Thursday, May 31, is the 152d day of 2012. There are 214 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 82. Singer Peter Yarrow is 74. Former Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite is 73. Singer-musician Augie Meyers is 72. Actress Sharon Gless is 69. Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath is 69. Actor Tom Berenger is 62. Actor Gregory Harrison is 62. Actor Kyle Secor is 55. Actress Roma Maffia is 54. Comedian Chris Elliott is 52. Actress Lea Thompson is 51. Singer Corey Hart is 50. Actor Hugh Dillon is 49. Rapper DMC is 48. Actress Brooke Shields is 47. Country musician Ed Adkins (The Derailers) is 45. Jazz musician Christian McBride is 40. Actress Archie Panjabi is 40. Actor Colin Farrell is 36. Rock musician Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish) is 35. Actor Eric Christian Olsen is 35. Rock musician Andy Hurley (Fall Out Boy) is 32. Country singer Casey James (‘‘American Idol”) is 30. Actor Jonathan Tucker is 30. Rapper Waka Flocka Flame is 26. Actor Curtis Williams Jr. is 25.
In 1790, President Washington signed into law the first US copyright act.
In 1859, the Big Ben clock in London went into operation.
In 1889, more than 2,000 people perished when a dam break sent water rushing through Johnstown, Pa.
In 1941, ‘‘Tobacco Road,’’ a play about a poor Southern family, closed on Broadway after 3,182 performances.
In 1961, South Africa became an independent republic as it withdrew from the British Commonwealth.
In 1970, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Peru claimed an estimated 20,000 lives.
In 1977, the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was completed.
In 1985, at least 88 people were killed as over 40 tornadoes swept through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Ontario, Canada.
In 1994, the US announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
In 2002, a three-judge federal panel in Philadelphia ruled that public libraries could not be forced to install software that blocked sexually explicit websites. (However, the US Supreme Court later upheld the use of the filters in public libraries.)