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Today in history: May 6

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, May 6, the 126th day of 2006. There are 239 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 6, 1937, the hydrogen-filled German dirigible Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.

On this date:
In 1856, 150 years ago, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was born in Freiberg, Moravia, in the present-day Czech Republic.

In 1856, explorer Robert Edwin Peary was born in Cresson, Pa.

In 1861, Arkansas seceded from the Union.

In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.

In 1910, Britain’s King Edward VII died.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating.

In 1942, during World War II, some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese.

In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

In 1981, Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

In 1987, CIA Director William J. Casey died at age 74.

Ten years ago: The body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a riverbank near his southern Maryland vacation home, eight days after he had disappeared.

Five years ago: John Paul II, during his visit to Syria, became the first pope to enter a mosque as he called for brotherhood between Christians and Muslims. American businessman Dennis Tito ended the world’s first paid space vacation as he returned to Earth aboard a Russian capsule.

One year ago: President Bush arrived in Riga, Latvia, as he opened a fast-paced, four-country journey to mark the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. British Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled his Cabinet, changing leadership in defense and health but keeping mostly familiar faces after a third term victory dampened by a reduced majority in Parliament.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays is 75. Senate Banking Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 72. Rock singer Bob Seger is 61. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 61. Actor Alan Dale is 59. Actor Ben Masters is 59. Actor Gregg Henry is 54. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 53. TV game show host Tom Bergeron is 51. Actress Roma Downey is 46. Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 46. Actor George Clooney is 45. Actor Clay O’Brien is 45. Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 42. Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 39. Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 35.

Thought for Today: “The people no longer believe in principles, but will probably periodically believe in saviours.” — Jacob Christoph Burckhardt, Swiss historian (1818-1897).