By The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, May 6, the 127th day of 2012. There are 239 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 6, 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.
On this date:
In 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved an act passed by the Confederate Congress recognizing that a state of war existed with the United States of America.
In 1862, author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau died in Concord, Mass., at age 44.
In 1882, President Chester Alan Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which called for barring Chinese immigrants from the U.S. for ten years (Arthur had opposed an earlier version with a 20-year ban).
In 1910, Britain’s Edwardian era came to an end upon the death of King Edward VII; he was succeeded by George V.
In 1932, French President Paul Doumer was assassinated in Paris by Paul Gorguloff, who was executed the following September.
In 1941, Josef Stalin assumed the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav M. Molotov.
In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.
In 1962, in the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.
In 1987, CIA Director William J. Casey died at age 74.
In 1992, former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where Winston Churchill had spoken of the "Iron Curtain"; Gorbachev said the world was still divided, between North and South, rich and poor. Actress Marlene Dietrich died at her Paris home at age 90.
In 1996, the body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a southern Maryland riverbank, eight days after he’d disappeared.
In 2006, Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, as well as the last survivor with actual memories of the disaster (she was 5 years old at the time), died in Shrewsbury, Mass., at age 99.
Ten years ago: Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn (pihm fohr-TOWN’) was shot and killed in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Volkert van der Graaf was later convicted of killing Fortuyn and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.) Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) was freed after 19 months of house arrest. Songwriter Otis Blackwell ("Don’t Be Cruel"; "Great Balls of Fire") died in Nashville, Tenn.
One year ago: Brimming with pride, President Barack Obama met with the U.S. commandos he’d sent after terror mastermind Osama bin Laden during a visit to Fort Campbell, Ky. Al-Qaida vowed to keep fighting the United States and avenge his death.