Today is Friday, May 10, the 130th day of 2002. There are 235 days left in the year.
On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.
On this date:
In 1774, Louis XVI ascended the throne of France.
In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British-held fortress at Ticonderoga, N.Y.
In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Ga.
In 1899, movie musical star Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Neb.
In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was given the job of FBI director.
In 1933, the Nazis staged massive public book burnings in Germany.
In 1940, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigned, and Winston Churchill formed a new government.
In 1968, preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.
In 1977, actress Joan Crawford died in New York.
In 1994, the state of Illinois executed convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy for the murders of 33 young men and boys.
Ten years ago:
Astronaut Pierre Thuot tried but failed to snag a wayward satellite during a spacewalk outside the shuttle Endeavour (however, three astronauts succeeded in capturing the Intelsat-6 three days later).
Five years ago:
President Clinton signed modest drug-fighting and trade agreements with Caribbean leaders in Barbados. Lebanese of all faiths welcomed Pope John Paul II on his first visit to their country. A powerful earthquake in northeastern Iran claimed at least 2,400 lives.
One year ago:
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to withhold some back U.N. dues until the United States was reinstated on the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The Justice Department handed over thousands of documents it said should have been provided to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s attorneys; because of the blunder, McVeigh’s execution, set for May 16, was postponed. Boeing chose Chicago as the site for its new headquarters, replacing Seattle. The World Wrestling Federation announced it would fold the upstart XFL football league.
Sportscaster Pat Summerall is 72. TV and radio personality Gary Owens is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Henry Fambrough (The Spinners) is 64. Writer-producer-director Jim Abrahams is 58. Singer Donovan is 56. Singer Dave Mason is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Banks (The Dramatics) is 51. Rock singer Bono (U2) is 42. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is 39. Model Linda Evangelista is 37. Rock musician Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) is 37. Rapper Young MC is 35. Actor Erik Palladino is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jason Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 22. Singer Ashley Poole (Dream) is 17.