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Today in history: May 2

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

Today is Monday, May 2, the 122nd day of 2005. There are 243 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 2, 1945, the Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

On this date:
In 1519, artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France.

In 1670, the Hudson Bay Company was chartered by England’s King Charles II.

In 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was accidentally wounded by his own men at Chancellorsville, Va.; he died eight days later.

In 1890, the Oklahoma Territory was organized.

In 1936, “Peter and the Wolf,” a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow.

In 1957, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, the controversial Republican senator from Wisconsin, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

In 1960, convicted sex offender and best-selling author Caryl Chessman was executed at San Quentin Prison in California.

In 1965, the “Early Bird” satellite was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.

In 1972, after serving 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.

In 1994, Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa’s first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.

Ten years ago: President Clinton agreed to allow some 20,000 Cubans into the United States after months of detention at Guantanamo Bay, but said any more Cubans who fled their country would be forcibly repatriated.

Five years ago: An investigating panel concluded that Texas A&M University students cut corners in construction and school officials failed to adequately supervise them before a bonfire collapse in November 1999 that killed 12 people. Former nurse Christina Marie Riggs was executed by injection in Arkansas for smothering her two young children. Jockey Julie Krone became the first female elected to thoroughbred racing’s hall of fame.

One year ago: American truck driver Thomas Hamill escaped his kidnappers in Iraq; that same day, nine U.S. servicemen were killed across the country. Martin Torrijos, the son of a former dictator, won Panama’s first presidential vote since the handover of the Panama Canal in December 1999.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Theodore Bikel is 81. Actor Roscoe Lee Browne is 80. Rock musician Link Wray is 76. Bianca Jagger is 60. Country singer R.C. Bannon is 60. Singer Lesley Gore is 59. Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin is 57. Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) is 55. Actress Christine Baranski is 53. Singer Angela Bofill is 51. Actress Elizabeth Berridge is 43. Country singer Ty Herndon is 43. Rock musician Todd Sucherman (Styx) is 36. Wrestler-actor The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is 33. Actress Jenna Von Oy is 28. Olympic gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes is 20. Actress Kay Panabaker (“Summerland”) is 15.

Thought for Today: “Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything.” — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).