Today in History: May 1, Obama announces killing of Osama bin Laden

FILE - In this May 1, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington. More than half of Americans view President Barack Obama favorably as he leaves office, a new poll shows, but Americans remain deeply divided over his legacy. Less than half of Americans say they’re better off eight years after his election or that Obama brought the country together. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 1, the 122nd day of 2024. There are 244 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation. (Because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end.)

On this date:

In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

In 1866, three days of race-related rioting erupted in Memphis, Tennessee, as white mobs targeted Black people, 46 of whom were killed, along with two whites. (The violence spurred passage of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining American citizenship and equal protection under the law.)

In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.

In 1964, the computer programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was created by Dartmouth College professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz.

In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.

In 1991, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers threw his seventh no-hitter at age 44, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0.

In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”

In 2009, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood in a Vatican Mass attended by some 1.5 million pilgrims.

In 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van. (None of the officers would be convicted.)

In 2020, U.S. regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster.

In 2013, Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross, died in Atlanta at age 34.

In 2021, Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Kentucky Derby by a half-length over Mandaloun. (A post-race drug test was positive for a banned steroid, which would lead to the horse’s disqualification and Baffert’s suspension. Medina Spirit collapsed and died in December 2021 after a workout.)

In 2022, a long-awaited effort to evacuate people from a sprawling steel plant in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol began. The United Nations said the operation was being carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross and in coordination with Ukrainian and Russian officials.

In 2023, regulators seized troubled First Republic Bank in the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Judy Collins is 85. Actor Stephen Macht is 82. Singer Rita Coolidge is 79. Pop singer Nick Fortuna (The Buckinghams) is 78. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 75. Actor Dann Florek is 73. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Jr. is 70. Actor Byron Stewart is 68. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 64. Actor Maia Morgenstern is 62. Actor Scott Coffey is 60. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 59. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 58. Country singer Tim McGraw is 57. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 56. Rock musician D’Arcy Wretzky is 56. Movie director Wes Anderson is 55. Actor Julie Benz is 52. Actor Bailey Chase is 52. Country singer Cory Morrow is 52. Gospel/R&B singer Tina Campbell (Mary Mary) is 50. Actor Darius McCrary is 48. Actor Jamie Dornan is 42. Actor Kerry Bishe is 40. TV personality Abby Huntsman is 38. Actor Lizzy Greene is 21.