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This day in history

Thursday, May 1, is the 121st day of 2014. There are 244 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 75. Actor Stephen Macht is 72. Singer Rita Coolidge is 69. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 60. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 54. Country singer Tim McGraw is 47. Rock musician D’Arcy is 46. Director Wes Anderson is 45. Actress Julie Benz is 42. Actress Kerry Bishe is 30.

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In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated.

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.

In 2004, the European Union swelled from 15 nations to 25 by taking in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, along with the Mediterranean nations of Cyprus and Malta.

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