spotlight Today In History, May 9: Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster May 9, 2019 0 Facebook Twitter SMS Email Print Save Today is Thursday, May 9.Today's Highlight in History: 1980: Sunshine Skyway Bridge Disaster On May 9, 1980, 35 people were killed when a freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida, causing a 1,400-foot section of the southbound span to collapse. AP 1926: Richard Byrd & Floyd Bennett In 1926, Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly became the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd's flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.) AP 1958: "Vertigo" In 1958, "Vertigo," Alfred Hitchcock's eerie thriller starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, premiered in San Francisco, the movie's setting. AP 1961: Newton N. Minow In 1961, in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decried the majority of television programming as a "vast wasteland." AP 1970: Richard Nixon In 1970, President Richard Nixon made a surprise and impromptu pre-dawn visit to the Lincoln Memorial, where he chatted with a group of protesters who'd been resting on the Memorial steps after protests against the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings. AP 1994: Nelson Mandela In 1994, South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela to be the country's first black president. AP 2008: R Kelly In 2008, jury selection began in the Chicago trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly, accused of videotaping himself having sex with a girl as young as 13. (Kelly was later acquitted on all counts.) AP 2009: Pope Benedict XVI Ten years ago: The top religious adviser to Jordan's king thanked visiting Pope Benedict XVI for expressing regret after a 2006 speech that many Muslims deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. AP 2009: Swat Valley Ten years ago: Pakistani warplanes pounded the Taliban-held Swat Valley in what the country's prime minister called a "war of the country's survival." AP 2012: Barack Obama In 2012, President Barack Obama declared his unequivocal support for same-sex marriage in a historic announcement that came three days after Vice President Joe Biden spoke in favor of such unions on NBC's "Meet the Press." AP 2014: Arkansas Gay Marriage Five years ago: A judge struck down Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage, saying the state had "no rational reason" for preventing gay couples from marrying. AP 2014: Vladimir Putin Five years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin made his first trip to Crimea since its annexation, calling it "historic justice" during a Victory Day display of military pomp and patriotism. AP 2017: James Comey In 2017, President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey, ousting the nation's top law enforcement official in the midst of an FBI investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's meddling in the election that sent him to the White House. AP 2018: Mike Pompeo & Kim Jong Un One year ago: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea to finalize plans for a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Three Americans who had spent more than a year in prison in North Korea were freed during his visit and left North Korea aboard Pompeo's plane. 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