Looking Back: On May 21…

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Bette Midler bids farewell to Johnny Carson.

Bette Midler bids farewell to Johnny Carson.

In 1961Alabama Gov. John Malcolm Patterson declared martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots broke out.

In 1966, the Ulster Volunteer Force declared war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

In 1972, Michelangelo‘s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was damaged by Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.

In 1976, the Yuba City bus disaster occurred in Martinez, Calif. The incident killed 29 people, which made it the deadliest road accident in U.S. history.

In 1981, Irish Republican members Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on hunger strike in the Maze prison.

In 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female suicide bomber near Madras.

In 1992, after 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests — Robin Williams and Bette Midler — of The Tonight Show.

In 1998, five abortion clinics in Miami, Fla., were hit by a butyric acid attacker.

In 2005, the tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka, opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, N.J.


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