Today's History Trivia for May 20
1992 Chicago bans the sale of spray paints Citing them as "weapons of terror," their sale is banned in an effort to reduce graffiti.
1989 Tiananmen Square China imposes martial law as more than a million pro-democracy demonstrators gather in Tiananmen Square. Two weeks later many demonstrators would be killed in a clash with the People's Army.
1985 John A. Walker is arrested with his brother and son for conspiring to sell secret Navy documents to the Soviet Union.
1970 The Beatles The movie Let It Be premiers at the London Pavilion.
1927 First solo transatlantic flight Charles A. Lindbergh, in The Spirit of St. Louis, leaves New York. He landed in Paris the following day.
1895 First commercial showing of a motion picture on a screen a four-minute boxing match shown in New York.
1861 Civil War North Carolina becomes the 10th state to secede from the Union.
1639 First school maintained by community taxes in America is established in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Today's Birthdays for May 20
1946 Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian), American singer, Oscar-Emmy-Grammy winning actress, singer. Music: I Got You Babe (1965, #1, with Sonny Bono), Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves (1971, #1), and If I Could Turn Back Time (1989). Film: Silkwood, Mask, Moonstruck.
1931 Bill Belew d. 2008 American costume designer, "The Man Who Dressed the King." He designed Elvis Presley's costumes (1968-77) setting the trend for stage costumes by performers such as the Jackson 5 and The Osmonds. One of his most famous designs was the high-collared jumpsuit used in Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite and on the album cover for Promised Land. He also designed for many other stars, including Gladys Knight and Doc Severensen.
1966 Mindy Cohn American actress. TV: The Facts of Life (Natalie).
1959 Susan Cowsill American singer, member of the singing family The Cowsills (They were the basis for TV's The Partridge Family). Music: The Rain The Park And Other Things (1967, #2) and the title song for the musical Hair (1969, #2).
1959 Bronson Pinchot American actor. TV: Perfect Strangers (Balki).
1958 Jane Wiedlin American guitarist, with the Go-Go's. Music: We Got the Beat (1981) and Vacation (1982).
1956 Dean Butler Canadian actor. TV: Little House on the Prairie (Laura's husband).
1944 Joe Cocker d. 2014 (John Robert Cocker), British singer. Music: With a Little Help From My Friends (1968, #1 UK), You Are So Beautiful (1974), and Up Where We Belong (1982, #1).
1927 David Hedison (Ara Heditsian), actor. Film: Live and Let Die (CIA agent Felix Leiter) and License to Kill (Felix Leiter).
1919 George Gobel d. 1991 American Emmy-winning TV and Radio star. TV: The George Gobel Show (1954-60).
1908 James Stewart d. 1997 American Oscar-winning actor. Film: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), and It's a Wonderful Life (1947, George Bailey).
1905 Charles Hatton d. 1975 American sports writer. He is credited with popularizing the term "Triple Crown" (1930), which he used to describe Gallant Fox who won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.
1851 Emile Berliner d. 1929 German-born American inventor, patented the first disc record player (1887, gramophone). Earlier recording devices by Edison and Bell used cylinders that were difficult to mass produce.
1818 William George Fargo d. 1881 American businessman, co-founder of American Express (1850), co-founder of Wells, Fargo and Co. (1852), mayor of Buffalo, N.Y. (1862-66), and for whom Fargo, North Dakota is named.
1808 Thomas Dartmouth Rice d. 1860 American entertainer, "father of American minstrelsy." In 1828 he began performing Jim Crow - a song he had learned from an elderly black in Kentucky - in blackface. His act became a hit in England (1836), making "Jim Crow" synonymous with blacks.
1759 Dr. William Thornton d. 1828 British-born American architect, physician. He designed the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (1793).
1750 Stephen Girard d. 1831 French philanthropist, founder of Girard College at Philadelphia and for whom Girard, Ohio is named..
1663 William Bradford d. 1752 American colonial printer, founder of the New York Gazette (1725), the first New York newspaper.
Deaths for May 20
2013 Ray Manzarek b. 1939 (Raymond Daniel Manczarek), American keyboardist, with The Doors. Music: Light My Fire (1967, #1) and L.A. Woman (1971).
2012 Robin Gibb b. 1949 British singers, songwriters, with the Bee Gees. Music: Stayin' Alive (1977) and Night Fever (1977, #1).
1989 Sir John Richard Hicks b. 1904 British Nobel-winning economist. He won the 1972 Nobel Prize for demonstrating that economic equilibrium is achieved by the interaction of forces that cancel each other out.
1989 Gilda Radner b. 1946 American Emmy-winning comedienne. TV: Saturday Night Live.
1834 Marquis de Lafayette b. 1757 French general. He became the youngest major general ever in the U.S. army when he joined (1777) during the American Revolution.
1592 Sir Thomas Cavendish b. 1555 English navigator. Plunderer of Spanish cites and ships.
1277 John XXI b. circa 1215 Portuguese-born religious leader, 187th Pope (1276-77). He died as a result of injuries received when part of the roof of the new wing he added to his palace collapsed while he sleeping.