updated 5/2/2007 3:15:00 PM ET 2007-05-02T19:15:00

Today is Wednesday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2007. There are 243 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
On May 2, 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

On this date:
In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France.

In 1670, the Hudson Bay Co. was chartered by England's King Charles II.

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1936, "Peter and the Wolf," a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow.

In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, the controversial Republican from Wisconsin, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

In 1957, crime boss Frank Costello narrowly survived an attempt on his life in New York; the alleged gunman, Vincent "The Chin" Gigante, was acquitted at trial after Costello refused to identify him as the shooter.

In 1960, convicted sex offender and best-selling author Caryl Chessman was executed at San Quentin Prison in California.

In 1965, the Early Bird satellite was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.

In 1972, after serving 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

Ten years ago: President Clinton and congressional Republicans came to terms on a plan to balance the budget over five years. A new national memorial honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt was officially opened in Washington. Tony Blair, whose new Labour Party crushed John Major's long-reigning Conservatives in a national election, became at age 44 Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.

Five years ago: Yasser Arafat emerged from his West Bank headquarters, hours after Israeli troops withdrew from his compound and released the Palestinian leader from months of confinement. The Rev. Paul Shanley, a priest at the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse scandal, turned himself in to authorities in San Diego to face charges in Massachusetts of raping boys during the 1980s. (Shanley was later convicted of repeatedly raping one boy, and was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.)

One year ago: Rene Braeunlich and Thomas Nitzschke, two German engineers held captive for 99 days in Iraq, were released unharmed. Premier Silvio Berlusconi, the longest-serving leader in postwar Italy, resigned to make way for a center-left government led by Romano Prodi. Business author, columnist and TV commentator Louis Rukeyser died in Greenwich, Conn., at age 73.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Theodore Bikel is 83. Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is 71. Political activist Bianca Jagger is 62. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 62. Singer Lesley Gore is 61. Actor David Suchet is 61. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 59. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 57. Actress Christine Baranski is 55. Singer Angela Bofill is 53. Actress Elizabeth Berridge is 45. Country singer Ty Herndon is 45. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 38. Wrestler-actor The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is 35. Actress Jenna Von Oy is 30. Actor Gaius Charles ("Friday Night Lights") is 24. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 22. Actress Kay Panabaker ("Summerland") is 17.

Thought for Today: "Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted than when we read it in the original author?" — Philip G. Hamerton, English artist and essayist (1834-1894).

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