On This Day: China releases Tiananmen Square protesters

May 10 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops. He spent the next two years in prison.

In 1869, the “golden spike” was driven at Promontory, Utah, joining the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific lines to form America’s first transcontinental railway.

In 1908, Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States.

In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed director of the FBI. He held the position until his death in 1972.

In 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, swinging 89 army divisions around France’s so-called impregnable Maginot Line.

In 1940, Winston Churchill became prime minister of Great Britain.

In 1954, Rock Around the Clock was released by Bill Haley and His Comets. It was the first rock ‘n’ roll record to reach the top on the Billboard charts.

In 1984, a federal judge in Utah found the U.S. government negligent in above-ground Nevada nuclear tests from 1951 to 1962 that exposed downwind residents to radiation.

In 1990, China, in an attempt to show an improving human rights record, released 211 people jailed since the previous year’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. Most of the prisoners were arrested during protests in Tiananmen Square.

In 1994, John Wayne Gacy, the convicted killer of 33 young men and boys, was executed in Illinois.

In 2002, former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who had spied for the Soviet Union and Russia for more than 20 years, was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

In 2007, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he would step down in June after 10 years in office.

In 2010, Benigno Aquino III, son of a former president, was elected president of the Philippines.

In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service apologized for giving special scrutiny to applications for tax-exempt status that used the words “Tea Party” or “patriots.”

In 2014, Michael Sam, former Missouri defensive end, was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams — the first openly gay player to be selected by an NFL team.

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