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Today in history: May 10

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

Today is Wednesday, May 10, the 130th day of 2006. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

On this date:
In 1774, Louis XVI ascended the throne of France.

In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.

In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

In 1968, preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.

In 1978, Britain’s Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage.

In 1994, the state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office to become South Africa’s first black president.

Ten years ago: Two Marine helicopters collided in the dark and crashed in a swamp at Camp Lejeune, N.C., during a U.S.-British training exercise, killing 14 people.

Five years ago: The U.S. House of Representatives voted to withhold some back U.N. dues until the United States was reinstated on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The Justice Department handed over thousands of documents it said should have been provided to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s attorneys — because of the blunder, McVeigh’s execution, set for May 16, was postponed. Boeing chose Chicago as the site for its new headquarters, replacing Seattle. The World Wrestling Federation announced it would fold the upstart XFL football league.

One year ago: A federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines’ plan to terminate its employees’ pension plans. Cheered by tens of thousands in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, President Bush urged the spread of democracy across the former communist world and beyond. Germany dedicated its new national Holocaust memorial. Gunmen kidnapped the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province; the governor (Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi) was later killed.

Today’s Birthdays: Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 76. Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 68. TV and radio personality Gary Owens is 67. Actor David Clennon is 63. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 62. Singer Donovan is 60. Singer Dave Mason is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Banks (The Dramatics) is 55. Rock singer Bono (U2) is 46. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 43. Model Linda Evangelista is 41. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (Nirvana, Eyes Adrift) is 41. Rapper Young MC is 39. Actor Erik Palladino is 38. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 29. Actor Kenan Thompson is 28. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 26. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 21.

Thought for Today: “Creative minds always have been known to survive any kind of bad training.” — Anna Freud, Austrian-born psychoanalyst (1895-1982).