Today in History: May 3

Posted at 10:17 AM, May 03, 2020

Today is Sunday, May 3, the 124th day of 2020. There are 242 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On May 3, 1802, Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

On this date:

In 1913, Clorox had its beginnings as five entrepreneurs agreed to set up a liquid bleach factory in Oakland, Calif.

In 1916, Irish nationalists Padraic Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a British firing squad; they were among 16 people put to death for their roles in the Easter Rising.

In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone with the Wind."

In 1948, the Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable.

In 1978, spam email was born as Gary Thuerk (thurk), a marketing executive for the Digital Equipment Corp. of Maynard, Massachusetts, transmitted an unsolicited sales pitch for a new line of computers to 400 prospective customers on ARPANET, a precursor to the internet; the stunt generated some business, as well as complaints. "Sun Day" took place on a Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country.

In 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

In 1984, Michael Dell founded Dell Computer Corp. while a student at the University of Texas in Austin.

In 1987, The Miami Herald said its reporters had observed a young woman spending "Friday night and most of Saturday" at a Washington townhouse belonging to Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart. (The woman was later identified as Donna Rice; the resulting controversy torpedoed Hart's presidential bid.)

In 1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.

In 2006, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, rejected the death penalty for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE'-uhs moo-SOW'-ee), deciding he should spend life in prison for his role in 9/11; as he was led from the courtroom, Moussaoui taunted, "America, you lost."

In 2007, British girl Madeleine McCann vanished during a family vacation in Portugal nine days before her fourth birthday; her disappearance remains unsolved.

In 2009, Mexican President Felipe Calderon told state television that a nationwide shutdown and an aggressive informational campaign appeared to have helped curtail an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico.

Ten years ago: BP declared it would pay all "legitimate and objectively verifiable" claims related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Faisal Shahzad (FY'-sul shah-ZAHD'), who later admitted to an attempted car bombing in Times Square, was apprehended aboard a flight preparing to depart New York for Dubai. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ah-muh-DEE'-neh-zhahd) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton exchanged heated words at the United Nations, the site of a monthlong debate over nuclear weapons. An Indian court convicted a Pakistani man (Mohammed Ajmal Kasab) of murder and other charges for his role in the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.

Five years ago: Two gunmen were shot and killed by a police officer in Garland, Texas, after they opened fire outside a purposely provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Aboard the International Space Station, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti fired up the first espresso machine in orbit, then posted a photo of herself on Twitter sipping from a cup designed for use in zero-gravity.

One year ago: In their first known phone call since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed what Trump again dismissed as the "Russian Hoax." A chartered jet ran off a runway and into a river at a military base in Jacksonville, Florida; none of the 143 people onboard had serious injuries, but a dog and two cats died in the cargo hold.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Alex Cord is 87. Singer Frankie Valli is 86. Former Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is 78. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is 77. Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 74. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is 71. Pop singer Mary Hopkin is 70. Singer Christopher Cross is 69. Country musician Cactus Moser (Highway 101) is 63. Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) is 61. Former Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is 59. Country singer Shane Minor is 52. Actress Amy Ryan is 52. Actor Bobby Cannavale is 50. Music and film producer-actor Damon Dash is 49. Country musician John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) is 49. Country-rock musician John Neff is 49. Country singer Brad Martin is 47. Actress Marsha Stephanie-Blake is 45. TV personality Willie Geist (TV: "Today") is 45. Actress Christina Hendricks is 45. Actor Dule Hill is 45. Country singer Eric Church is 43. Actress Tanya Wright is 42. Dancer Cheryl Burke is 36. Soul singer Michael Kiwanuka is 33. Actress Jill Berard is 30. Actress Zoe De Grand Maison is 25. Rapper Desiigner (cq) is 23.

Thought for Today: "Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness." - May Sarton, American poet (born this date in 1912, died in 1995).

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