad from at or near Grafton in Taylor County, through Barbour County, to at or near Beverly in Randolph County, through Webster County, Pocahontas County, Braxton County, Nicholas County, and Clay County, to a point at or near Charleston. The company’s main office was in Grafton.

•  1900 West Virginia founding father Waitman T. Willey died in Morgantown.

•  1904 West Virginia education reformer Alexander L. Wade died.

•  1956 United States District Court Judge Benjamin Moore of Charleston ruled that the McDowell County Board of Education must integrate its schools on a “first come, first serve” basis, in response to a suit filed by the NAACP in February.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 02

Today is Friday, May 02, the 122nd day of 2014. There are 243 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“Like ships, men founder time and again.“ — Henry Miller, American novelist (1891-1980).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 02, 1908, the original version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,“ with music by Albert Von Tilzer and lyrics by Jack Norworth, was published by Von Tilzer’s York Music Co.

On this date:

In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France, at age 67.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1936, “Peter and the Wolf,“ a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow.

In 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

In 1963, the Children’s Crusade began in Birmingham, Ala., as more than 1,000 black schoolchildren skipped classes and marched downtown to protest racial segregation; hundreds were arrested.

In 1964, American-born Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, the first woman to serve in the British Parliament, died in Lincolnshire, England, at age 84.

In 1972, a fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho, claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

In 1982, the Weather Channel made its debut.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.

In 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed by elite American forces at his Pakistan compound, then quickly buried at sea after a decade on the run.

Ten years ago:

American truck driver Thomas Hamill, taken captive three weeks earlier, escaped from his kidnappers in Iraq; that same day, nine U.S. servicemen were killed across the country.

Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, won Panama’s first presidential vote since the handover of the Panama Canal in December 1999.

Five years ago:

The Dallas Cowboys’ tent-like practice structure collapsed during a severe storm in Irving, Texas; a dozen people were hurt, including scouting assistant Rich Behm, who was left paralyzed from the waist down, and special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, whose neck was broken.

Mine That Bird, a 50-1 shot, stunned the field by capturing the Kentucky Derby.

Jack Kemp, former quarterback, congressman and vice presidential nominee, died in Bethesda, Md., at 73.

Author Marilyn French (“The Women’s Room”) died in New York at 79.

One year ago:

President Barack Obama arrived in Mexico City on his first trip to Latin America since winning re-election.

Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen shot a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead in the China Open, while 12-year-old Ye Wocheng opened with a 79 at Binhai Lake; at 12 years, 242 days, Ye became the youngest player in European Tour history, breaking Guan Tianlang’s mark of 13 years, 177 days.

Jeff Hanneman, 49, a founding member of heavy metal bank Slayer, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Theodore Bikel is 90

Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 78

Actress-activist Bianca Jagger is 69

Country singer R.C. Bannon is 69

Singer Lesley Gore is 68

Actor David Suchet (SOO’-shay) is 68

Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 66

Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 64

Actress Christine Baranski is 62

Singer Angela Bofill is 60

Actor Brian Tochi is 55

Movie director Stephen Daldry is 54

Actress Elizabeth Berridge is 52

Country singer Ty Herndon is 52

Actress Mitzi Kapture is 52

Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 45

Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) is 42

Soccer player David Beckham is 39

Actress Jenna Von Oy is 37

Actress Ellie Kemper is 34

Actor Robert Buckley is 33

Actor Gaius (GY’-ehs) Charles is 31

Pop singer Lily Rose Cooper is 29

Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 29

Rock musician Jim Almgren (Carolina Liar) is 28

Actress Kay Panabaker is 24

Flashback: What Happened on May 01, ....


•  1874 The Masonic Hall Association of Weston was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: G. W. Ross and J. G. Vandervost as Ross and Vandervost, E. Ralston, F. M. Chalfant, W. H. Aspinwall, and A. W. Woodford, all of Weston, Lewis County.

•  1902 Lewis Young was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a murder committed in McDowell County.

•  1943 President Franklin Roosevelt placed coal mines under federal jurisdiction.

•  1974 WVPB radio went on the air in Beckley, the first public radio station in West Virginia.

•  1975 A federal grand jury indicted State Treasurer John H. Kelly and five associates on charges including extortion, mail fraud, and bribery.

•  1979 WHIS - TV television station in Bluefield, Mercer County, changed its call letters to WVVA - TV.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: May 01

Today is Thursday, May 01, the 121st day of 2014. There are 244 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“By indignities men come to dignities.“ — Francis Bacon, English philosopher (1561-1626).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On May 01, 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the command, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,“ as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish squadron in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

On this date:

In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

In 1786, Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Vienna.

In 1911, the song “I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad),“ by Harry Von Tilzer and Will Dillon, was first published.

In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. Singer Kate Smith made her debut on CBS Radio on her 24th birthday.

In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered in New York.

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

In 1961, the first U.S. airline hijacking took place as Antulio Ramirez Ortiz, a Miami electrician, commandeered a National Airlines plane that was en route to Key West, Fla., and forced the pilot to fly to Cuba.

In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.

In 1964, the computer programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was created by Dartmouth College professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz.

In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.

In 1982, the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., was opened by President Ronald Reagan.

In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?“

Ten years ago:

Attackers stormed the offices of Houston-based ABB Lummus Global Inc. in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, killing six Westerners and a Saudi; all four attackers were killed after an hour-long police chase in which they dragged the body of an American from the bumper of their car.

The European Union swelled from 15 nations to 25 by taking in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, along with the Mediterranean nations of Cyprus and Malta. Smarty Jones won the Kentucky Derby.

Five years ago:

Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)

Singer-actor-impressionist Danny Gans, one of Las Vegas’ most popular entertainers, died at age 52.

One year ago:

Workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies — from fury in Europe over austerity measures that cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working conditions.

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was a unanimous choice as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

Chris Kelly, 34, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross, died in Atlanta.

Today’s Birthdays:

Country singer Sonny James is 85

Singer Judy Collins is 75

Actor Stephen Macht is 72

Singer Rita Coolidge is 69

Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 68

Actor-director Douglas Barr is 65

Actor Dann Florek is 63

Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 60

Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 54

Actress Maia Morgenstern is 52

Country singer Wayne Hancock is 49

Actor Charlie Schlatter is 48

Country singer Tim McGraw is 47

Rock musician Johnny Colt is 46

Rock musician D’Arcy is 46

Movie director Wes Anderson is 45

Actress Julie Benz is 42

Actor Bailey Chase is 42

Country singer Cory Morrow is 42

Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 40

Actor Darius McCrary is 38

Actor Jamie Dornan (Film: “Fifty Shades of Grey”) is 32

Actress Kerry Bishe is 30

Flashback: What Happened on April 30, ....


•  1920 Hugh Bragg was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a murder committed in Webster County.

•  1927 Coal mine explosion at Everettville, Monongalia County, killed 97. Mine owned by the New England and Transportation Company.

•  1943 After their contract expired, UMW coal miners went on strike nationally.

•  1965 A coal mine gas explosion at the No. 9 mine of Mountaineer Coal Company at Farmington, Marion County, killed 4.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: April 30

Today is Wednesday, April 30, the 120th day of 2014. There are 245 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“In America, getting on in the world means getting out of the world we have known before.“ — Ellery Sedgwick, American editor (1872-1960).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

On this date:

In A.D. 311, shortly before his death, Roman Emperor Galerius issued his Edict of Toleration ending persecution of Christians.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.

In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.

In 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ five-year-old son, Joseph Evan Davis, died in a fall at the Confederate White House in Richmond, Va.

In 1900, engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Miss., after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.

In 1939, the New York World’s Fair officially opened with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1945, as Russian troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.

In 1958, the American Association of Retired Persons (later simply AARP) was founded in Washington, D.C., by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.

In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.

In 1988, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama’s military ruler.

In 1993, top-ranked women’s tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)

Ten years ago:

Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying “that’s not the way we do things in America.“

On ABC’s “Nightline,“ Ted Koppel read aloud the names of 721 U.S. servicemen and women killed in the Iraq war (the Sinclair Broadcast Group refused to air the program on seven ABC stations).

Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty in Santa Maria, Calif., to a grand jury indictment that expanded the child molestation case against him. (Jackson was acquitted at trial.)

Former NBA star Jayson Williams was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter in the shotgun slaying of a limousine driver at his New Jersey mansion, but found guilty of trying to cover up the shooting. (The jury deadlocked on the second major charge, reckless manslaughter; Williams later pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served 18 months.)

Five years ago:

Riding a crest of populist anger, the House approved, 357-70, a bill to restrict credit card practices and eliminate sudden increases in interest rates and late fees.

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection; the federal government pledged up to $8 billion in additional aid and to back warranties.

The Iraq war formally ended for British forces as they handed control of the oil-rich Basra area to U.S. commanders.

A man drove his car into a crowd of parade spectators in Amsterdam, killing seven people in an attempt to attack the Dutch royal family (the attacker, Karst Tates, died of his injuries).

One year ago:

President Barack Obama said he wanted more information about chemical weapons use in the Syrian civil war before deciding on escalating U.S. military or diplomatic responses, despite earlier assertions that use of such weapons would be a “game-changer.“

The FDA lowered to 15 the age at which girls and women could buy the Plan B emergency contraceptive without a prescription, and said it no longer had to be kept behind pharmacy counters.

Willem-Alexander became the first Dutch king in more than a century as his mother, Beatrix, abdicated after 33 years as queen.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Cloris Leachman is 88

Singer Willie Nelson is 81

Actor Burt Young is 74

Singer Bobby Vee is 71

Movie director Allan Arkush is 66

Actor Perry King is 66

Singer Merrill Osmond is 61

Movie director Jane Campion is 60

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 55

Actor Paul Gross is 55

Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 53

Country musician Robert Reynolds (The Mavericks) is 52

Actor Adrian Pasdar is 49

Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 47

Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 47

Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 45

Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 43

Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 43

Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 43

Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 42

Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 41

Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 41

Actor Johnny Galecki is 39

Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 38

Actor Kunal Nayyar is 33

Rapper Lloyd Banks is 32

Actress Kirsten Dunst is 32

Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 30

Actress Dianna Agron is 28

Flashback: What Happened on April 29, ....


•  1850 Certain areas of present-day West Virginia experienced tremors from an earthquake.

•  1863 Confederate General John D. Imboden and about 3,400 troops captured Buckhannon, Upshur County.

•  1935 The state of West Virginia purchased 37+ acres at Hawks Nest, Fayette County, for development of Hawks Nest State Park.

•  1952 In 1952 construction was begun on the West Virginia Turnpike between Charleston and Princeton.

•  1983 Ground was broken for the new Kanawha Banking & Trust (KB&T) bank building in Charleston.

•  1992 The federal trial of Logan County Circuit Court Judge Ned Grubb and his wife Linda Grubb began in Charleston. Grubb was the first judge in West Virginia history to be tried for a crime.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™: April 29

Today is Tuesday, April 29, the 119th day of 2014. There are 246 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“An intellectual hatred is the worst.“ — William Butler Yeats, Irish poet and playwright (1865-1939).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On April 29, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announced he was releasing edited transcripts of some secretly made White House tape recordings related to Watergate.

On this date:

In 1429, Joan of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans to lead a French victory over the English.

In 1798, Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” was rehearsed in Vienna, Austria, before an invited audience.

In 1861, the Maryland House of Delegates voted 53-13 against seceding from the Union. In Montgomery, Ala., President Jefferson Davis asked the Confederate Congress for the authority to wage war.

In 1913, Swedish-born engineer Gideon Sundback of Hoboken, N.J., received a U.S. patent for a “separable fastener” — later known as the zipper.

In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Dachau (DAH’-khow) concentration camp. Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun and designated Adm. Karl Doenitz (DUHR’-nihtz) president.

In 1946, 28 former Japanese officials went on trial in Tokyo as war criminals; seven ended up being sentenced to death.

In 1957, the SM-1, the first military nuclear power plant, was dedicated at Fort Belvoir, Va.

In 1968, the counterculture musical “Hair” opened on Broadway following limited engagements off-Broadway.

In 1983, Harold Washington was sworn in as the first black mayor of Chicago.

In 1992, rioting resulting in 55 deaths erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.

In 1993, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II announced that for the first time, Buckingham Palace would be opened to tourists to help raise money for repairs at fire-damaged Windsor Castle.

In 2011, Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in an opulent ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey.

Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney met behind closed doors with the September 11 commission; afterward, Bush said he’d told the panel his administration tried to protect America from terrorists as warnings grew before the devastating attack of 2001.

A national monument to the 16 million U.S. men and women who’d served during World War II opened to the public in Washington, D.C.

Internet search engine leader Google, Inc. filed its long-awaited IPO plans.

The last Oldsmobile, an Alero, rolled off the line at the Lansing Car Assembly plant.

Five years ago:

During a prime-time news conference marking his 100th day in office, President Barack Obama said that waterboarding authorized by former President George W. Bush was torture and that the information it gained from terror suspects could have been obtained by other means.

The World Health Organization raised its alert level for swine flu to its next-to-highest notch.

Twin car bombs ravaged a popular shopping area in Baghdad’s biggest Shiite district, killing at least 51 people.

One year ago:

Opening statements took place in Los Angeles in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, against concert giant AEG Live, claiming it failed to properly investigate a doctor who’d cared for Jackson and was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in his 2009 death. (The jury determined in October 2013 that AEG Live was not liable.)

Syria’s prime minister, Wael al-Halqi, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb went off near his convoy in Damascus.

NBA veteran center Jason Collins became the first male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay in a first-person account posted on Sports Illustrated’s website.

Today’s Birthdays:

Poet Rod McKuen is 81

Actor Keith Baxter is 81

Bluesman Otis Rush is 79

Conductor Zubin Mehta is 78

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff is 76

Pop singer Bob Miranda (The Happenings) is 72

Country singer Duane Allen (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 71

Singer Tommy James is 67

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is 64

Movie director Phillip Noyce is 64

Country musician Wayne Secrest (Confederate Railroad) is 64

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld is 60

Actor Leslie Jordan is 59

Actress Kate Mulgrew is 59

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is 57

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is 56

Actress Eve Plumb is 56

Rock musician Phil King is 54

Country singer Stephanie Bentley is 51

Actor Vincent Ventresca is 48

Singer Carnie Wilson (Wilson Phillips) is 46

Actor Paul Adelstein is 45

Actress Uma Thurman is 44

Tennis player Andre Agassi is 44

Rapper Master P is 44

Actor Darby Stanchfield is 43

Country singer James Bonamy is 42

Gospel/rhythm-and-blues singer Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) is 42

Rock musician Mike Hogan (The Cranberries) is 41

Actor Tyler Labine is 36

Actress Megan Boone (TV: “The Blacklist”) is 31

Actress-model Taylor Cole is 30

Actor Zane Carney is 29

Pop singer Amy Heidemann (Karmin) is 28

Pop singer Foxes is 25

Flashback: What Happened on April 28, ....


•  1846 The Gilmer County seat moved back to Glenville from DeKalb.

•  1960 Democratic candidate for president John Kennedy spoke in Martinsburg, Berkeley County and Charles Town, Jefferson County.

•  1992 Representatives of Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation in Jackson County and the United Steelworkers of American began negotiations in Pittsburgh, PA.

2014 >  WayBackWhen™:  April 28

Today is Monday, April 28, the 118th day of 2014. There are 247 days left in the year.

Thought for Today: “If youth only had a chance or old age any brains.“ — Stephen Leacock, Canadian humorist-educator (1869-1944).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On April 28, 1789, there was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty as rebelling crew members of the British ship led by Fletcher Christian set the captain, William Bligh, and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific. (Bligh and most of the men with him managed to reach Timor in 47 days.)

On this date:

In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

In 1817, the United States and Britain signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, which limited the number of naval vessels allowed in the Great Lakes.

In 1918, Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the archduke’s wife, Sophie, died in prison of tuberculosis.

In 1937, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was born in the village of al-Oja near the desert town of Tikrit (he was executed in December 2006).

In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.

In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army, the same day U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress the U.S. “would prevail in Vietnam.“

In 1974, a federal jury in New York acquitted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans of charges in connection with a secret $200,000 contribution to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign from financier Robert Vesco.

In 1988, a flight attendant was killed and more than 60 persons injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 tore off during a flight from Hilo (HEE’-loh) to Honolulu.

In 1994, former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 1996, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle went on a rampage on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; Martin Bryant was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage. (Bryant is serving a life prison sentence.)

Ten years ago:

First photos from the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal were shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes II.“

A Spanish judge indicted Amer Azizi (AH’-mer uh-ZEE’-zee), a Moroccan fugitive, on charges of helping to plan the September 11 hijackings (Azizi remains at large).

The U.N. Security Council put terrorists, black marketeers and crooked scientists on notice that they faced punishment for trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.

Cable giant Comcast Corp. dropped its two-month-old unsolicited bid for The Walt Disney Co.

Five years ago:

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won Senate confirmation, 65-31, as health and human services secretary.

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania defected from the Republican Party, joining the Democrats.

Country singer Vern Gosdin (“Chiseled in Stone”) died in Nashville at age 74.

One year ago:

Mohammed Sohel Rana, the fugitive owner of an illegally constructed building in Bangladesh that collapsed and killed at least 1,129 people, was captured by a commando force as he tried to flee into India.

Today’s Birthdays:

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee is 88

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 84

Actor Frank Vincent is 77

Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 73

Actress Marcia Strassman is 66

Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 65

Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 64

Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 62

Actress Mary McDonnell is 61

Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 61

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 54

Rapper Too Short is 48

Actress Simbi Khali is 43

Actress Bridget Moynahan is 43

Actor Chris Young is 43

Rapper Big Gipp is 41

Actor Jorge Garcia is 41

Actress Elisabeth Rohm is 41

Actress Penelope Cruz is 40

Actor Nate Richert is 36

Actress Jessica Alba is 33

Actor Harry Shum Jr. (TV: “Glee”) is 32

Actress Jenna Ushkowitz is 28

Actress Aleisha Allen is 23

Flashback: What Happened on April 27, ....


•  1863 General William Jones attempted to burn the suspension bridge across the Monongahela River.

•  1880 The Ritchie Oil Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: George Rutherford, D. C. Pew, R. H. Rutherford, John Cowan, and S. Woodard, all of Ritchie County. The company’s main office was at Petroleum, Ritchie County.

•  1893 The West Virginia department of the Woman’s Relief Corps, a patriotic society of women related to Union soldiers in the Civil War, was created to aid the Army, perpetuate the memory of the dead, and to provide aid to the widows and orphans left behind, as well as to honor Civil War nurses.

•  1977 The Highlands Conservancy filed suit in federal court to prevent mining at Cranberry Glades in Pocahontas County.

•  1977 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) charged FMC with violating a federal court order prohibiting the manufacture of of carbon tetrachloride.

•  1978 A scaffold collapsed at the Willow Island plant of the Monongahela Power Company in Pleasants County, killing 51.

•  1992 Ravenswood Aluminum Corporation, Jackson County, hired a new president in preparation for new negotiations with the United Steelworkers of America.

•  1992 The federal trial of Logan County Assessor of Property Woodrow Lowe opened.

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