Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 24, the 144th day of 2022. There are 221 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 24, 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message “What hath God wrought” from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America’s first telegraph line.
On this date:
In 1935, the first major league baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.
In 1937, in a set of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935.
In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North Atlantic, killing all but three of the 1,418 men on board.
In 1961, a group of Freedom Riders was arrested after arriving at a bus terminal in Jackson, Mississippi, charged with breaching the peace for entering white-designated areas. (They ended up serving 60 days in jail.)
In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.
In 1963, electric blues guitarist Elmore James suffered a fatal heart attack in Chicago at the age of 45. James, whose best-known recording was “Dust My Broom,” influenced such rock musicians as Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.
In 1969, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were arrested for marijuana possession at their home in London.
In 1974, bandleader and composer Duke Ellington died of lung cancer in New York at the age of 75. Ellington composed such standards as “Mood Indigo” and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good.”
Also in 1974, American jazz composer and bandleader Duke Ellington, 75, died in New York.
In 1976, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde supersonic transport service to Washington.
In 1978, the debut album by Van Halen went gold in the U.S.
In 1980, members of Genesis surprised fans by showing up at the box office of the Roxy in Los Angeles to sell tickets to their benefit for local hospitals the following night.
Also in 1980, Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.
In 1990, Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and model Erin Everly, the daughter of singer Don Everly, filed for divorce. They were married 27 days.
In 1994, four Islamic fundamentalists convicted of bombing New York’s World Trade Center in 1993 were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
In 1995, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson died in London at age 79.
Also in 1995, the members of Lynyrd Skynryd put their handprints and signatures into the Hollywood Rock Walk.
In 2000, Britney Spears’ album “Oops!…I Did It Again” sold 1.3 million copies its first week out, giving her the most first-week sales for a female artist. That record has since been broken.
In 2006, Taylor Hicks beat out Katherine McPhee to win the fifth season of “American Idol.”
Also in 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign against global warming, went into limited release.
In 2010, Slipknot bassist Paul Gray was found dead in a hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa. He was 38. An autopsy determined he died of a drug overdose.
In 2011, Oprah Winfrey taped the final episode of her long-running talk show.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama doubled down on criticism of rival Mitt Romney’s background as a venture capitalist, telling a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds there might be value in such experience but “not in the White House.” Brian Banks, a former high school football star whose dreams of a pro career were shattered by what turned out to be a false rape accusation, burst into tears as a judge in Long Beach, California, threw out the charge that had sent Banks to prison for more than five years.
Five years ago: Setting past differences and rude comments aside, President Donald Trump and Pope Francis put a determinedly positive face on their first meeting at the Vatican. Ariana Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman world tour and canceled several European shows due to the deadly bombing at her concert in Manchester, England, two days earlier.
One year ago: Tennessee became the latest state to ban teachers from talking about certain aspects of race and racism in public schools. Samuel E. Wright, who famously voiced “Sebastian the Crab” in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and had an acting career spanning five decades, died at 72.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian-impressionist Stanley Baxter is 96. Jazz musician Archie Shepp is 85. Comedian Tommy Chong is 84. Singer Bob Dylan is 81. Actor Gary Burghoff is 79. Singer Patti LaBelle is 78. Actor Priscilla Presley is 77. Country singer Mike Reid is 75. Actor Jim Broadbent is 73. Actor Alfred Molina is 69. Singer Rosanne Cash is 67. Actor Cliff Parisi is 62. Actor Kristin Scott Thomas is 62. Rock musician Vivian Trimble is 59. Actor John C. Reilly is 57. Actor Dana Ashbrook is 55. Actor Eric Close is 55. Actor Carl Payne is 53. Rock musician Rich Robinson is 53. Former MLB pitcher Bartolo Colon is 49. Actor Dash Mihok is 48. Actor Bryan Greenberg is 44. Actor Owen Benjamin is 42. Actor Billy L. Sullivan is 42. Actor-rapper Jerod Mixon (aka Big Tyme) is 41. Rock musician Cody Hanson (Hinder) is 40. Dancer-choreographer-singer Mark Ballas is 36. Country singer Billy Gilman is 34. Rapper/producer G-Eazy is 33. Actor Brianne Howey is 33. Actor Cayden Boyd is 28.