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This day in history

Wednesday, May 30, is the 151st day of 2012. There are 215 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Country musician Johnny Gimble is 86. Actor Clint Walker is 85. Actor Keir Dullea is 76. Actress Ruta Lee is 76. Actor Michael J. Pollard is 73. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Gayle Sayers is 69. Rock musician Lenny Davidson (The Dave Clark Five) is 68. Actor Stephen Tobolowsky is 61. Actor Colm Meaney is 59. Actor Ted McGinley is 54. Actor Ralph Carter is 51. Actress Tonya Pinkins is 50. Country singer Wynonna Judd is 48. Rock musician Tom Morello (Audioslave; Rage Against the Machine) is 48. Movie director Antoine Fuqua is 47. Rock musician Patrick Dahlheimer (Live) is 41. Actress-singer Idina Menzel is 41. Actor Trey Parker is 40. Rapper Cee Lo Green is 38. Rapper Remy Ma is 32. Actor Blake Bashoff is 31. Christian rock musician James Smith (Underoath) is 30. Actor Jake Short is 15.

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In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

In 1883, 12 people were trampled to death in a stampede sparked by a rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing.

In 1911, the first Indy 500 took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; the winner was Ray Harroun, who drove a Marmon Wasp for more than 6½ hours at an average speed of 74.6 mph and collected a prize of $10,000.

In 1912, aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright, 45, died in Dayton, Ohio, of typhoid fever more than eight years after he and his brother, Orville, launched their first airplane.

In 1937, 10 people were killed when police fired on steelworkers demonstrating near the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago.

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In 1943, American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.

In 1958, unidentified American service members killed in World War II and the Korean War were interred in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1962, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem had its world premiere at the new Coventry Cathedral in England.

In 1971, the American space probe Mariner 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Fla. on a journey to Mars.

In 1972, three members of the Japanese Red Army opened fire at Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, killing 26 people. Two attackers died; the third was captured.

In 1981, the president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.

In 2002, a solemn, wordless ceremony marked the end of the agonizing cleanup at ground zero in New York, 8½ months after September 11. Attorney General John Ashcroft issued new terror-fighting guidelines allowing FBI agents to visit Internet sites, libraries, churches, and political organizations as part of an effort to preempt terrorist strikes. Nine climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of Oregon’s Mount Hood; three died.

In 2005, American teenager Natalee Holloway was last seen leaving a bar in Aruba before vanishing; her fate remains unknown, although Joran van der Sloot remains the prime suspect in her disappearance.

In 2007, the Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down a Chinook helicopter over southern Afghanistan, killing five US soldiers, a Canadian and a Briton. Abdul Rahman Maadha al-Amry, a Saudi being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison since 2002, was found dead, an apparent suicide.

In 2011, President Obama selected Army General Martin Dempsey to be the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman.

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