updated 5/20/2007 12:28:50 AM ET 2007-05-20T04:28:50

BC-History-May 20,0635

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, May 20, the 140th day of 2007. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Garden City, N.Y., aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

On this date:

In 1506, explorer Christopher Columbus died in Spain.

In 1806, English political philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill was born in London.

In 1861, North Carolina voted to secede from the Union.

In 1902, the United States ended a three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas Estrada Palma.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)

In 1939, trans-Atlantic mail service began as a Pan American Airways plane, the Yankee Clipper, took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Europe.

In 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.

In 1969, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, referred to as “Hamburger Hill” by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

In 1989, comedian Gilda Radner died in Los Angeles at age 42.

In 1996, the Supreme Court struck down a Colorado measure banning laws that protect homosexuals from discrimination.

Ten years ago: The Senate approved legislation to ban certain late-term abortions, but fell three votes shy of the total needed to override President Clinton’s threatened veto.

Five years ago: President Bush said he wouldn’t budge toward easing restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba until Fidel Castro’s government took steps to hold free and fair elections and began to adopt meaningful economic reform. FBI Director Robert Mueller said it was inevitable that suicide bombers like those in Israel would strike the United States. East Timor became the world’s newest nation. Paleontologist and author Stephen Jay Gould died in New York at age 60. Veteran Los Angeles TV newscaster Jerry Dunphy died at age 80.

One year ago: Iraq’s new unity government took office, five months after elections. Federal agents searched the Capitol Hill office of Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana as part of a bribery investigation. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was re-elected. An explosion killed five miners in an eastern Kentucky coal mine. Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro broke down at the start of the Preakness; Bernardini won the race. Barry Bonds tied Babe Ruth for second place on the career list with his 714th home run.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor James McEachin is 77. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 71. Actor David Proval is 65. Singer Joe Cocker is 63. Singer-actress Cher is 61. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 58. Musician Warren Cann is 55. Actor Dean Butler is 51. Ron Reagan is

49. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 49. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 48. Singer Susan Cowsill is 48. Actor John Billingsley is 47. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 47. Singer Nick Heyward is 46. TV personality Ted Allen is 42. Actress Mindy Cohn is 41. Rock musician Tom Gorman (Belly) is 41. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 39. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 35. Actor Matt Czuchry is 30. Actress Angela Goethals is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Naturi Naughton is 23.

Thought for Today: “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” — Tacitus, Roman senator and historian (A.D. c. 56-c. 115).

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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