Today in history

Today is Wednesday, May 6, the 126th day of 2009. There are 239 days left in the year. On this date in 1937, the hydrogen-filled German airship Hindenburg burns and crashes in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.

In 1861, Arkansas secedes from the Union. In 1889, the Paris Exposition formally opens, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower. In 1910, Britain’s King Edward VII dies; he is succeeded by George V. In 1942, during World War II some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrender to the Japanese. In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in three minutes, 59.4 seconds. In 1960, Britain’s Princess Margaret marries Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. (They divorce in 1978.) In 1981, Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin is named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 1994, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand formally open the Channel Tunnel between their countries. In 2002, right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is shot and killed in Hilversum, Netherlands. (Volkert van der Graaf is later convicted of killing Fortuyn and is sentenced to 18 years in prison.)

May 6, 1984: “Spring thing,” for more than a decade the season opener for Idora Park, draws about 3,000 people, despite a cold, persistent drizzle. Patrick Duffy Jr. says park principals are undecided over whether to replace or rebuild the Wild Cat roller coaster.

Some Austintown residents are calling for the extermination of the Wedgewood Rats, a gang known primarily for fighting and vandalism.

Fred DeLuca, manager of the Youngstown Municipal Airport, says federal authorities have warned local airports to be on the lookout for airplane thieves. Many stolen aircraft are apparently being used for drug trafficking.

May 6, 1969: The Youngstown Board of Education accepts the resignation of nine teachers, hires three new ones and rehires a fourth.

James White, 40, of Phoenix, Ariz., formerly of Youngstown, drowns while surfing in the Fiji Islands, where he was vacationing with his wife.

Atty. K. Calvin Sommer, treasurer of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., is reappointed to the Mill Creek Park Board by Mahoning County common Pleas judges.

May 6, 1959: Frank R. Franko, suspended Youngstown attorney and former municipal court judge, wins the Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor with 11,837 votes, edging out county Engineer Samuel Gould Jr. by 505 votes. Frank X. Kryzan, seeking a fourth term, was 519 votes behind Gould.

Mayor Harold L. Milligan wins the Democratic nomination for a fifth term as mayor of Struthers, polling more votes than his three challengers combined. There is no Republican candidate.

Walter Pestrak, former safety service director, is the apparent winner by three votes over 6th Ward Councilman Michael Gallo in the Warren Democratic mayoral primary. Unofficial results gave Pestrak 3,515; Gallo, 3,512.

May 6, 1934: Trumbull County and Hubbard win first in county school and exempted village groups, respectively, in district state scholarship contests at Kent State Normal College.

Youngstown City Council is split over council members taking the 50 percent pay cuts being asked or enforced on other city employees.

Ohio schools face a dark and gloomy future as the General Assembly fails to enact new revenue measures.

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