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Today in History — May 6

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

BC-History-May 6,0565

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, May 6, the 126th day of 2007. 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 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 four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

In 1957, Eugene O’Neill’s play “Long Day’s Journey into Night” won the Pulitzer Prize for drama; John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage” won the Pulitzer for biography or autobiography.

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.

In 1996, the body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a southern Maryland riverbank, eight days after he had disappeared.

Ten years ago: President Clinton wrapped up his visit to Mexico as he and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo pledged closer cooperation on immigration and drug smuggling. Army Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson was sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping six trainees at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. World chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue computer played to a draw in Game 3 of their six-game match.

Five years ago: Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was shot and killed in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Volkert van der Graaf was later convicted of killing Fortuyn and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.) Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed after 19 months of house arrest. Songwriter Otis Blackwell (“Don’t Be Cruel” and “Great Balls of Fire”) died in Nashville, Tenn., at age 70.

One year ago: A British military helicopter apparently hit by a missile crashed in Basra, Iraq, killing four crew members. Barbaro won the Kentucky Derby. Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, died in Shrewsbury, Mass., at age 99.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays is 76. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 73. Rock singer Bob Seger is 62. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 62. Actor Alan Dale is 60. Actor Ben Masters is 60. Actor Gregg Henry is 55. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 54. TV personality Tom Bergeron is 52. Actress Roma Downey is 47. Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 47. Actor George Clooney is 46. Actor Clay O’Brien is 46. Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 43. Actress Leslie Hope is 42. Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 40. Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 36. Actress Adrianne Palicki is 24.

Thought for Today: “In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain.” — George Szell, Hungarian-American conductor (1897-1970).