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On This Day in History Tuesday, May 1st
The 121st day of 2001.
There are 244 days left in the year.
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Today's Highlights in History

NYT Front Page See a larger version of this front page.

On May 1, 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers. (Go to article.)

On May 1, 1909, Kate Smith, the American singer who was considered the "first lady of radio," was born. Following her death on June 17, 1986, her obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. | Other Birthdays)

Editorial Cartoon of the Day
On May 1, 1880, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about the mass migration of Southern blacks to the West.(See the cartoon and read an explanation.)

On this date in:

1786 The opera ''The Marriage of Figaro,'' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered in Vienna.

1898 Commodore George Dewey gave the command, ''You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,'' as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

1931 New York's 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated.

1941 The Orson Welles motion picture ''Citizen Kane'' premiered in New York.

1948 The People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was proclaimed.

1967 Anastasio Somoza Debayle became president of Nicaragua.

1967 Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas. They divorced in 1973.

1971 Amtrak, which combined and streamlined the operations of 18 intercity passenger railroads, went into service.

1987 During a visit to West Germany, Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz

1992 On the third day of the Los Angeles riots, beaten motorist Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, asking, ''Can we all get along?''

1998 Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died in Pomona, Calif., at age 62.

1999 The ''Liberty Bell 7,'' the Mercury space capsule flown by Gus Grissom, was found in the Atlantic 300 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, 38 years after it sank.

Current Birthdays

Judy Collins turns 62 years old today.

AP Photo/Ed Bailey Singer Judy Collins turns 62 years old today.

85 Glenn Ford

83 Jack Paar
Former ''Tonight Show'' host

82 Dan O'Herlihy

76 Scott Carpenter
Former astronaut

72 Sonny James
Country singer

67 Shirley Horn
Jazz singer

59 Stephen Macht

56 Rita Coolidge

52 Douglas Barr

47 Ray Parker Jr.

36 Wayne Hancock
Country singer

35 Johnny Colt
Rock musician (The Black Crowes)
35 Charlie Schlatter
Actor (''Diagnosis Murder'')

34 Tim McGraw
Country singer

33 D'Arcy
Rock musician (Smashing Pumpkins)

25 Darius McCrary

Historic Birthdays

Kate Smith

5/1/1909 - 6/17/1986
American radio and television singer

(Go to obit.)

47 Joseph Addison
5/1/1672 - 6/17/1719
English essayist, poet and dramatist

56 Benjamin Latrobe
5/1/1764 - 9/3/1820
British-born American architect and civil engineer

83 Arthur Wellington
5/1/1769 - 9/14/1852
English general; defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo (1815)

48 Jose Alencar
5/1/1829 - 12/12/1877
Brazilian journalist, novelist and playwright

100 Mary Harris Jones
5/1/1830 - 11/30/1930
American labor organizer known as "Mother Jones"

87 Cecilia Beaux
5/1/1855 - 9/17/1942
American portrait painter

73 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
5/1/1881 - 4/10/1955
French philosopher and paleontologist

87 Mark Clark
5/1/1896 - 4/17/1984
American army general during World War II and the Korean War

93 Eugene Black
5/1/1898 - 2/20/1992
American financier; president of the World Bank (1949-62)

60 Winthrop Rockefeller
5/1/1912 - 2/22/1973
American philanthropist and governor of Arkansas (1967-71)

71 Terry Southern
5/1/1924 - 10/29/1995
American novelist and screenwriter

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SOURCE: The Associated Press
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