IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: May 9

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

Today is Tuesday, May 9, the 129th day of 2006. There are 236 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 9, 1961, Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow condemned television programming as a “vast wasteland” in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.

On this date:
In 1502, Christopher Columbus left Cadiz, Spain, on his fourth and final trip to the Western Hemisphere.

In 1754, a cartoon in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette showed a snake cut into sections, each part representing an American colony; the caption read, “Join or die.”

In 1913, the 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of U.S. senators by popular vote rather than selection by state legislatures, was ratified.

In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly over the North Pole.

In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia.

In 1945, U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved the pill Enovid as safe for birth control use.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Nixon.

In 1978, the bullet-riddled body of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro, who’d been abducted by the Red Brigades, was found in an automobile in the center of Rome.

In 1980, 35 motorists were killed when a Liberian freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section to collapse.

Ten years ago: In dramatic video testimony to a hushed courtroom in Little Rock, Ark., President Clinton insisted he had nothing to do with a $300,000 loan at the heart of the criminal case against his former Whitewater partners.

Five years ago: China sought U.S. understanding for its refusal to allow a damaged U.S. Navy spy plane to fly home, saying public sentiment would be outraged if the aircraft flew again over Chinese territory. A stampede at a soccer match in Ghana killed 126 people.

One year ago: President Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany with a lavish military parade in Moscow. President Bush then traveled to Georgia, the first American chief executive to visit. Eight-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias were found stabbed to death in Zion, Ill.; Laura’s father, Jerry Hobbs III, was later charged with killing the girls. Actress Renee Zellweger married country music star Kenny Chesney on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (The marriage was annulled just months later).

Today’s Birthdays: CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace is 88. Actress Geraldine McEwan is 74. Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 72. Actor Albert Finney is 70. Actress-turned-politician Glenda Jackson is 70. Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 69. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 66. Singer Tommy Roe is 64. Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 62. Actress Candice Bergen is 60. Pop singer Clint Holmes is 60. Actor Anthony Higgins is 59. Singer Billy Joel is 57. Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 57. Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 56. Actress Alley Mills is 55. Actor John Corbett is 45. Singer Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) is 44. Rapper Ghostface Killah is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamia is 31. Rock musician Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish) is 29. Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 27. Actress Rosario Dawson is 27. Actress Rachel Boston is 24.

Thought for Today: “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” — Dorothy Parker, American author, humorist, poet (1893-1967).