Almanac

Today is Thursday, May 31, the 151st day of 2018. There are 214 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 31, 1921, a race riot erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as white mobs began looting and leveling the affluent black district of Greenwood over reports a black man had assaulted a white woman in an elevator; hundreds are believed to have died.

On this date:

In 1578, the Christian catacombs of ancient Rome were accidentally discovered by workers digging in a vineyard along the Via Salaria.

In 1790, President George Washington signed into law the first U.S. copyright act.

In 1889, some 2,200 people in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, perished when the South Fork Dam collapsed, sending 20 million tons of water rushing through the town.

In 1949, former State Department official and accused spy Alger Hiss went on trial in New York, charged with perjury (the jury deadlocked, but Hiss was convicted in a second trial).

In 1977, the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making despite objections from environmentalists and Alaska Natives, was completed. (The first oil began flowing through the pipeline 20 days later.)

In 1985, 88 people were killed, more than 1,000 injured, when 41 tornadoes swept through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Ontario, Canada, during an 8-hour period.

In 1994, the United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.

In 2005, breaking a silence of 30 years, former FBI official W. Mark Felt stepped forward as “Deep Throat,” the secret Washington Post source during the Watergate scandal.

Ten years ago: Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven blasted into orbit, carrying a giant Japanese lab addition to the international space station.

Five years ago: A tornado in the Oklahoma City metro area claimed eight lives, including those of storm chasers Tim Samaras, his son, Paul, and Carl Young; 13 people died in flash flooding.