Today in History
Today is Sunday, May 29, the 149th day of 2022. There are 216 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 29, 1988, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev opened their historic summit in Moscow.
On this date:
In 1765, Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses.
In 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.
In 1914, the Canadian ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec after colliding with the Norwegian cargo ship SS Storstad; of the 1,477 people on board the Empress of Ireland, 1,012 died. (The Storstad sustained only minor damage.)
In 1953, Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.
In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to race in the Indianapolis 500, finishing in 29th place (the winner was A.J. Foyt).
In 1985, 39 people were killed at the European Cup Final in Brussels, Belgium, when rioting broke out and a wall separating British and Italian soccer fans collapsed.
In 2009, a judge in Los Angeles sentenced music producer Phil Spector to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actor Lana Clarkson. (Spector remained in prison until his death in January 2021.)
In 2014, Starbucks closed thousands of stores for part of the day to hold training sessions for employees on unconscious bias, in response to the arrests of two Black men in Philadelphia at one of its stores.
In 2015, the Obama administration formally removed Cuba from the U.S. terrorism blacklist.
In 2019, in his first public remarks on the Russia investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller said charging President Donald Trump with a crime was “not an option” because of federal rules, but he emphasized that the investigation did not exonerate the president.
In 2020, fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. (He would be convicted in April 2021 on those charges as well as second-degree unintentional murder.) Thousands of protesters in Minneapolis angered by Floyd’s death ignored a curfew as unrest again overwhelmed authorities; fires burned unchecked in cars and businesses. In a tweet, President Donald Trump called protesters in Minneapolis “thugs” and added that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (The tweet was flagged by Twitter for “glorifying violence.”) Protests over Floyd’s death spread to dozens of cities. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some throwing rocks and tugging at barricades; officials later said Secret Service agents rushed Trump to an underground bunker.
Ten years ago: Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a win in the Texas primary. Serena Williams lost in the first round of a major tournament for the first time, falling to Virginie Razzano of France 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 at the French Open. Doc Watson, the Grammy-award winning folk musician whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world, died in North Carolina at age 89.
Five years ago: In his first Memorial Day remarks as president, Donald Trump expressed the nation’s “boundless and undying” gratitude to Americans who had fallen in battle and to the families they left behind, hailing as heroes the hundreds of thousands buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989, died at age 83.
One year ago: Television actor Gavin MacLeod, best known for his roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Love Boat,” died at his home in Palm Desert, California, at the age of 90. Grammy-winning singer B.J. Thomas, who hit the charts with songs including “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” died at his Texas home from complications of lung cancer; he was 78.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent is 84. Actor Helmut Berger is 78. Actor Anthony Geary is 75. Actor Cotter Smith is 73. Singer Rebbie Jackson is 72. Movie composer Danny Elfman is 69. Singer LaToya Jackson is 66. Actor Ted Levine is 65. Actor Annette Bening is 64. Actor Rupert Everett is 63. Actor Adrian Paul is 63. Singer Melissa Etheridge is 61. Actor Lisa Whelchel is 59. Actor Tracey Bregman is 59. Rock musician Noel Gallagher is 55. Actor Anthony Azizi is 53. Rock musician Chan Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 53. Actor Laverne Cox is 50. Rock musician Mark Lee (Third Day) is 49. Cartoonist Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”) is 48. Singer Melanie Brown (Spice Girls) is 47. Latin singer Fonseca is 43. Actor Justin Chon (TV: “Deception”; “Dr. Ken”) is 41. NBA player Carmelo Anthony is 38. Actor Billy Flynn is 37. Actor Blake Foster is 37. Actor Riley Keough is 33. Actor Brandon Mychal Smith is 33. Actor Kristen Alderson is 31. Actor Lorelei Linklater is 29.