Today in History: May 14

The Dalai Lama recognized six-year-old Tibetan Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama on this date in 1995. Almost immediately Chinese authorities detained the child and his family; he has not been seen since May 17, 1995, and his location has never been divulged. Human rights organizations once considered him one of the youngest political prisoners; now he is considered one of the longest-held. China, although officially atheist, used the tools of religion against Tibet and installed its own choice as the 11th Panchen Lama.

Last year, on the 20th anniversary of his abduction, a Chinese government authority publicly addressed concerns about Nyima, who is now 27: “The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed.” No one can ever meet him.

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The Corps of Discovery, 52 explorers led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, left Camp Dubois in Indiana on its way south to St. Charles, MO, and then to the west to explore the Louisiana Purchase on this date in 1804. Over the next two years, the Corps made its way to the Pacific Ocean with much help from Native Americans met along the way.

The only member of the 52-man expedition to die over the next two years was a 22-year-old named Charles Floyd who suffered a ruptured appendix towards the beginning of the trip, in August 1804.

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The Jamestown Settlement in Virginia was established on this date in 1607.

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The first meeting of the Constitutional Convention to draft the U.S. Constitution was held on this date in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Only the Virginia and Pennsylvania delegations had arrived; the first quorum was declared on May 25.

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The final episode of Seinfeld ran on this date in 1998.

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Frank Sinatra died on this date in 1998.

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Bobby Darin was born 80 years ago today.

 
Jack Bruce would be 73.

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Tony Pérez is 74 today. George Lucas is 72. Walter Olkewiczis 68. David Byrne is 64. Dennis Martínez (El Presidente) is 61. Tim Roth is 55. Suzy Kolber is 52. Cate Blanchett is 47. Mark Zuckerberg is 32.

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