Today in History: May 20

Today is Wednesday, May 20, the 140th day of 2015. There are 225 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 20, 1915, Israeli soldier-statesman Moshe Dayan was born at Deganya Alef Kibbutz.

On this date:

In 1712, the original version of Alexander Pope’s satirical mock-heroic poem “The Rape of the Lock” was published anonymously in Lintot’s Miscellany.

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 1902, the United States ended a three-year military presence in Cuba as the Republic of Cuba was established under its first elected president, Tomas Estrada Palma.

In 1925, the newly built headquarters of the United States Chamber of Commerce was formally dedicated in Washington D.C.

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

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 1942, during World War II, the Office of Civilian Defense was established.

In 1959, nearly 5,000 Japanese-Americans had their U.S. citizenships restored after choosing to renounce them 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 1970, some 100,000 people demonstrated in New York’s Wall Street district in support of U.S. policy in Vietnam and Cambodia.

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

In 1995, President Bill Clinton announced that the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House would be permanently closed to motor vehicles as a security measure.

Ten years ago: The U.S. military condemned the publication of photographs showing an imprisoned Saddam Hussein clad only in his white underwear after the pictures were leaked to a British tabloid. President George W. Bush said he would veto legislation intended to loosen restrictions on embryonic stem cell studies, and he expressed deep concern about human cloning research in South Korea, research that was later discredited.

Five years ago: Under pressure following security lapses, retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair resigned as national intelligence director. Mexican President Felipe Calderon took his opposition to a new Arizona immigration law to the U.S. Congress, telling lawmakers it ignored “a reality that cannot be erased by decree.” A masked intruder stole a Picasso, a Matisse and three other masterpieces from a Paris museum. Floyd Landis admitted for the first time that he was guilty of doping for several years before being stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title.

One year ago: In Kentucky’s primary, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell dispatched his tea party challenger, Matt Bevin, with ease; Democrats chose Alison Lundergan Graimes to oppose McConnell in the fall (McConnell went on to win). Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge. A group of retired professional football players filed suit against the NFL, accusing the league of cynically supplying them with powerful painkillers and other drugs that kept them in the game but led to serious complications later in life. Two car bombs hit a busy bus terminal and a market in the central Nigerian city of Jos, killing at least 118 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-author James McEachin is 85. Actor Anthony Zerbe is 79. Actor David Proval is 73. Singer-actress Cher is 69. Actor-comedian Dave Thomas is 67. Rock musician Warren Cann is 63. Former New York Gov. David Paterson is 61. Actor Dean Butler is 59. TV-radio personality Ron Reagan is 57. Rock musician Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) is 57. Actor Bronson Pinchot is 56. Singer Susan Cowsill is 56. Actor John Billingsley is 55. Actor Tony Goldwyn is 55. Singer Nick Heyward is 54. TV personality Ted Allen is 50. Actress Mindy Cohn is 49. Rock musician Tom Gorman (Belly) is 49. Actress Gina Ravera is 49. Actor Timothy Olyphant is 47. Rapper Busta Rhymes is 43. Actress Daya Vaidya is 42. Rock musician Ryan Martinie is 40. Actor Matt Czuchry is 38. Actress Angela Goethals is 38. Actress-singer Naturi Naughton is 31.

Thought for Today: “If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” — Moshe Dayan (1915-1981).