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Today in History: May 22, Lyndon B. Johnson outlines ‘Great Society’

Today is Wednesday, May 22, the 143rd day of 2024. There are 223 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, speaking at the University of Michigan, outlined the goals of his “Great Society,” saying that it “rests on abundance and liberty for all” and “demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.”

On this date:

In 1939, the foreign ministers of Germany and Italy, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Galeazzo Ciano, signed a “Pact of Steel” committing the two countries to a military alliance.

In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

In 1962, Continental Airlines Flight 11, en route from Chicago to Kansas City, Missouri, crashed after a bomb apparently brought on board by a passenger exploded, killing all 45 occupants of the Boeing 707.

In 1967, a fire at the L’Innovation department store in Brussels killed 322 people. Poet and playwright Langston Hughes died in New York at age 65.

In 1968, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion, with 99 men aboard, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

In 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 10, with Thomas P. Stafford and Eugene Cernan aboard, flew to within nine miles of the moon’s surface in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

In 1985, U.S. sailor Michael L. Walker was arrested aboard the aircraft carrier Nimitz, two days after his father, John A. Walker Jr., was apprehended; both were later convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. (Michael Walker served 15 years in prison and was released in 2000. John Walker Jr. died in prison in 2014. )

In 1992, after a reign lasting nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the final time. (Jay Leno took over as host three days later.)

In 2006, The Department of Veterans Affairs said personal data, including Social Security numbers of 26.5 million U.S. veterans, was stolen from a VA employee after he took the information home without authorization.

In 2011, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri, with winds up to 250 mph, claiming at least 159 lives and destroying about 8,000 homes and businesses.

In 2012, the Falcon 9, built by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, sped toward the International Space Station with a load of groceries and other supplies, marking the first time a commercial spacecraft had been sent to the orbiting outpost.

In 2017, a suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

In 2020, “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded guilty to paying half a million dollars into the University of Southern California as part of a college admissions bribery scheme. (Loughlin would spend two months behind bars; Giannulli began a five-month sentence in November 2020 and was released to home confinement in April 2021.)

In 2018, novelist Philip Roth, whose books included “Portnoy’s Complaint” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Pastoral,” died in New York at the age of 85.

In 2022, Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson departed from “Saturday Night Live,” leaving the sketch institution without arguably its two most famous names after its 47th season finale

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-director Richard Benjamin is 86. Actor Frank Converse is 86. Actor Barbara Parkins is 82. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Tommy John is 81. Songwriter Bernie Taupin is 74. Actor-producer Al Corley is 69. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is 67. Singer Morrissey is 65. Actor Ann Cusack is 63. Country musician Dana Williams (Diamond Rio) is 63. Rock musician Jesse Valenzuela is 62. Actor Mark Christopher Lawrence is 60. R&B singer Johnny Gill (New Edition) is 58. Rock musician Dan Roberts (Crash Test Dummies) is 57. Actor Brooke Smith is 57. Actor Michael Kelly is 55. Model Naomi Campbell is 54. Actor Anna Belknap is 52. Actor Alison Eastwood is 52. Singer Donell Jones is 51. Actor Sean Gunn is 50. Actor A.J. Langer is 50. Actor Ginnifer Goodwin is 46. R&B singer Vivian Green is 45. Actor Maggie Q is 45. Olympic gold medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is 42. Actor Molly Ephraim (TV: “Last Man Standing”) is 38. Tennis player Novak Djokovic is 37. Actor Anna Baryshnikov (TV: “Superior Donuts”) is 32. Actor Camren Bicondova is 25.

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