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May 1, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 1, the 121st day of 2013. There are 244 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 1, 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.

On this date:

  • In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
  • In 1786, Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.
  • In 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish squadron in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
  • In 1911, the song "I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)," by Harry Von Tilzer and Will Dillon, was first published.
  • In 1931, New York's 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated. Singer Kate Smith made her debut on CBS Radio on her 24th birthday.
  • In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture "Citizen Kane" premiered in New York.
  • In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
  • In 1961, the first U.S. airline hijacking took place as Antulio Ramirez Ortiz, a Miami electrician, commandeered a National Airlines plane that was en route to Key West, Fla., and forced the pilot to fly to Cuba.
  • In 1963, the Coca-Cola Co. began marketing TaB, its first low-calorie beverage.
  • In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
  • In 1982, the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., was opened by President Ronald Reagan.
  • In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, "Can we all get along?"

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, co-piloting an S-3B Viking, landed on the deck of the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the Southern California coast; standing below a banner strung across the ship's bridge proclaiming "Mission Accomplished," Bush declared that major combat in Iraq was over, but also said "difficult work" remained ahead. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake killed 177 people in Turkey.

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