May 24, Amy Johnson became the first woman to fly from England to Australia.
(HN, 5/24/98)

May 24, The Union Jack was flown in Israel for the first time in 38 years as Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister to visit the Jewish state.
(AP, 5/24/06)


May 24, “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $1,500 for running a call-girl ring that catered to the rich and famous.


May 24, In India Sonia Gandhi decided to withdraw her resignation as president of the Congress Party.


May 24, The state of Maryland dismissed its wiretapping case against Linda Tripp after judge disallowed most of Monica Lewinsky’s testimony.


May 24, US Olympic Committee President Sandra Baldwin resigned, a day after she admitted lying about her academic credentials.


May 24, British actress Rachel Kempson, matriarch of the Redgrave acting dynasty, died in Millbrook, N.Y., four days short of her 93rd birthday.


May 24, In Trinidad and Tobago attorney Kamla Persad-Bissessar (59) was elected as the first female prime minister. Preliminary elections results indicated that Persad-Bissessar and her five-party People’s Partnership coalition won 29 of 41 seats in parliament.


May 24, Reclusive American copper heiress Huguette Clark (104) died and left most of her $400 million fortune to charity, and nurse Hadassah Peri, who was randomly assigned to care for her 20 years ago. Clark was the daughter of Montana Sen. William Clark, who was once the second-richest man in the country. In 2013 a court fight over her estate reached a tentative deal giving about $30.5 million to her distant relatives. Nurse Peri would have to return $5 million and a valuable doll collection.

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May 24, Nigeria’s military said it has rescued 3 women and 6 children taken hostage by Islamic extremists after a May 7 attack on a police barracks in Bama. A woman and 2 children remained missing.


May 24, Malawi President Joyce Banda said she is cancelling elections citing fraud and “rampant irregularities.” The decision triggered protests and was challenged by the national electoral authority and a political rival. Banda, who had been standing for re-election, ordered a new vote within 90 days but said she would no longer be a candidate to guarantee a credible outcome. Shortly before her announcement, the electoral commission released preliminary results showing opposition Democratic Progressive Party candidate Peter Mutharika leading with 42 percent of the vote, followed by Banda with 23 percent. The head of the electoral authority said she did not have the power to do this and that vote counting was continuing.

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