Today in History: May 9, Mandela chosen to lead South Africa

By The Associated Press
Posted 5/1/23

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 9, the 129th day of 2023. There are 236 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 9, 1994, South Africa’s newly elected …

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Today in History: May 9, Mandela chosen to lead South Africa


Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 9, the 129th day of 2023. There are 236 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 9, 1994, South Africa’s newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country’s first Black president.

On this date:

In 1860, writer J.M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan, was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

In 1945, with World War II in Europe at an end, Soviet forces liberated Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation. U.S. officials announced that a midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

In 1951, the U.S. conducted its first thermonuclear experiment as part of Operation Greenhouse by detonating a 225-kiloton device on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific nicknamed “George.”

In 1962, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology succeeded in reflecting a laser beam off the surface of the moon.

In 1965, Russian-born American pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed publicly for the first time in 12 years with a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon made a surprise and impromptu pre-dawn visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he chatted with a group of protesters who’d been resting on the Memorial steps after protests against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee opened public hearings on whether to recommend the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. (The committee ended up adopting three articles of impeachment against the president, who resigned before the full House took up any of them.)

In 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse.

In 2016, Filipinos went to the polls to elect Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial, tough-talking mayor of Davao city, to be their country’s next president.

In 2019, Pope Francis issued a groundbreaking new church law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities.

In 2020, Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard, known for his piercing wail, pounding piano and towering pompadour, died in Tennessee at the age of 87 after battling bone cancer; he had helped shatter the color line on the music charts while introducing Black R&B to white America.

Ten years ago: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had irked Washington with his frequent criticism of U.S. military operations in his country, said his government was ready to let the U.S. have nine bases across Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most foreign forces in 2014. A 72-foot-long, high-tech catamaran sailboat capsized in San Francisco Bay while practicing for the America’s Cup races, killing English Olympic gold medalist Andrew “Bart” Simpson. Malcolm Shabazz, 28, grandson of civil rights activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City of blunt trauma injuries sustained in a bar dispute.

Five years ago: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea to finalize plans for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Three Americans who had spent more than a year in prison in North Korea were freed during his visit and left North Korea aboard Pompeo’s plane. Five officers and one prisoner were killed in a riot at a police detention center near Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Authorities alleged the facility was being targeted by Islamic militants.

One year ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin marked his country’s biggest patriotic holiday, Victory Day, without a major new battlefield success in Ukraine to boast of, as the war ground on through its 11th week with the Kremlin’s forces making little or no progress in their offensive. The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize in public service journalism for its coverage of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Ray Scott, who helped launch professional bass angling and became a fishing buddy to presidents while popularizing the conservation practice of catching and releasing fish, died at age 88.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-writer Alan Bennett is 89. Actor and politician Glenda Jackson is 87. Producer-director James L. Brooks is 86. Musician Sonny Curtis (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) is 86. Singer Tommy Roe is 81. Singer-musician Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield and Poco) is 79. Actor Candice Bergen is 77. Pop singer Clint Holmes is 77. Actor Anthony Higgins is 76. Singer Billy Joel is 74. Blues singer-musician Bob Margolin is 74. Rock singer-musician Tom Petersson (Cheap Trick) is 73. Actor Alley Mills is 72. Actor Amy Hill is 70. Actor Wendy Crewson is 67. Actor John Corbett is 62. Singer Dave Gahan (GAHN) (Depeche Mode) is 61. Actor Sonja Sohn is 59. Rapper Ghostface Killah is 53. Actor Chris Diamantopoulos (dy-uh-MAN’-toh-POO’-lehs) is 48. R&B singer Tamia (tuh-MEE’-ah) is 48. Actor Daniel Franzese is 45. Rock singer Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan) is 44. Actor Rosario Dawson is 44. Rock singer Andrew W.K. is 44. Actor Rachel Boston is 41. TV personality Audrina Patridge is 38. Actor Grace Gummer is 37.

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