On May 14, 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. (The Pact was dissolved in 1991.)
On this date:
In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
In 1787, delegates began gathering at the State House in Philadelphia to draw up the United States Constitution; the convention did not achieve a quorum of seven states until May 25.
In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter.
In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory as well as the Pacific Northwest left camp near present-day Hartford, Illinois.
In 1863, Union forces defeated the Confederates in the Battle of Jackson, Mississippi.
In 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II.
In 1948, according to the current-era calendar, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv by David Ben-Gurion, who became its first prime minister; U.S. President Harry S. Truman immediately recognized the new nation.
In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama.
In 1987, film star Rita Hayworth died in New York at age 68.
In 1998, singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82. The hit sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.
In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana for medical purposes.
In 2008, the Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice. Justine Henin, 25, became the first woman to retire from tennis while atop the WTA rankings.
Ten years ago: At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and potential candidate for president of France, was removed from a Paris-bound plane and charged with sexually assaulting a Manhattan hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo. (Strauss-Kahn later resigned; the charges against him were eventually dropped.)
Five years ago: A charter bus headed to a casino in rainy conditions crashed north of Laredo, Texas, killing eight people and injuring 44 others.
One year ago: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned doctors about a serious rare inflammatory condition in children linked with the coronavirus. Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company, said it would lay off hundreds of employees due to the coronavirus pandemic. Producers of the big-budget musicial “Frozen” announced that the show would not reopen when Broadway theaters were allowed to restart. Phyllis George, a former Miss America who became a female sportscasting pioneer on CBS’s “The NFL Today” and served as the first lady of Kentucky, died at the age of 70.
Today’s Birthdays: Photo-realist artist Richard Estes is 89. Actor Dame Sian Phillips is 88. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is 79. Movie producer George Lucas is 77. Guitarist Gene Cornish is 77. Actor Meg Foster is 73. Movie director Robert Zemeckis is 70. Rock singer David Byrne is 69. Actor Tim Roth is 60. Rock singer Ian Astbury (The Cult) is 59. Rock musician C.C. (aka Cecil) DeVille is 59. Actor Danny Huston is 59. Rock musician Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) is 55. Fabrice Morvan (ex-Milli Vanilli) is 55. R&B singer Raphael Saadiq is 55. Actor Cate Blanchett is 52. Singer Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 52. Movie writer-director Sofia Coppola is 50. Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is 49. Actor Gabriel Mann is 49. Singer Natalie Appleton (All Saints) is 48. Singer Shanice is 48. Actor Carla Jimenez is 47. Rock musician Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 43. Alt-country musician-singer Ketch Secor is 43. Rock singer-musician Dan Auerbach is 42. Rock musician Mike Retondo (Plain White T’s) is 40. Actor Amber Tamblyn is 38. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is 37. Actor Lina Esco is 36. NFL player Rob Gronkowski is 32. Actor Miranda Cosgrove is 28.