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Today in History, May 12

The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, May 12, the 132nd day of 2013. There are 233 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On May 12, 1943, during World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered. The two-week Trident Conference, headed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, opened in Washington.

On this date:

In 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, S.C., surrendered to British forces.

In 1870, an act creating the Canadian province of Manitoba was given royal assent, to take effect in July.

In 1922, a 20-ton meteor crashed near Blackstone, Va.

In 1932, the body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in a wooded area near Hopewell, N.J.

In 1933, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration were established to provide help for the needy and farmers.

In 1937, Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.

In 1949, the Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.

In 1958, the United States and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).

In 1963, Betty Miller became the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean as she landed her Piper Apache in Brisbane, Australia, having left Oakland, Calif., on April 30, making three stopovers along the way.

In 1970, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Harry A. Blackmun as a Supreme Court justice.

In 1982, in Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope’s longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)

In 2002, Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. president in or out of office to visit since the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.

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