Today in History: May 10, transcontinental railroad finished
Today in History
Today is Tuesday, May 10, the 130th day of 2022. There are 235 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 10, 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.
On this date:
In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, New York.
In 1818, American patriot Paul Revere, 83, died in Boston.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.
In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)
In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first Black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.
In 1995, 104 miners were killed in an elevator accident in Orkney, South Africa.
In 2002, a tense 39-day-old standoff between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended with 13 suspected militants flown into European exile and 26 released into the Gaza Strip.
In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service apologized for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
In 2014, Michael Sam was picked by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by a pro football team. (Sam retired after an unsuccessful stint with the Rams and the Dallas Cowboys.)
Ten years ago: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney apologized for “stupid” high school pranks that might have gone too far and moved quickly to stamp out any notion that he’d bullied schoolmates because they were gay. In Syria, twin suicide car bombs exploded outside a military intelligence building, killing 55 people. Legendary car designer Carroll Shelby, 89, died in Dallas.
Five years ago: All but ignoring the unfurling drama over Russia and the U.S. election, President Donald Trump sought to advance prospects for cooperation between the former Cold War foes in Syria and elsewhere in a rare Oval Office meeting with Vladimir Putin’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (sir-GAY’ lahv-RAWF’).
One year ago: Eleven days of fierce fighting between Israel and Hamas broke out when Hamas fired a barrage of long-range rockets toward Jerusalem in response to what it said were Israeli provocations; Israel quickly responded with a series of airstrikes. U.S. regulators expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12. The White House said it was monitoring fuel supply shortages in parts of the Southeast resulting from a ransomware attack that shut down a major pipeline system.
Today’s Birthdays: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford is 89. R&B singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 84. Actor David Clennon is 79. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 78. Singer Donovan is 76. Singer-songwriter Graham Gouldman (10cc) is 76. Singer Dave Mason is 76. Actor Mike Hagerty is 68. Sports anchor Chris Berman is 67. Actor Bruce Penhall is 65. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is 64. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is 63. Actor Victoria Rowell is 63. Rock singer Bono (BAH’-noh) (U2) is 62. Former Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is 62. Rock musician Danny Carey (Tool) is 61. Actor Darryl M. Bell is 59. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 59. Model Linda Evangelista is 57. Rapper Young MC is 55. Actor Erik Palladino is 54. Rock singer Richard Patrick (Filter) is 54. Actor Lenny Venito is 53. Actor Dallas Roberts is 52. Actor Leslie Stefanson is 51. Actor-singer Todd Lowe is 50. Actor Andrea Anders is 47. Race car driver Helio Castroneves is 47. Rock musician Jesse Vest is 45. Actor Kenan Thompson is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 42. Actor Odette Annable is 37. Actor Lindsey Shaw is 33. Actor Lauren Potter is 32. Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin is 27.