May 9 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1502, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on his fourth and final voyage to the New World.
In 1926, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett were the first to fly over the North Pole.
In 1961, in a speech to TV executives at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow referred to television as “a vast wasteland.”
In 1963, civil rights demonstrators and law enforcement officials agreed upon an 11th-hour truce in Birmingham, Ala., preventing widespread protests.
In 1978, former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who had been kidnapped by Red Brigade terrorists, was found shot to death in the back of a car in Rome.
In 1979, the United States and Soviet Union reached a basic accord on the SALT II nuclear arms treaty. The accord was signed in June, but never formally went into effect.
In 1980, a Liberian freighter rammed a bridge in Florida’s Tampa Bay, collapsing part of the span and dropping 35 people to their deaths. A new $240 million Sunshine Skybridge opened April 30, 1987.
In 1987, a Polish airliner bound for New York crashed near Warsaw, killing 183 people.
In 2001, at least 123 people were killed during a stampede at a soccer match in Accra, Ghana.
In 2004, President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was assassinated in an explosion that also killed 31 other people at a stadium in Grozny where Russia’s World War II victory was being celebrated. Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attack.
In 2009, Jacob Zuma, African National Congress leader, was sworn in as president of South Africa.
In 2012, President Barack Obama said he had reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
In 2013, authorities in Pakistan said Taliban gunmen kidnapped Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. He was rescued May 10, 2016, in a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
In 2014, An Arkansas judge struck down the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying there was “no rational reason” for preventing gay couples from marrying.
In 2017, South Koreans elected Moon Jae-in as president in a snap election after the ouster of Park Gun-hye.
In 2017, President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey citing mistakes he allegedly made in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. The move prompted allegations of obstruction, though, when Trump later said he fired Comey over the Russia investigation.