Almanac

Today is Tuesday, May 6, the 126th day of 2014. There are 239 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 6, 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. Thought for Today: “The people no longer believe in principles, but will probably periodically believe in saviours.” – Jacob Christoph Burckhardt, Swiss historian