10 5 / 2012

May 9, 2012:
U.S. president Barack Obama announces that he supports marriage equality for queer couples, becoming the first American leader to take that stance.
Obama had previously said he was against equal marriage, but said his position on the issue had ‘evolved’ over the years. 
On May 6, U.S. vice-president Joe Biden made headlines when he said he was ‘absolutely comfortable’ with equal marriage, prompting many to speculate about whether Obama would make a similar announcement at date near in the future.
Political pressure was placed on Obama to support equal marriage for a while, but was stepped up after North Carolina voted to ban equal marriage and civil unions in the state the day before. 

May 9, 2012:

U.S. president Barack Obama announces that he supports marriage equality for queer couples, becoming the first American leader to take that stance.

Obama had previously said he was against equal marriage, but said his position on the issue had ‘evolved’ over the years. 

On May 6, U.S. vice-president Joe Biden made headlines when he said he was ‘absolutely comfortable’ with equal marriage, prompting many to speculate about whether Obama would make a similar announcement at date near in the future.

Political pressure was placed on Obama to support equal marriage for a while, but was stepped up after North Carolina voted to ban equal marriage and civil unions in the state the day before. 

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 2003:
American Democratic senator Russell B. Long dies of heart failure in Washington, D.C.
Long was the son of U.S. senators Huey P. Long and Rose McConnell Long, which made him the first senator in U.S. history to have both a mother and father who were also senators.
During his time in the Senate, long introduced several tax reforms that made life easier for American families, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which reduced tax burden on poor working families, and the Child Support Enforcement Act, along with the Employee Stock Ownership Plans, which let employees own stock in the companies they worked for.
In 1966, Long was instrumental in introducing legislation to merge the American Football League and National Football League into a single entity, which wouldn’t have been possible without legislation due to anti-trust laws. In exchange for helping NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle out, Long requested the next franchise be brought to New Orleans, so Rozelle awarded the city a team in the form of the Saints that same year. 
Unfortunately, he was a racist bigot and did not attend the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J. because president Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that same year. 

May 9, 2003:

American Democratic senator Russell B. Long dies of heart failure in Washington, D.C.

Long was the son of U.S. senators Huey P. Long and Rose McConnell Long, which made him the first senator in U.S. history to have both a mother and father who were also senators.

During his time in the Senate, long introduced several tax reforms that made life easier for American families, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which reduced tax burden on poor working families, and the Child Support Enforcement Act, along with the Employee Stock Ownership Plans, which let employees own stock in the companies they worked for.

In 1966, Long was instrumental in introducing legislation to merge the American Football League and National Football League into a single entity, which wouldn’t have been possible without legislation due to anti-trust laws. In exchange for helping NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle out, Long requested the next franchise be brought to New Orleans, so Rozelle awarded the city a team in the form of the Saints that same year. 

Unfortunately, he was a racist bigot and did not attend the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J. because president Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that same year. 

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1789:
French artillery specialist Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval dies.
He entered the French royal artillery in 1732 as a volunteer, and became an officer in 1735. By 1752, he was captain of a company of miners, but in 1755, he re-entered the army when he was employed in a military mission in Prussia (today part of Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Switzerland). 
In 1757, he was sent to Schweidnitz (today known as Świdnica in Poland) during the Seven Years’ War with the Austrian army. While there, a fortification gun he designed was tested and improved by master carpenter Richter. 
In 1762, he submitted a report to the authorities about the Austrian artillery system in comparison to the French de Vallière cannons. He was rewarded for his work with the rank of Feldmarschalleutnant and the cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa.
In 1776, after he had fallen out of favour at court, he became chief inspector of the artillery. He introduced reforms to France’s cannons, and was responsible for artillery issued that year. 

May 9, 1789:

French artillery specialist Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval dies.

He entered the French royal artillery in 1732 as a volunteer, and became an officer in 1735. By 1752, he was captain of a company of miners, but in 1755, he re-entered the army when he was employed in a military mission in Prussia (today part of Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Switzerland). 

In 1757, he was sent to Schweidnitz (today known as Świdnica in Poland) during the Seven Years’ War with the Austrian army. While there, a fortification gun he designed was tested and improved by master carpenter Richter. 

In 1762, he submitted a report to the authorities about the Austrian artillery system in comparison to the French de Vallière cannons. He was rewarded for his work with the rank of Feldmarschalleutnant and the cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa.

In 1776, after he had fallen out of favour at court, he became chief inspector of the artillery. He introduced reforms to France’s cannons, and was responsible for artillery issued that year. 

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1977:

American women’s collegiate basketball coach Maggie Dixon is born in North Hollywood, Calif.

Dixon played basketball at the University of San Diego, where she graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history. 

She unsuccessfully tried out for the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks in the early ’00s and then decided to try coaching instead, becoming an assistant coach at DePaul University from 2001 to 2005. 

That year, she was hired as the women’s coach at the United States Military Academy. The team won the Patriot League conference, and went to the 2006 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament as a 15 seed. That was the first NCAA tournament any Army basketball team had played in. 

After the team lost its first-round game, Dixon went to the men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, then flew to the women’s final four in Boston. After attending a Nike party in the city on April 3, 2006, she collapsed after returning to West Point and was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.

Dixon died April 6, 2006 from an ‘arrhythmic episode to her heart.’ An autopsy revealed she had an overly large heart and there was a problem with a heart valve. She was just 29 years old.

May 9, 1977:

American women’s collegiate basketball coach Maggie Dixon is born in North Hollywood, Calif.

Dixon played basketball at the University of San Diego, where she graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in history. 

She unsuccessfully tried out for the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks in the early ’00s and then decided to try coaching instead, becoming an assistant coach at DePaul University from 2001 to 2005. 

That year, she was hired as the women’s coach at the United States Military Academy. The team won the Patriot League conference, and went to the 2006 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament as a 15 seed. That was the first NCAA tournament any Army basketball team had played in. 

After the team lost its first-round game, Dixon went to the men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, then flew to the women’s final four in Boston. After attending a Nike party in the city on April 3, 2006, she collapsed after returning to West Point and was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.

Dixon died April 6, 2006 from an ‘arrhythmic episode to her heart.’ An autopsy revealed she had an overly large heart and there was a problem with a heart valve. She was just 29 years old.

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1948:
Former NBA basketball player Calvin Murphy is born in Norwalk, Conn.
Murphy was a world class baton twirler in his childhood, and won a national championship when he was in the eighth grade. He even performed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He’d later win the Texas State Men’s Twirling Championship in 1977, when he was playing for the Houston Rockets.
After attending Niagara University, Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets, who later moved to Houston. He became known as one of the best free-throw shooters ever, and set an NBA record for most consecutive free-throws made and highest free-throw percentage in a season during 1980-1. Both records have since been broken. He was also the league’s all-time leading scorer until Hakeem Olajuwon broke that record in 1994. 
Murphy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, and is to this day one of the shortest people ever to play the game. He stands at just 5’9”.

May 9, 1948:

Former NBA basketball player Calvin Murphy is born in Norwalk, Conn.

Murphy was a world class baton twirler in his childhood, and won a national championship when he was in the eighth grade. He even performed at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. He’d later win the Texas State Men’s Twirling Championship in 1977, when he was playing for the Houston Rockets.

After attending Niagara University, Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets, who later moved to Houston. He became known as one of the best free-throw shooters ever, and set an NBA record for most consecutive free-throws made and highest free-throw percentage in a season during 1980-1. Both records have since been broken. He was also the league’s all-time leading scorer until Hakeem Olajuwon broke that record in 1994. 

Murphy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993, and is to this day one of the shortest people ever to play the game. He stands at just 5’9”.

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1920:
British-American science-fiction author William Tenn is born in London. 
Tenn’s real name was Phillip Klass, and he moved to New York with his parents before his second birthday, growing up in Brooklyn. He served for the U.S. Army during World War II, and later held a job as an editor with an Air Force radio and radar laboratory.
Tenn’s first science-fiction story was published in 1946, and was about a radar beam aimed at the moon. Unfortunately, in several months, a Signal Corps lab bounced a radar beam off the moon, which made his story obsolete. 
He had a much more successful career with his other stories, and was eventually given the Author Emeritus honour by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1999. He also received a Hugo Award for Best Related Book in 2004. 
Tenn died in 2010 of congestive heart failure.

May 9, 1920:

British-American science-fiction author William Tenn is born in London. 

Tenn’s real name was Phillip Klass, and he moved to New York with his parents before his second birthday, growing up in Brooklyn. He served for the U.S. Army during World War II, and later held a job as an editor with an Air Force radio and radar laboratory.

Tenn’s first science-fiction story was published in 1946, and was about a radar beam aimed at the moon. Unfortunately, in several months, a Signal Corps lab bounced a radar beam off the moon, which made his story obsolete. 

He had a much more successful career with his other stories, and was eventually given the Author Emeritus honour by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 1999. He also received a Hugo Award for Best Related Book in 2004. 

Tenn died in 2010 of congestive heart failure.

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 2002:
A remote-controlled bomb explodes during a Victory Day parade in Kaspiysk, Russia, killing 43 people and injuring at least 130.

May 9, 2002:

A remote-controlled bomb explodes during a Victory Day parade in Kaspiysk, Russia, killing 43 people and injuring at least 130.

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1920:
The Polish army led by General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrates its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreschatyk Street.
The Polish-Soviet War’s roots lay in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. The borders between the USSR and Poland were vaguely defined in the document. 
By late 1919 both Polish Chief of State Józef Piłsudski and Soviet chairman Vladimir Lenin had tried to expand their borders into the Ukraine.  The Poles had taken control of much of the west of the country after their victory in the Polish-Ukrainian War, while the Bolsheviks had invaded the eastern part of the Ukraine, where Symon Petliura’s forces had tried to defend the fledgling Ukrainian People’s Republic. 
By the end of the year, Petliura had allied with Poland, and the latter country had made a major incursion into eastern Ukraine in 1920, launching the war. 
In the summer of 1920, the Soviets looked set to defeat the Poles, and nearly took Warsaw, but the Poles emerged victorious, and the Soviets pressed them for peace. A ceasefire was signed in October of that year, and a formal treaty, the Peace of Riga, was signed in 1921. 
The treaty divided the disputed territories between Poland and the USSR, and set the Soviet-Polish border between World War I and II. 
Above, Polish soldiers in Kiev.

May 9, 1920:

The Polish army led by General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrates its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreschatyk Street.

The Polish-Soviet War’s roots lay in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. The borders between the USSR and Poland were vaguely defined in the document. 

By late 1919 both Polish Chief of State Józef Piłsudski and Soviet chairman Vladimir Lenin had tried to expand their borders into the Ukraine.  The Poles had taken control of much of the west of the country after their victory in the Polish-Ukrainian War, while the Bolsheviks had invaded the eastern part of the Ukraine, where Symon Petliura’s forces had tried to defend the fledgling Ukrainian People’s Republic. 

By the end of the year, Petliura had allied with Poland, and the latter country had made a major incursion into eastern Ukraine in 1920, launching the war. 

In the summer of 1920, the Soviets looked set to defeat the Poles, and nearly took Warsaw, but the Poles emerged victorious, and the Soviets pressed them for peace. A ceasefire was signed in October of that year, and a formal treaty, the Peace of Riga, was signed in 1921. 

The treaty divided the disputed territories between Poland and the USSR, and set the Soviet-Polish border between World War I and II. 

Above, Polish soldiers in Kiev.

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1998:
Indian singer and actor Talat Mahmood dies in Mumbai.
Mahmood was born in Lucknow, and began singing Indian classical music as a boy. He opted to leave home instead of staying there with his parents, who were conservative Muslims and objected to singing. Despite this, his family accepted his career choice a decade later after he became famous. 
Mahmood began his career singing ghazals, or Dari/Urdu poems, in 1939, on All India Radio, Lucknow. HMV signed him in 1941, and three years later he had a huge hit and was famous throughout India. 
He began making cameo appearances in movies made in Kolkata, which was then the hub of the film industry, and recorded Bangla songs. By the end of the ’40s, he was living in Bombay (now Mumbai), where he was singing for that city’s film industry. He also acted in over a dozen Hindi films.
Mahmood’s singing career declined in the ’60s with the ascent of rock ‘n’ roll in India. He spent most of this time going on international tours, especially throughout east Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, the West Indies, and Europe. 

May 9, 1998:

Indian singer and actor Talat Mahmood dies in Mumbai.

Mahmood was born in Lucknow, and began singing Indian classical music as a boy. He opted to leave home instead of staying there with his parents, who were conservative Muslims and objected to singing. Despite this, his family accepted his career choice a decade later after he became famous. 

Mahmood began his career singing ghazals, or Dari/Urdu poems, in 1939, on All India Radio, Lucknow. HMV signed him in 1941, and three years later he had a huge hit and was famous throughout India. 

He began making cameo appearances in movies made in Kolkata, which was then the hub of the film industry, and recorded Bangla songs. By the end of the ’40s, he was living in Bombay (now Mumbai), where he was singing for that city’s film industry. He also acted in over a dozen Hindi films.

Mahmood’s singing career declined in the ’60s with the ascent of rock ‘n’ roll in India. He spent most of this time going on international tours, especially throughout east Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, the West Indies, and Europe. 

09 5 / 2012

May 9, 1951:
American actress Alley Mills is born in Chicago.
Mills is best known for her role as Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years. She’s also played Sabrina Spellman’s mother on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and had roles in NYPD Blue, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Popular, and currently stars on The Bold and the Beautiful. 
Above, Mills at the 1989 Emmy Awards. 

May 9, 1951:

American actress Alley Mills is born in Chicago.

Mills is best known for her role as Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years. She’s also played Sabrina Spellman’s mother on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and had roles in NYPD Blue, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Popular, and currently stars on The Bold and the Beautiful

Above, Mills at the 1989 Emmy Awards.