Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 24, the 145th day of 2016. There are 221 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 24, 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message "What hath God wrought" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.

On this date:

In 1775, John Hancock was elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph.

In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, was dedicated by President Chester Alan Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland.

In 1935, the first major league baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati's Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.

In 1937, in a set of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935.

In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North Atlantic, killing all but three of the 1,418 men on board.

In 1959, former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles died in Washington, D.C. at age 71.

In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.

In 1966, the Jerry Herman musical comedy "Mame," starring Angela Lansbury, opened on Broadway.

In 1976, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde supersonic transport service to Washington.

In 1980, Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.

In 1991, the feminist film drama "Thelma & Louise," starring Susan Sarandon (as Louise) and Geena Davis (as Thelma) was released by MGM.

In 2001, 23 people were killed when the floor of a Jerusalem wedding hall collapsed beneath dancing guests, sending them plunging several stories into the basement.

Ten years ago: In rare, election-year harmony, House Republican and Democratic leaders jointly demanded the FBI return documents taken in a Capitol Hill raid as part of a bribery investigation of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. (President George W. Bush ordered the documents placed under temporary seal; Jefferson was later found guilty of bribery and sentenced to 13 years in federal prison.) "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore's campaign against global warming, went into limited release. Taylor Hicks was named the new "American Idol" over runner-up Katharine McPhee.

Five years ago: Egyptian authorities ordered former President Hosni Mubarak tried on charges of corruption as well as conspiracy in the deadly shooting of protesters who'd driven him from power. (Mubarak was ultimately found guilty of corruption, and is facing retrial on charges related to the deaths of protesters.) President Barack Obama was honored with a state dinner in London as he continued his visit to Britain. Oprah Winfrey taped the final episode of her long-running talk show.

One year ago: Conservative challenger Andrzej Duda (AHN'-zhray DOO'-dah) won Poland's presidential election, ousting the incumbent, Bronislaw Komorowski (kah-mah-RAWF'-skee), in a runoff vote. The 68th Cannes Film Festival concluded with French filmmaker Jacques Audiard's (OH'-dee-ahr) Sri Lankan refugee drama taking the coveted top honor, the Palme d'Or. Juan Pablo Montoya sliced his way from the back to the front twice to win his second Indianapolis 500.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-comedian-impressionist Stanley Baxter is 90. Jazz musician Archie Shepp is 79. Comedian Tommy Chong is 78. Singer Bob Dylan is 75. Actor Gary Burghoff is 73. Singer Patti LaBelle is 72. Actress Priscilla Presley is 71. Country singer Mike Reid is 69. Actor Jim Broadbent is 67. Actor Alfred Molina is 63. Singer Rosanne Cash is 61. Actor Cliff Parisi (TV: "Call the Midwife") is 56. Actress Kristin Scott Thomas is 56. Rock musician Jimmy Ashhurst (Buckcherry) is 53. Rock musician Vivian Trimble is 53. Actor John C. Reilly is 51. Actor Dana Ashbrook is 49. Actor Eric Close is 49. Actor Carl Payne is 47. Rock musician Rich Robinson is 47. Actor Dash Mihok is 42. Actor Bryan Greenburg is 38. Actor Owen Benjamin is 36. Actor Billy L. Sullivan is 36. Actor-rapper Jerod Mixon (aka Big Tyme) is 35. Rock musician Cody Hanson (Hinder) is 34. Dancer Mark Ballas (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 30. Country singer Billy Gilman is 28. Rapper/producer G-Eazy is 27. Actor Cayden Boyd is 22.

Thought for Today: "Responsibility educates." — Wendell Phillips, American abolitionist (1811-1884).