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Today in History: May 20, Charles Lindbergh takes off on solo flight to France

Today is Monday, May 20, the 141st day of 2024. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

On this date:

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which was intended to encourage settlements west of the Mississippi River by making federal land available for farming.

In 1916, the Saturday Evening Post published its first Norman Rockwell cover; the illustration shows a scowling boy dressed in his Sunday best, dutifully pushing a baby carriage past a couple of boys wearing baseball uniforms.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. (Because of weather and equipment problems, Earhart set down in Northern Ireland instead of her intended destination, France.)

In 1948, Chiang Kai-shek (chang ky-shehk) was inaugurated as the first president of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

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

In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenship restored after choosing to renounce it during World War II.

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

In 1969, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Ap Bia Mountain, referred to as “Hamburger Hill” by the Americans, following one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

In 1985, Radio Marti, operated by the U.S. government, began broadcasting; Cuba responded by attempting to jam its signal.

In 2009, in a rare, bipartisan defeat for President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 90-6, to keep the prison at Guantanamo Bay open for the foreseeable future and forbid the transfer of any detainees to facilities in the United States.

In 2012, Robin Gibb, who along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, defined the disco era as part of the Bee Gees, died in London at 62.

In 2013, Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group the Doors, died in Germany at age 74.

In 2015, four of the world’s biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup’s banking unit Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland — agreed to pay more than $5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to rigging the currency markets.

In 2018, the Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Finals, becoming the first NHL expansion team to achieve the feat since 1968.

In 2020, President Donald Trump threatened to hold up federal funds for two election battleground states (Michigan and Nevada) that were making it easier to vote by mail during the pandemic.

In 2022, longtime New Yorker writer and editor Roger Angell, who contributed hundreds of essays and stories to the magazine over a 70-year career, died at age 101.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 94. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 88. Actor David Proval is 82. Singer-actor Cher is 78. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 76. Rock musician Warren Cann is 74. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is 73. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 70. Delaware Gov. John Carney is 68. Actor Dean Butler is 68. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 66. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 66. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 65. Singer Susan Cowsill is 65. Actor John Billingsley is 64. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 64. Singer Nick Heyward is 63. TV personality Ted Allen is 59. Actor Mindy Cohn is 58. Rock musician Tom Gorman (Belly) is 58. Actor Gina Ravera is 58. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 56. Former race car driver Tony Stewart is 53. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 52. Actor Daya Vaidya is 51. Actor Matt Czuchry (zoo-KREE’) is 47. Actor Angela Goethals is 47. Actor-singer Naturi Naughton is 40. Country singer Jon Pardi is 39.

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