Today in History

Today is Sunday, May 24, the 144th day of 2015. There are 221 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 24, 1935, the first major league baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati's Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.

On this date:

In 1775, John Hancock was elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph.

In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message "What hath God wrought" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, was dedicated by President Chester Alan Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland.

In 1889, Germany's Reichstag passed a mandatory disability and old-age insurance law.

In 1937, in a set of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935.

In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North Atlantic, killing all but three of the 1,418 men on board.

In 1959, former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles died in Washington D.C. at age 71.

In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.

In 1976, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde supersonic transport service to Washington.

In 1980, Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.

In 1995, former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson died in London at age 79.

In 2001, 23 people were killed when the floor of a Jerusalem wedding hall collapsed beneath dancing guests, sending them plunging several stories into the basement.

Ten years ago: Breaking years of gridlock, the Senate cleared the way for confirmation of Priscilla Owen to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals following a compromise on President George W. Bush's current and future judicial nominees. (Owen was confirmed, and was sworn in the following June.) Ignoring President Bush's veto threat, the House voted to lift limits on embryonic stem cell research (the 238-194 vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto).

Five years ago: Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the BP oil spill, rejected the idea of taking over the crisis, saying the government had neither BP's expertise nor its deep-sea equipment. The Supreme Court rejected the National Football League's request for broad antitrust law protection, saying that it had to be considered 32 separate teams — not one big business — when selling branded items like jerseys and caps. Lukas Lacko of Slovakia beat American Michael Yani in a 71-game match that tied for the most games in a French Open singles match since tiebreakers were instituted in 1973. (Lacko won 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a first-round match that began on a Sunday and finished after midnight Monday.)

One year ago: A lone gunman opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, killing four people. (A suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, is in custody.) Pope Francis, in Jordan, denounced arms dealers and appealed for an urgent end to the Syrian civil war at the start of a three-day trip to the Middle East. Reality star Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West wed in a Renaissance fortress in Florence, Italy.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-comedian-impressionist Stanley Baxter is 89. Comedian Tommy Chong is 77. Singer Bob Dylan is 74. Actor Gary Burghoff is 72. Singer Patti LaBelle is 71. Actress Priscilla Presley is 70. Country singer Mike Reid is 68. Actor Jim Broadbent is 66. Actor Alfred Molina is 62. Singer Rosanne Cash is 60. Actress Kristin Scott Thomas is 55. Rock musician Jimmy Ashhurst (Buckcherry) is 52. Rock musician Vivian Trimble is 52. Actor John C. Reilly is 50. Actor Dana Ashbrook is 48. Actor Eric Close is 48. Actor Carl Payne is 46. Rock musician Rich Robinson is 46. Actor Dash Mihok is 41. Actor Bryan Greenburg is 37. Actor Owen Benjamin is 35. Actor Billy L. Sullivan is 35. Actor-rapper Jerod Mixon (aka Big Tyme) is 34. Rock musician Cody Hanson (Hinder) is 33. Dancer Mark Ballas (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 29. Country singer Billy Gilman is 27. Actor Cayden Boyd is 21.

Thought for Today: "If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin." — Ivan Turgenev, Russian author (1818-1883).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, May 24)

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