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Today in history: May 14

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

Today is Sunday, May 14, the 134th day of 2006. There are 231 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 14, 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

On this date:
In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox to an 8-year-old boy.

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory left St. Louis.

In 1904, the first Olympic games to be held in the United States opened in St. Louis as part of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

In 1942, the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps was established.

In 1948 (according to the current-era calendar), the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv.

In 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, formed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. (The Pact was dissolved in July 1991.)

In 1973, the United States launched Skylab, its first manned space station.

In 1975, U.S. forces raided the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and recaptured the American merchant ship Mayaguez. All 40 crew members were released safely by Cambodia, but some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in the military operation.

In 1980, President Carter inaugurated the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 1998, singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82.

Ten years ago: A jury in Pontiac, Mich., acquitted Dr. Jack Kevorkian of assisted-suicide charges, his third legal victory in two years.

Five years ago: The Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana to ease their pain from cancer, AIDS or other illnesses. Promising to be a “determined adversary” toward gun violence, President Bush announced plans to mobilize federal and local prosecutors who would focus exclusively on gun-related crimes.

One year ago: The U.S. military in Iraq wrapped up Operation Matador, a major offensive in a remote desert region near the Syrian border.

Today’s Birthdays: Opera singer Patrice Munsel is 81. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.C., is 64. Rock singer-musician Jack Bruce (Cream) is 63. Movie producer George Lucas is 62. Actress Meg Foster is 58. Rock singer David Byrne is 54. Movie director Robert Zemeckis is 54. Actor Tim Roth is 45. Rock singer Ian Astbury (The Cult) is 44. Rock musician C.C./Cecil DeVille is 44. Rock musician Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) is 40. Fabrice Morvan (ex-Milli Vanilli) is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Raphael Saadiq is 40. Actress Cate Blanchett is 37. Singer Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 37. Movie writer-director Sofia Coppola is 35. Singer Natalie Appleton (All Saints) is 33. Singer Shanice is 33. Rock musician Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 28. Actress Amber Tamblyn is 23.

Thought for Today: “God knows that a mother needs fortitude and courage and tolerance and flexibility and patience and firmness and nearly every other brave aspect of the human soul. But because I happen to be a parent of almost fiercely maternal nature, I praise casualness. It seems to me the rarest of virtues.” — Phyllis McGinley, American poet and author (1905-1978).