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Today in History: May 26, Obama nominates Sotomayor to Supreme Court

Today is Sunday, May 26, the 147th day of 2024. There are 219 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On this date:

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure creating the Montana Territory.

In 1865, Confederate forces west of the Mississippi surrendered in New Orleans.

In 1938, the House Un-American Activities Committee was established by Congress.

In 1940, Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of some 338,000 Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, began during World War II.

In 1954, explosions rocked the aircraft carrier USS Bennington off Rhode Island, killing 103 sailors. (The initial blast was blamed on leaking catapult fluid ignited by the flames of a jet.)

In 1971, Don McLean recorded his song “American Pie” at The Record Plant in New York City (it was released the following November by United Artists Records).

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in Moscow. (The U.S. withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)

In 1981, 14 people were killed when a Marine jet crashed onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off Florida.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married in the Dominican Republic. (The marriage ended in 1996.)

In 2004, nearly a decade after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the attack. (Nichols later received 161 consecutive life sentences.)

In 2009, California’s Supreme Court upheld the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban but said the 18,000 same-sex weddings that had taken place before the prohibition passed were still valid.

In 2011, Ratko Mladic (RAHT’-koh MLAH’-dich), the brutal Bosnian Serb general suspected of leading the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, was arrested after a 16-year manhunt. (Mladic was extradited to face trial in The Hague, Netherlands; he was convicted in 2017 on genocide and war crimes charges and is serving a life sentence.)

In 2020, Minneapolis police issued a statement saying George Floyd had died after a “medical incident,” and that he had physically resisted officers and appeared to be in medical distress; minutes after the statement was released, bystander video was posted online. Protests over Floyd’s death began, with tense skirmishes developing between protesters and Minneapolis police. Four police officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired.

In 2022, it was revealed that the gunman who massacred 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school was inside for more than an hour before he was killed in a shootout with police. The amount of time that elapsed stirred anger and questions among family members, who demanded to know why authorities did not storm the place and put a stop to the rampage more quickly.

Today’s Birthdays: Sportscaster Brent Musburger is 85. Rock musician Garry Peterson (Guess Who) is 79. Singer Stevie Nicks is 76. Actor Pam Grier is 75. Actor Philip Michael Thomas is 75. Country singer Hank Williams Jr. is 75. Former British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is 75. Actor Margaret Colin is 66. Actor Doug Hutchison is 64. Actor Genie Francis is 62. Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait is 62. Singer-actor Lenny Kravitz is 60. Actor Helena Bonham Carter is 58. Distance runner Zola Budd is 58. Rock musician Phillip Rhodes is 56. Actor Joseph Fiennes (FYNZ) is 54. Singer Joey Kibble (Take 6) is 53. Actor-producer-writer Matt Stone is 53. Singer Lauryn Hill is 49. Contemporary Christian musician Nathan Cochran is 46. Actor Elisabeth Harnois is 45. Actor Hrach Titizian is 45.

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