Metro

This day in history

Today is Saturday, May 20, the 140th day of 2017. There are 225 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 87. Singer-actress Cher is 71. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 69. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 59. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 58. Singer Susan Cowsill is 58. Actor John Billingsley is 57. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 57. Singer Nick Heyward is 56. Race car driver Tony Stewart is 46. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 45. Actress Daya Vaidya is 44. Rock musician Ryan Martinie is 42. Actor Matt Czuchry (zoo-KREE’) is 40. Actress Angela Goethals is 40. Actress-singer Naturi Naughton is 33. Country singer Jon Pardi is 32.

In 1506, explorer Christopher Columbus died in Spain.

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In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, making federal land available for farming.

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In 1902, the United States ended a three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas Estrada Palma.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, N.Y., aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She eventually landed in Northern Ireland.

In 1956, the United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

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In 1957, Frank Sinatra recorded ‘‘Witchcraft,’’ by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh , at Capitol Records

In 1961, a white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in US marshals to restore order.

In 1996, the US Supreme Court, in Romer v. Evans, struck down, 6-3, a Colorado measure banning laws that protected homosexuals from discrimination.