May 1, 1931: With the push of a button, President Hoover dedicated the Empire State Building. Hoover wasn’t in New York, he was at the White House and merely pushed a symbolic button. The Empire State Building, 102 stories and 1,250 feet high, was the world’s tallest structure — and took just one year and $40 million to build. Constructed during the depths of the Great Depression, it gave New York and the nation a renewed sense of pride.
May 1, 1970: Student protests erupted after President Nixon announced U.S. troops were moving into Cambodia — a neutral country — to pursue the Vietcong.
May 1, 2003: With a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, President Bush said “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” The war would continue for seven-and-a-half more years, ultimately claiming the lives of 4,486 Americans — and countless Iraqis.
May 1, 2011: President Obama announced that the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden — the leader of al Qaeda and perpetrator of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. Operation Neptune Spear, as the special forces operation that killed bin Laden was called, was among the most daring military missions in U.S. history. Months in the planning, the operation — conducted by Navy SEALS — was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-less mission. The raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan on a moonless night; after the raid, U.S. forces took bin Laden’s body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death.
Quote of the day
“To those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror, justice has been done.” — Barack Obama