By the Associated Press
Today is Sunday, May 11, the 131st day of 2014. There are 234 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 11, 1944, during World War II, Allied forces launched a major offensive against Axis lines in Italy.
On this date:
In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant (STY’-veh-suhnt) arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor of New Netherland.
In 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
In 1862, during the Civil War, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled by its crew off Craney Island, Virginia, to prevent it from falling into Union hands.
In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded during a banquet at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.
In 1953, a tornado devastated Waco, Texas, claiming 114 lives.
In 1960, Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1973, the espionage trial of Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo in the “Pentagon Papers” case came to an end as Judge William M. Byrne dismissed all charges, citing government misconduct.
In 1985, 56 people died when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
In 1989, the final first-run episode of “Dynasty” aired on ABC-TV.
In 1994, Arkansas put to death convicted murderers Jonas Whitmore and Edward Charles Pickens; it was the first time a state executed two people on the same day since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.
In 1996, an Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
Ten years ago: A grisly video on an al-Qaida-linked website showed the beheading of businessman Nick Berg, an American who’d been kidnapped in Iraq. Six Israeli soldiers were killed when their armored personnel carrier was blown up by Palestinian militants in Gaza City. NBA star Kobe Bryant pleaded not guilty in a Colorado court to a rape charge. (Prosecutors later dropped the case.)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama fired the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. David McKiernan with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Five U.S. troops were shot and killed at a mental health clinic on a Baghdad base; the shooter, Sgt. John Russell, was later sentenced to life in prison without parole. American journalist Roxana Saberi, imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for four months, was freed. President Barack Obama met at the White House with representatives of the health care industry who promised to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Israel on a visit to the Holy Land. The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
One year ago: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared victory following a historic election marred by violence. A pair of car bomb attacks in Turkey killed 52 people near the Syrian border.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Mort Sahl is 87. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is 81. Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) is 73. Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (SHOH’-reh ahg-DAHSH’-loo) is 62. Actress Frances Fisher is 62. Actor Boyd Gaines is 61. Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) is 59. Actress Martha Quinn is 55. Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) is 51. Actor Tim Blake Nelson is 50. Actor Jeffrey Donovan is 46. Country musician Keith West (Heartland) is 46. Actor Nicky Katt is 44. Actor Coby Bell is 39. Cellist Perttu Kivilaakso (PER’-tuh KEE’-wee-lahk-soh) is 36. Actor-singer Jonathan Jackson is 32. Rapper Ace Hood is 26.
Thought for Today: “It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” — Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996).