Today is Sunday, May 31, the 151st day of 2009. There are 214 days left in the year.
Thought for Today: “One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering.“ _ Jane Austen, British novelist (1775-1817).
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 31, 1889, more than 2,000 people perished when a dam break sent water rushing through Johnstown, PA.
In 1809, composer Franz Joseph Haydn died in Vienna at age 77.
In 1819, poet Walt Whitman was born in West Hills, N.Y.
In 1910, the Union of South Africa was founded.
In 1916, during World War I, British and German fleets fought the naval Battle of Jutland off Denmark; there was no clear-cut victor, although the British suffered heavier losses.
In 1949, former State Department official Alger Hiss went on trial in New York, charged with perjury. (The jury ended up deadlocked, but Hiss was convicted in a second trial.)
In 1961, South Africa became an independent republic.
In 1970, tens of thousands of people died in an earthquake in Peru.
In 1977, the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making, was completed.
In 1989, House Speaker Jim Wright, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would resign. (Tom Foley later succeeded him.)
In 1994, the United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
Ten years ago: During a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Bill Clinton asked Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, calling it “a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of what we believe in.“ In Turkey, the treason trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan opened. (Ocalan was later convicted and sentenced to death, but the death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2002.)
Five years ago: In Memorial Day tributes, President George W. Bush declared that “America is safer” because of its fighting forces while Sen. John Kerry visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A bomb ripped through a Shiite Muslim mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, during evening prayers, killing at least 19 people. Alberta Martin, one of the last widows of a Confederate veteran of the Civil War, died in Enterprise, Ala., at age 97.
One year ago: Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven blasted into orbit, carrying a giant Japanese lab addition to the international space station.
Actress Elaine Stewart is 80
Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 79
Singer Peter Yarrow is 71
Former Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite is 70
Singer-musician Augie Meyers is 69
Actress Sharon Gless is 66
Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath is 66
Actor Tom Berenger is 59
Actor Gregory Harrison is 59
Actress Roma Maffia is 51
Comedian Chris Elliott is 49
Actor Kyle Secor is 49
Actress Lea Thompson is 48
Singer Corey Hart is 47
Actor Hugh Dillon is 46
Rapper DMC is 45
Actress Brooke Shields is 44
Country musician Ed Adkins (The Derailers) is 42
Jazz musician Christian McBride is 37
Actor Colin Farrell is 33
Rock musician Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish) is 32
Actor Eric Christian Olsen is 32
Rock musician Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) is 29
Actor Jonathan Tucker is 27
Actor Curtis Williams Jr. is 22