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This Day in History

Today is Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer is 79. TV personality David Hartman is 78. Actor James Fox is 74. Actress Nancy Kwan is 74. Actor Peter Mayhew is 69. Rock singer-composer Pete Townshend (The Who) is 68. Concert pianist David Helfgott is 66. Rock singer-musician Dusty Hill (ZZ Top) is 64. Singer-actress Grace Jones is 61. Rock musician Phil Rudd (AC-DC) is 59. Actor Steven Ford is 57. Rock musician Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) is 51. Actress Polly Walker is 47. Actor Jason Gray-Stanford is 43. Rock singer Jenny Berggren (Ace of Base) is 41. Country/rock singer Shooter Jennings is 34. Actor Drew Fuller is 33. Christian rock musician Tim McTague is 30. Rock musician James Richardson (MGMT) is 30. Actor Eric Lloyd is 27.

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In 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery.

In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the early afternoon.

In 1913, California Governor Hiram Johnson signed the Webb-Hartley Law prohibiting ‘‘aliens ineligible to citizenship’’ from owning farm land, a measure targeting Asian immigrants, particularly Japanese.

In 1921, Congress passed, and President Warren G. Harding signed, the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

In 1935, T.E. Lawrence, also known as ‘‘Lawrence of Arabia,’’ died in Dorset, England, six days after being injured in a motorcycle crash.

In 1943, in his second wartime address to the US Congress, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pledged his country’s full support in the fight against Japan. That same day, top US and British officials meeting in Washington reached agreement on May 1, 1944 as the date for the D-Day invasion of France (the operation ended up being launched more than a month later).

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe sang ‘‘Happy Birthday to You’’ to President John F. Kennedy during a Democratic fund-raiser at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 1964, the State Department disclosed that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the US embassy in Moscow.

In 1973, Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes, the second of his Triple Crown victories.

In 1981, five British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army landmine in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

In 1993, the Clinton White House set off a political storm by abruptly firing the entire staff of its travel office; five of the seven staffers were later reinstated and assigned to other duties.

In 1994, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York at age 64.

In 2003, WorldCom Inc. agreed to pay investors $500 million to settle civil fraud charges. The Supreme Court dealt a defeat to the drug industry, ruling 6-3 that a state (in this case, Maine) may try to force companies to lower prices on prescription medications for the poor and uninsured.

In 2008, Chinese stood still and sirens wailed to mourn the country’s nearly 70,000 earthquake victims. Democrat Barack Obama picked up the endorsement of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, less than a week after Hillary Rodham Clinton overwhelmingly won the state’s primary. Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox shut down Kansas City 7-0 for the first no-hitter of the season.

In 2012, President Obama and other G-8 leaders held economic talks at Camp David, where they declared that their governments needed to both spark growth and cut debt. Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese legal activist, was hurriedly taken from a hospital and put on a plane for the United States, closing a nearly monthlong diplomatic tussle that had tested US-China relations.

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