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

Today in History — May 15

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

Today is Tuesday, May 15, the 135th day of 2007. There are 230 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 15, 1942, wartime gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.

On this date:

In 1856, Lyman Frank Baum, the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” was born in Chittenango, N.Y.

In 1886, poet Emily Dickinson died in Amherst, Mass.

In 1911, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Co., ruling it was a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In 1918, U.S. airmail began service between Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

In 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight operated by Boeing Air Transport (a forerunner of United Airlines).

In 1940, nylon stockings went on general sale for the first time in the United States.

In 1963, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper blasted off aboard Faith 7 on the final mission of the Project Mercury space program.

In 1970, Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, were killed when police opened fire during student protests.

In 1972, George C. Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer and left paralyzed while campaigning in Laurel, Md., for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In 1986, searchers on Oregon’s Mount Hood found two teenage survivors of a hiking expedition that became trapped in a whiteout blizzard. Nine other climbers died.

Ten years ago: Space shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to deliver urgently needed repair equipment and a fresh American astronaut to Russia’s orbiting Mir station. Attorney General Janet Reno requested the death penalty for Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski. (However, under an arrangement in which he admitted his guilt, Kaczynski agreed to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.)

Five years ago: The White House acknowledged that in the weeks before the 9/11 attacks, President George Bush was told by U.S. intelligence that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network might hijack American airplanes, but that officials did not know that suicide hijackers were plotting to use planes as missiles. Financier Martin Frankel pleaded guilty in New Haven, Conn., to pulling off one of the most brazen swindles Wall Street had ever seen.

One year ago: In an Oval Office address, President Bush said he would order as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, and he urged Congress to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship. A defiant Saddam Hussein refused to enter a plea at his trial, insisting he was still Iraq’s president as a judge formally charged him with crimes against humanity. The Pentagon disclosed the names of everyone detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison since it opened four years earlier. The U.S. removed Libya from its list of terrorist states and said it would restore normal diplomatic relations.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Eddy Arnold is 89. Actor Joseph Wiseman is 89. Playwright Sir Peter Shaffer (“Amadeus”) is 81. Actress-singer Anna Maria Alberghetti is 71. Counterculture icon Wavy Gravy is 71. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is

70. Singer Trini Lopez is 70. Singer Lenny Welch is 69. Actress-singer Lainie Kazan is 67. Actor-director Paul Rudd (“Knots Landing”) is 67. Country singer K.T. Oslin is 65. Singer-songwriter Brian Eno is 59. Actor Nicholas Hammond (“The Sound of Music”) is 57. Actor Chazz Palminteri is 56. Baseball Hall-of-Famer George Brett is 54. Musician-composer Mike Oldfield (“Tubular Bells”) is 54. Actor Lee Horsley is 52. TV personality Giselle Fernandez is 46. Singer-rapper Prince Be (PM Dawn) is 37. Actor Brad Rowe is 37. Actor David Charvet is 35. Rock musician Ahmet Zappa is 33. Olympic gold-medal gymnast Amy Chow is 29. Actor David Krumholtz (“Numb3rs”) is 29. Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler is 26.

Thought for Today: “Not to discover weakness is/ The Artifice of strength ...” — Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886).