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Today in history: May 12

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

Today is Thursday, May 12, the 132nd day of 2005. There are 233 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 12, 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.

On this date:
In 1870, Manitoba entered Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1932, the body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was found in a wooded area of Hopewell, N.J.

In 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration were established to provide help for the needy and farmers.

In 1937, Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

In 1949, the Soviet Union announced an end to the Berlin Blockade.

In 1965, West Germany and Israel exchanged letters establishing diplomatic relations.

In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.

In 1975, the White House announced the new Cambodian government had seized an American merchant ship, the “Mayaguez,” in international waters.

In 1985, Illinois Gov. James Thompson commuted the sentence of Gary Dotson, who’d served six years in prison for a rape that the alleged victim later said never happened.

In 1985, Amy Eilberg was ordained in New York as the first female rabbi in the Conservative Jewish movement.

Ten years ago: President Clinton, during a stopover in Ukraine, visited Babi Yar, the site where more than 30,000 Kiev Jews were massacred by the Nazis in 1941.

Five years ago: During visits to Ohio and Minnesota, President Clinton called for open trade with China, saying it would help the communist nation move closer to democracy. Adam Petty, 19, the fourth-generation driver of NASCAR’s most famous family, died in a crash during practice for the Busch 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

One year ago: Members of Congress expressed outrage after they were privately shown fresh pictures and videos of Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. troops. NBC completed a merger with the Universal television and entertainment businesses to create a major media conglomerate.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra is 80. Critic John Simon is 80. Composer Burt Bacharach is 77. Talk show host Tom Snyder is 69. Comedian George Carlin is 68. Actress Millie Perkins is 67. R&B singer Jayotis Washington is 64. Country singer Billy Swan is 63. Actress Linda Dano is 62. Musician Ian McLagan is 60. Actress Lindsay Crouse is 57. Singer-musician Steve Winwood is 57. Actor Gabriel Byrne is 55. Actor Bruce Boxleitner is 55. Singer Billy Squier is 55. Country singer Kix Brooks is 50. Actress Kim Greist is 47. Actor Ving Rhames is 44. Rock musician Billy Duffy is 44. Actor Emilio Estevez is 43. Actress Vanessa Williams (“Soul Food”) is 42. Country musician Eddie Kilgallon is 40. Actor Stephen Baldwin is 39. Actress Kim Fields is 36. Actress Samantha Mathis is 35. Actress Jamie Luner is 34. Actor Christian Campbell is 33. Actor Mackenzie Astin is 32. Actor Jason Biggs is 27. Actress Emily VanCamp is 19. Actors Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) are 10.

Thought for Today: “One face to the world, another at home makes for misery.” — Amy Vanderbilt, American etiquette expert (1908-1974).