Today in History: May 6, the Hindenburg crashes in flames in New Jersey, killing 97

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Today in History

Today is Monday, May 6, the 127th day of 2024. There are 239 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 6, 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey; 35 of the 97 people on board were killed along with a crewman on the ground.

On this date:

In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for 10 years (Arthur had opposed an earlier version with a 20-year ban).

In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era ended with the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration began operating under an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1941, Josef Stalin assumed the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav (VEE’-cheh-slav) M. Molotov.

In 1942, during World War II, some 15,000 American and Filipino troops on Corregidor island surrendered to Japanese forces.

In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

In 1994, former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones filed suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging he’d sexually harassed her in 1991. (Jones reached a settlement with Clinton in November 1998.)

In 2004, President George W. Bush apologized for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers, calling it “a stain on our country’s honor”; he rejected calls for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.

In 2006, Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, died in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, at age 99.

In 2010, a computerized sell order triggered a “flash crash” on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones industrials to a loss of nearly 1,000 points in less than half an hour.

In 2013, kidnap-rape victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, who went missing separately about a decade earlier while in their teens or early 20s, were rescued from a house just south of downtown Cleveland. (Their captor, Ariel Castro, hanged himself in prison in September 2013 at the beginning of a life sentence plus 1,000 years.)

In 2018, actor Ashley Judd sued disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, alleging sexual harassment and defamation.

In 2021, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 48-page elections bill that Republicans said would guard against fraud and vote harvesting; Democrats and voting rights advocates said it was an attempt to make it harder for some people to vote.

In 2023, King Charles III was crowned at Westminster Abbey, in a coronation ceremony steeped in ancient ritual and at a time when the monarchy was striving to remain relevant in a fractured modern Britain.

Today’s Birthdays: Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays is 93. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is 90. Rock singer Bob Seger is 79. Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore is 79. Gospel singer-comedian Lulu Roman is 78. Actor Alan Dale is 77. Actor Richard Cox is 76. Actor Gregg Henry is 72. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is 71. TV personality Tom Bergeron is 69. Actor Roma Downey is 64. Rock singer John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants) is 64. Actor Julianne Phillips is 64. Actor-director George Clooney is 63. Actor Clay O’Brien is 63. Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) is 60. Actor Leslie Hope is 59. Actor Geneva Carr (TV: “Bull”) is 58. Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 57. Rock musician Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) is 54. Actor Stacey Oristano is 46. Model/TV personality Tiffany Coyne is 42. Actor Adrianne Palicki is 41. Actor Gabourey Sidibe (GA’-bah-ray SIH’-duh-bay) is 41. Actor-comedian Sasheer Zamata is 38. Rapper Meek Mill is 37. Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve is 34. Actor-singer Naomi Scott is 31. Actor Noah Galvin is 30.