Today is Monday, May 4, the 124th day of 2015. There are 241 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 4, 1925, an international conference opened in Geneva to forge an agreement against the use of chemical and biological weapons in war; the Geneva Protocol was signed on June 17, 1925 and went into force in 1928.
On this date:
In 1776, Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, two months before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
In 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour work day turned into a deadly riot when a bomb exploded.
In 1904, the United States took over construction of the Panama Canal from the French.
In 1932, mobster Al Capone, convicted of income-tax evasion, entered the federal penitentiary in Atlanta. (Capone was later transferred to Alcatraz Island.)
In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval clash fought entirely with carrier aircraft, began in the Pacific during World War II. (The outcome was considered a tactical victory for Imperial Japan, but ultimately a strategic one for the Allies.)
In 1959, the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Domenico Modugno won Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”; Henry Mancini won Album of the Year for “The Music from Peter Gunn.”
In 1961, the first group of “Freedom Riders” left Washington D.C. to challenge racial segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals.
In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.
In 1975, comedy performer Moe Howard of “Three Stooges” fame died in Los Angeles at age 77.
In 1980, Marshal Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, died three days before his 88th birthday.
In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed an accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
In 2000, the destructive “ILOVEYOU” malware, sent by e-mail, began to infect computer networks and hard drives across the globe. Londoners chose political maverick Ken Livingstone to be their first elected mayor.
Ten years ago: A military judge at Fort Hood, Texas, threw out Pfc. Lynndie England’s guilty plea to abusing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison, saying he was not convinced the Army reservist knew her actions were wrong at the time. (England was later convicted in a court-martial and sentenced to three years in prison — she served half that term.) A suicide bombing at a police recruitment center in Irbil, Iraq, killed 60 people. Prosecutors rested their case in the molestation trial of Michael Jackson, who ended up being acquitted. Retired Army Col. David Hackworth, 74, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who spoke out against the war and later became a journalist and advocate for military reform, died in Tijuana, Mexico.
Five years ago: A Pakistani-born U.S. citizen was charged with terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in the botched Times Square bombing. (Faisal Shahzad later pleaded guilty to plotting to set off the propane-and-gasoline bomb in an SUV and was sentenced to life in prison.)
One year ago: Eight acrobats were injured, most of them seriously, when a carabiner clip broke during an aerial hair-hanging stunt, sending the women plummeting to the ground during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus show in Providence, Rhode Island. Sinn Fein party leader Gerry Adams was released without charge after five days of police questioning over his alleged involvement in the decades-old IRA killing of a Belfast mother of 10, Jean McConville.
Today’s Birthdays: The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 87. Opera singer Roberta Peters is 85. Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the Jackson musical family, is 85. Jazz musician Ron Carter is 78. Rock musician Dick Dale is 78. Pop singer Peggy Santiglia Davison (The Angels) is 71. Actor Richard Jenkins is 68. Country singer Stella Parton is 66. Actor-turned-clergyman Hilly Hicks is 65. Irish musician Darryl Hunt (The Pogues) is 65. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 64. Singer-actress Pia Zadora is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 62. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sharon Jones is 59. Violinist Soozie Tyrell (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 58. Country singer Randy Travis is 56. Actress Mary McDonough is 54. Comedian Ana Gasteyer is 48. Actor Will Arnett is 45. Rock musician Mike Dirnt (Green Day) is 43. Contemporary Christian singer Chris Tomlin is 43. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 40. Rock musician Jose Castellanos is 38. Sports reporter Erin Andrews is 37. Singer Lance Bass (‘N Sync) is 36. Actor Alexander Gould is 21. Actress Amara Miller is 15.
Thought for Today: “The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.” — Franklin P. Jones, American journalist-humorist (1908-1980).