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This Day in History— May 16

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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Today is the 136th day of 2018. There are 229 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1975: Japanese climber Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

OTHER EVENTS

1532: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro lands with a small band of soldiers on the northern coast of Peru.

1770: Marie Antoinette, age 14, marries the future king of France, Louis XVI, who is 15.

1866: US Congress authorises minting of the nickel.

1871: British Columbia, a British colony, becomes a province of Canada.

1920: Joan of Arc is canonised in Rome.

1929: The first Academy Awards are presented during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

1941: The Icelandic parliament ends treaty with Denmark, proclaims independence.

1966: China's Cultural Revolution begins when the Communist party's Politburo approves an edict from Chairman Mao Zedong. An elite corps of young zealous students, the Red Guards, is formed to attack traditional values and bourgeois thinking.

1969: Soviet spacecraft reaches vicinity of planet Venus and drops capsule that sends back information on planet's atmosphere.

1979: Police in El Salvador seal off capital after 10 days of violence by anti-government groups takes 44 lives.

1989: Hundreds of thousands arrive in Beijing to support college students fasting for freedom in Tiananmen Square.

1991: France's first female prime minister, Edith Cresson, takes office; Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the US Congress.

1994: Scotland Yard for the first time approves a plan to allow some London police officers to openly carry firearms.

1995: Japanese police arrest doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara in connection with the nerve-gas attack that killed 12 on Tokyo's subways two months earlier.

1997: In the face of rebellion, Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko gives up power after 32 years of autocratic rule.

1999: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is greeted with warm embraces and kisses on his historic visit to Saudi Arabia, the first by an Iranian leader in two decades. He mentions hope for “a new era” between the two countries and a stable Persian Gulf.

2006: Nigeria's Senate rejects a proposed constitutional amendment that could have allowed its president, Olusegun Obasanjo, a third term — a proposal that had widened regional, ethnic and religious rifts in Africa's most-populous nation.

2009: The ruling Congress Party sweeps to a resounding victory in India's national elections, defying expectations as it brushes aside the Hindu nationalist opposition and a legion of ambitious smaller parties.

2011: The usually uninhibited and irreverent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei seems a different man in custody as he sits, red-eyed and tense, for what his wife says was a brief, monitored meeting — his first contact with the outside world in 43 days.

2012: Russian police arrest about 20 protesters at a central Moscow square where demonstrators had moved after police uprooted them from a camp, the latest move in a broadening crackdown on the forces opposing President Vladimir Putin.

2013: The first exiles from an Iranian opposition group have moved to Albania from a camp near Baghdad as part of a relocation process, the UN says, a step toward defusing an explosive dispute left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and the US-led ousting of President Saddam Hussein.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Maria Agnesi, Italian, first woman to become a known mathematician (1718-1799); Henry Fonda, US actor (1905-1982); H E Bates, English author (1905-1974); Woody Herman, US jazz musician (1913-1987); Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor (1953- ); Debra Winger, US actress (1955- ); Janet Jackson, US pop singer (1966- ); Tori Spelling, US actress (1973- )

— AP

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