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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 4, the 124th day of 2022. There are 241 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 92. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 85. Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator George Will is 81. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 78. Actor Richard Jenkins is 75. Country singer Stella Parton is 73. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 72. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 72. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 71. Singer-actor Pia Zadora is 70. R&B singer Oleta Adams is 69. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 65. Country singer Randy Travis is 63. Actor Mary McDonough is 61. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 55. Actor Will Arnett is 52. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 50. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 50. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 47. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 44. Singer Lance Bass (’N Sync) is 43. Actor Ruth Negga is 41. Actor Alexander Gould is 28. Actor Brooklynn Prince (Film: “The Florida Project”) is 12.

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In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.

In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal from the French.

In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Japan but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)

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In 1945, during World War II, German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark, and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.

In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington, D.C., to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.

In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an antiwar protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

In 1998, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.

In 2001, Bonny Lee Bakley, wife of actor Robert Blake, was shot to death as she sat in a car near a restaurant in Los Angeles. (Blake, accused of Bakley’s murder, was acquitted in a criminal trial but found liable by a civil jury and ordered to pay damages.)

In 2006, a federal judge sentenced Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison for his role in the 9/11 attacks, telling the convicted terrorist, “You will die with a whimper.”

In 2011, President Barack Obama said he had decided not to release death photos of Osama bin Laden because their graphic nature could incite violence and create national security risks. Officials told the Associated Press that the Navy SEALs who’d stormed bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan shot and killed him after they saw him appear to lunge for a weapon.

In 2012, the US and China outlined a tentative deal to send Chen Guangcheng, a blind legal activist, to America for study and potentially bring a face-saving end to a delicate diplomatic crisis. (Chen left China on May 19, 2012.) Adam Yauch, 47, the gravelly-voiced rapper who helped make The Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop, died in New York.

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In 2017, President Donald Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier in New York, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the World War II Battle of the Coral Sea, which reinforced the ties between the US and Australia. A US service member was killed in Somalia during an operation against the extremist group al-Shabab, the first American combat death there in more than two decades. Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s 95-year-old husband, Prince Philip, was retiring from royal duties.

In 2020, New York state reported more than 1,700 previously undisclosed coronavirus deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities. Struggling fashion brand J.Crew became the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy protection since the start of the pandemic. Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula died at 90; he’d won more games than any other NFL coach.

Last year, President Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70 percent of adult Americans by July Fourth. (The effort would fall short, with a 67 percent vaccination rate.) Crews in Mexico City untangled train carriages from the steel and concrete wreckage that fell onto a roadway a day earlier, killing 26 people. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed a midnight deadline to put together a new governing coalition; his Likud party would be pushed into the opposition for the first time in 12 years.

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