Today in History: May 22, Johnson’s ‘Great Society’
Today in History
Today is Sunday, May 22, the 142nd day of 2022. There are 223 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, outlined the goals of his “Great Society,” saying that it “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.”
On this date:
In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.
In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.
In 1962, Continental Airlines Flight 11, en route from Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri, crashed after a bomb apparently brought on board by a passenger exploded, killing all 45 occupants of the Boeing 707.
In 1967, a fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels killed 322 people. Poet and playwright Langston Hughes died in New York at age 65.
In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)
In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
In 1985, U.S. sailor Michael L. Walker was arrested aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz, two days after his father, John A. Walker Jr., was apprehended; both were later convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. (Michael Walker served 15 years in prison and was released in 2000.)
In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time. (Jay Leno took over as host three days later.)
In 2006, The Department of Veterans Affairs said personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a VA employee after he took the information home without authorization.
In 2011, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, with winds up to 250 mph, claiming at least 159 lives and destroying about 8,000 homes and businesses.
In 2018, Stacey Abrams won Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, making her the first woman nominee for Georgia governor from either major party. (Abrams, seeking to become the nation’s first Black female governor, was defeated by Republican Brian Kemp.)
In 2020, “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars into the University of Southern California as part of a college admissions bribery scheme. (Loughlin would spend two months behind bars; Giannulli began a five-month sentence in November 2020 and was released to home confinement in April 2021.)
Ten years ago: The Falcon 9, built by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, sped toward the International Space Station with a load of groceries and other supplies, marking the first time a commercial spacecraft had been sent to the orbiting outpost. Wesley A. Brown, the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, died in Silver Spring, Maryland, at age 85.
Five years ago: A suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. In a historic gesture, President Donald Trump solemnly placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Ford Motor Co. announced it was replacing CEO Mark Fields. Actor Dina Merrill, 93, died at her home in East Hampton, New York.
One year ago: Virgin Galactic made its first rocket-powered flight from New Mexico to the fringe of space in a manned shuttle, a step toward offering tourist flights to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere. An expert climbing guide said a coronavirus outbreak on Mount Everest had infected at least 100 climbers and support staff; officials in Nepal had denied that there was a COVID-19 cluster on the world’s highest peak.
Today’s Birthdays: Conductor Peter Nero is 88. Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 84. Actor Frank Converse is 84. Former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw is 82. Actor Barbara Parkins is 80. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Tommy John is 79. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 72. Actor-producer Al Corley is 67. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is 65. Singer Morrissey is 63. Actor Ann Cusack is 61. Country musician Dana Williams (Diamond Rio) is 61. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela is 60. Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence is 58. R&B singer Johnny Gill (New Edition) is 56. Rock musician Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) is 55. Actor Brooke Smith is 55. Actor Michael Kelly is 53. Model Naomi Campbell is 52. Actor Anna Belknap is 50. Actor Alison Eastwood is 50. Singer Donell Jones is 49. Actor Sean Gunn is 48. Actor A.J. Langer is 48. Actor Ginnifer Goodwin is 44. R&B singer Vivian Green is 43. Actor Maggie Q is 43. Olympic gold medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is 40. Actor Molly Ephraim (TV: “Last Man Standing”) is 36. Tennis player Novak Djokovic is 35. Actor Anna Baryshnikov (TV: “Superior Donuts”) is 30. Actor Camren Bicondova is 23.
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