(Pictured: In the Situation Room on May 1, 2011, President Obama and his team, including Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, get an update on the attack on Osama bin Laden.)
Before we begin: this post is by reader request, and it represents the most recent date I’ve ever featured in the One Day in Your Life series. If you’d like me to write about a particular date, or anything else, get in touch.
May 1, 2011, was a Sunday. After attending the White House Correspondents Association dinner last night, where he made business mogul and TV personality Donald Trump the butt of his jokes, President Obama has no public events on his schedule today. He spends the day in the White House Situation Room following a group of Navy SEALs making a raid on a location occupied by terrorist Osama bin Laden. Tonight, he speaks to the nation to announce that bin Laden has been killed. In Riverside, California, local plumber and regional Nazi party leader Jeff Hall is shot to death by his 10-year-old son. The boy tells authorities that he’s tired of his father’s violence toward him and his stepmother. At a Vatican ceremony today, Pope Benedict XVI beatifies Pope John Paul II, the first step on the road to declaring him a saint.
Boxer Henry Cooper, a British champion who twice fought Muhammad Ali and lost both on TKOs, dies two days short of his 77th birthday. Two NBA playoff conference semifinal series open today. In the East, Miami takes a 1-0 lead on Boston with a 99-90 win. In the Western semis, Memphis beats Oklahoma City 114-101. Two other series will begin tomorrow: Dallas vs. the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago vs. Atlanta. On a busy Sunday of baseball, the Cleveland Indians run their majors-best record to 19-and-8 with a 5-4 win over Detroit. The best record in the National League belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies, who are 18-and-9 after a 2-1, 14-inning loss to the last-place New York Mets tonight in ESPN’s nationally televised game.
The top movie at the box office is the new Fast Five, the fifth movie in the Fast and the Furious series, starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. It knocks last week’s box office leader, the computer-animated Rio, to #2. On TV tonight, 60 Minutes is the highest-rated show; CBS follows it with episodes of The Amazing Race, Undercover Boss, and CSI: Miami. NBC airs episodes of Dateline NBC, America’s Next Great Restaurant, and Celebrity Apprentice starring Donald Trump and Meat Loaf. ABC has its own slate of reality shows, including America’s Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Also on ABC are episodes of Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters, a family drama starring Sally Field and Calista Flockhart. Fox presents its Sunday animation block: Family Guy, The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show, a second episode of Family Guy, and American Dad. HBO airs episodes of Game of Thrones and Treme.
Ted Nugent speaks to the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Pittsburgh. Bruno Mars plays a stadium show in East Rutherford, New Jersey. On the Billboard Hot 100, “S&M” by Rihanna with Britney Spears is #1, knocking “E.T.” by Katy Perry with Kanye West to #2 after three weeks at the top. Katy’s former #1 “Firework” is at #22. Lady Gaga has the week’s highest Hot 100 debut, “Judas,” at #10, and “Born This Way” at #13. Bruno Mars is represented by “The Lazy Song” at #11 and “Grenade” at #23. The week’s Top 10 also includes Cee-lo Green’s “Fuck You (Forget You)” and “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. The F-word is also represented this week by Pink’s “Fuckin’ Perfect” at #16. Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” is at #42. Several country records are riding relatively high on the Hot 100, including the magnificent “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band.
Perspective From the Present: On this day, I managed to arrange a surprise birthday dinner for my mother, who turned 74 three days before. Late on this night, I wrote in my journal:
A note for history: We got Osama Bin Laden today. Story broke on Twitter at about 9:30, but it took another half-hour for the TV networks to get it and almost 30 minutes after that for the president to get on the air and confirm it. It will be interesting to see how our right-wingers deny credit to Obama.
Which they did.
Jeff Hall’s son, Joseph, was convicted of murder and confined to a juvenile facility until age 23, which he must be close to by now.
2 thoughts on “May 1, 2011: Sinners and Saints”
I was in the process of going to bed and had the 9pm news on. Unfortunately, the 9pm news was on FOX47 in Madison, Wisconsin which is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, which ordered its affiliates not to air the story of bin Laden’s capture and death and they did not break away for coverage of Obama’s address. I did not know about it until the next morning. Once I heard the news, it was a feeling of jubilation that I hasn’t felt since the Packers won the Super Bowl.
Legendary C&W songwriter Bobby Braddock (D.I.V.O.R C.E., He Stopped Loving Her Today etc) penned a tune for Cal Smith called “Bleep You.” It made it to #63 in 1973.
For records under his own name, Bobby had a taste for the perverse and kept D-grade material for himself involving groupies, a sex potion called Splidene, a female circus “performer” etc. He also wrote the double-entendre “Dolly Parton’s Hits” on an album called “Hardpore Cornography.” You get the idea.