Today in History: May 10

President Nelson Mandela dances at a celebration concert following his inauguration as president of South Africa in Pretoria, Tuesday, May 10, 1994. Mandela was earlier sworn in as the country's first black president. (AP Photo/John Parkin)

Today is Tuesday, May 10, the 131st day of 2016. There are 235 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 10, 1941, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau Prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide at age 93.)

On this date:

In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, along with Col. Benedict Arnold, captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, New York.

In 1863, during the Civil War, Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of pneumonia, a complication resulting from being hit by friendly fire eight days earlier during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union forces in Irwinville, Georgia.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was named acting director of the Bureau of Investigation (later known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI).

In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.

In 1940, during World War II, German forces began invading the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. The same day, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.

In 1960, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton completed its submerged navigation of the globe.

In 1977, actress Joan Crawford died in New York.

In 1984, the International Court of Justice said the United States should halt any actions to blockade Nicaragua’s ports (the U.S. had already said it would not recognize World Court jurisdiction on this issue).

In 1994, Nelson Mandela took the oath of office in Pretoria to become South Africa’s first black president. The state of Illinois executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy, 52, for the murders of 33 young men and boys.

In 1996, two Marine helicopters collided in the dark and crashed in a swamp at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, during a U.S.-British training exercise, killing 14 people. The tornado thriller “Twister,” starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, was released by Warner Bros.

 

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