By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, May 15, the 135th day of 2014. There are 230 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 15, 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed by Arthur H. Bremer while campaigning in Laurel, Maryland, for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Bremer served 35 years of a 53-year sentence for attempted murder.)
On this date:
In 1602, English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold and his ship, the Concord, arrived at present-day Cape Cod, which he’s credited with naming.
In 1776, Virginia endorsed American independence from Britain.
In 1863, Edouard Manet’s painting “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe” (The Lunch on the Grass) went on display in Paris, scandalizing viewers with its depiction of a nude woman seated on the ground with two fully dressed men at a picnic in a wooded area.
In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil Co. was a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and ordered its breakup. In 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight operated by Boeing Air Transport (a forerunner of United Airlines).
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, whose members came to be known as WACs. Wartime gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 Eastern states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.
In 1954, the Fender Stratocaster guitar, created by Leo Fender, was officially released.
In 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of the Project Mercury space program.
In 1974, three Palestinian infiltrators took 100 pupils hostage at a school in the town of Maalot in northern Israel; the gunmen killed 22 children as Israeli troops stormed the building, killing the hostage-takers.
In 1975, U.S. forces invaded the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and recaptured the American merchant ship Mayaguez. (All 40 crew members had already been released safely by Cambodia; some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in the operation.)
In 1988, the Soviet Union began the process of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, more than eight years after Soviet forces had entered the country.
In 1991, Edith Cresson was appointed by French President Francois Mitterrand (frahn-SWAH’ mee-teh-RAHN’) to be France’s first female prime minister.
Ten years ago: A 40-ton steel girder dropped from a freeway overpass construction site into morning traffic in Golden, Colorado, crushing one car and killing a family of three. Col. Robert Morgan, commander of the famed Memphis Belle B-17 bomber that flew combat missions over Europe during World War II, died in Asheville, North Carolina, at age 85. Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones posted a record 11-1/2-length victory in the Preakness (however, the horse failed to win the Belmont Stakes).
Five years ago: General Motors told about 1,100 dealers their franchises would be terminated. CIA Director Leon Panetta defended the agency against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s charge that she was misled in 2002 about the use of waterboarding on detainees. Pope Benedict XVI ended his Mideast visit at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
Thought for Today: “History is a better guide than good intentions.” – Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1926-2006).