Moments in Time

The History Channel

• On May 2, 1957, Senator Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisc., passes away at age 48. McCarthy had been a key figure in the anticommunist hysteria popularly known as the “Red Scare” that engulfed the United States in the years following World War II.

• On May 3, 1960, the musical comedy “The Fantasticks” opens in an off-Broadway playhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. It went on to become the world’s longest-running musical, with 17,162 performances over 42 years.

• On April 29, 1974, President Richard Nixon announces that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena. On Aug. 8, 1974, Nixon avoided a Senate impeachment trial by becoming the first U.S. president to resign from office.

• On May 14, 1796, English doctor Edward Jenner administers the world’s first smallpox vaccinations by scratching cowpox fluid into the skin of an 8-year-old boy. Doctors across Europe soon adopted Jenner’s technique, leading to a drastic decline in the spread of the disease.

• On May 12, 1932, the body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby son is found less than a mile from his Hopewell, N.J. home, more than two months after the child was kidnapped. Bruno Hauptmann was arrested, tried and convicted of the crime. In April 1935 he was executed in the electric chair.

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