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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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phkrause

May 1st

1931

Empire State Building dedicated
 
On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicates New York City's Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turns on the building's lights. Hoover's gesture, of course, was symbolic; while the president remained in Washington, D.C., someone else flicked the ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1958
President Eisenhower proclaims Law Day »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1786
Mozart’s opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premieres in Vienna »
1923
"Catch-22" author Joseph Heller is born »
1941
"Citizen Kane" released »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Battle of Chancellorsville begins »
COLD WAR
1960
American U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet Union »
CRIME
2002
Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams indicted for manslaughter »
DISASTER
2003
Record-breaking tornado wave begins across the southern and midwestern United States »
GENERAL INTEREST
1851
First-ever “Great Exhibition” opens in London »
1898
The U.S. destroys Spanish Pacific fleet in Battle of Manila Bay »
1963
James Whittaker becomes the first American to top Mt. Everest »
1997
Labour Party returns to power in Britain  »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1926
Ford factory workers get 40-hour week »
SPORTS
1991
Rickey Henderson breaks MLB stolen base record »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
Senator George Aiken criticizes Nixon’s handling of the Vietnam War »
1972
North Vietnamese troops capture Quang Tri »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1852
Adventurer and performer Calamity Jane is born »
WORLD WAR I
1915
International Congress of Women adopts resolutions on peace, women's suffrage »
WORLD WAR II
1887
Alan G. Cunningham, British liberator of Ethiopia, is born »

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phkrause

May 2nd

1933

Loch Ness "Monster" sighted for the first time, igniting the legend
 
The modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news on May 2, 1933. The newspaper Inverness Courier relates an account of a local couple who claim to have seen "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface." The story of the "monster" ... read more »
GENERAL INTEREST
2011
Osama bin Laden killed by U.S. forces »
1670
King Charles II grants charter to Hudson’s Bay Company »
1808
Madrid revolts against French rule during the Peninsular War »
1972
J. Edgar Hoover dies, ending a five-decade era at the FBI »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1740
Revolutionary War Patriot Elias Boudinot is born »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1936
Manuscript of Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Conversations at Midnight" destroyed in hotel fire »
1960
Dick Clark survives the Payola scandal »
2008
"Iron Man" released in theaters »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Confederates deliver blow to Union at Chancellorsville »
COLD WAR
1957
Senator Joseph McCarthy dies »
CRIME
1924
A grisly murder makes rubber gloves standard equipment at crime scenes »
DISASTER
1997
Sandstorm in Egypt kills 12, topples buildings »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1918
GM buys Chevrolet »
PRESIDENTIAL
2001
George W. Bush forms commission on Social Security »
SPORTS
1939
Baseball slugger Lou Gehrig ends consecutive games streak due to illness »
VIETNAM WAR
1964
U.S. ship bombed and sunk in Saigon port »
1970
American and South Vietnamese forces continue attack into Cambodia »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1874
John B. Jones becomes major in Texas Rangers »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Allies argue over U.S. troops joining battle on Western Front »
WORLD WAR II
1945
German troops surrender to Allies in Italy, while Berlin surrenders to Russia's Zhukov  »

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phkrause

May 3rd

1469

Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli born
 
On this day in 1469, the Italian philosopher and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born. A lifelong patriot and diehard proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli became one of the fathers of modern political theory. Machiavelli entered the political service of his native Florence by the time he was 29. ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1775
Earl of Dartmouth calls for North Carolina loyalists to raise militias »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1810
Lord Byron swims across tumultuous Hellespont strait in Turkey »
1933
Funk master, James Brown, is born »
1948
U.S. Supreme Court decides Paramount antitrust case »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Confederates take Hazel Grove at Chancellorsville »
COLD WAR
1951
Congressional hearings on General MacArthur »
CRIME
1992
Exxon executive is murdered »
2007
British girl goes missing in Portugal »
DISASTER
1962
Trains collide near Tokyo, killing more than 160 people »
GENERAL INTEREST
1946
Japanese war crimes trial begins »
1947
New Japanese constitution goes into effect »
1952
Joseph Fletcher lands first aircraft on the North Pole »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1980
MADD founder's daughter killed by drunk driver »
PRESIDENTIAL
1940
FDR addresses thousands of Democratic women »
1961
JFK receives honorary degree from George Washington University »
SPORTS
1986
Shoemaker becomes oldest man to win Kentucky Derby »
VIETNAM WAR
1965
173rd Airborne Brigade deploys to South Vietnam »
1968
Paris is chosen as site for peace talks »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1859
Cowboy author Andy Adams is born »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Austro-German forces drive Russians out of the Carpathians »
WORLD WAR II
1942
The Battle of the Coral Sea begins »

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phkrause

May 4th

1970

National Guard kills four students at Kent State University
 
In Kent, Ohio, 28 National Guardsmen fire their weapons at a group of antiwar demonstrators on the Kent State University campus, killing four students, wounding eight, and permanently paralyzing another... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1776
Rhode Island becomes first colony to declare independence from England »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1929
Legendary actress Audrey Hepburn is born »
1948
Norman Mailer's first novel, "The Naked and the Dead," is published »
1956
Gene Vincent records "Be-Bop-A-Lula" »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Army of the Potomac crosses the Rapidan, setting the stage for Civil War's showdown »
COLD WAR
1980
Josip Broz Tito, communist leader of Yugoslavia, dies »
CRIME
1886
Labor protests lead to riot in Chicago's Haymarket Square »
1990
Electric chair malfunctions in Florida, leading states to change execution methods »
DISASTER
2002
Nigerian aircraft crashes in crowded city »
GENERAL INTEREST
1970
National Guard kills four at Kent State »
1979
Margaret Thatcher sworn in as Britain’s first female Prime Minister »
1994
Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat sign accord for Palestinian self-rule »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1984
Bruce Springsteen releases "Pink Cadillac" »
PRESIDENTIAL
1865
President Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois »
1977
David Frost interviews Richard Nixon »
SPORTS
1965
Willie Mays breaks National League home run record »
VIETNAM WAR
1961
Secretary of State Dean Rusk reports on rising strength of the Viet Cong »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1847
Legendary gunslinger Jack Slade joins the army »
WORLD WAR I
1916
Germany agrees to limit its submarine warfare »
WORLD WAR II
1945
As the Nazi threat dies, the Red Army rises »

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phkrause

May 5th

1961

Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space
 
From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1776
British Lieutenant General Henry Clinton denounces the Patriots' "wicked rebellion" »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1816
The Examiner publishes John Keats' first poem »
2002
"Spider-Man" becomes first movie to top $100 million in opening weekend »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Civil War generals Grant and Lee clash in the Wilderness forest »
COLD WAR
1955
Allies end occupation of West Germany »
CRIME
2004
Human remains found in suitcase near Virginia Beach »
DISASTER
1995
Giant hail storm and flooding hits Dallas, killing 17 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1821
Napoleon dies in exile »
1862
Outnumbered Mexican army defeats French at Battle of Puebla »
1945
Six killed in Oregon by Japanese bomb »
1981
IRA militant Bobby Sands dies »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1944
Driving pioneer Bertha Benz dies »
PRESIDENTIAL
1985
President Reagan visits concentration camp and war cemetery »
SPORTS
1904
Cy Young throws perfect game »
VIETNAM WAR
1970
U.S. forces capture Snoul, Cambodia »
1972
North Vietnamese turn back South Vietnamese relief column »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1877
Sitting Bull leads his people into Canada »
WORLD WAR I
1919
Italian delegates return to Paris peace conference »
WORLD WAR II
1941
Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to his capital »

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phkrause

May 6th

1994

English Channel tunnel opens
 
In a ceremony presided over by England's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age. The channel tunnel, or "Chunnel," connects Folkstone,... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1775
William Franklin warns Dartmouth of repercussions from Lexington and Concord »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1940
John Steinbeck wins a Pulitzer for "The Grapes of Wrath" »
1984
Spinal Tap stages a "comeback" at CBGB's in New York City »
2004
Final episode of "Friends" airs on NBC »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Civil War Generals Grant and Lee continue fighting in the Wilderness »
COLD WAR
1992
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev offers mixed review of Cold War’s end »
CRIME
1876
The theft of "Duchess of Devonshire" painting stirs interest»
2013
Ohio kidnap victims rescued after years in captivity »
DISASTER
1937
Germany’s Hindenburg airship explodes in New Jersey »
GENERAL INTEREST
1954
Roger Bannister breaks a four-minute mile for the first time »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1991
Harry Gant is oldest NASCAR winner—again »
PRESIDENTIAL
1935
FDR creates the Works Progress Administration (WPA) »
VIETNAM WAR
1970
Students from colleges launch nationwide antiwar protest »
1972
South Vietnamese defenders hold on to An Loc »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1911
Hangman George Maledon dies »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Second Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli begins »
WORLD WAR II
1942
All American forces in the Philippines surrender unconditionally »

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phkrause

May 7th

1994

Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" recovered after theft
 
On May 7, 1994, Norway's most famous painting, "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, was recovered almost three months after it was stolen from a museum in Oslo. The fragile painting was recovered undamaged at a hotel in Asgardstrand, about 40 miles south of Oslo, police said. The iconic 1893 painting of a ... read more »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1812
Poet Robert Browning is born »
1901
Legendary actor Gary Cooper is born »
1965
"Satisfaction" comes to Keith Richards in his sleep  »
CIVIL WAR
1864
General Grant refuses to turn back after bruising battle in Battle of the Wilderness »
COLD WAR
1960
Leonid Brezhnev becomes president of the USSR »
CRIME
1896
Serial killer H.H. Holmes is hanged in Philadelphia »
DISASTER
1902
Mount Pelée erupts, burying Caribbean city »
GENERAL INTEREST
1763
Ottawa Chief Pontiac's Rebellion against the British begins »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1998
Daimler-Benz announces purchase of Chrysler Corp. »
PRESIDENTIAL
1789
George Washington attends inaugural ball »
SPORTS
1995
Reggie Miller leads Pacers to shocking comeback victory over Knicks »
VIETNAM WAR
1954
French fall to Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu »
WORLD WAR I
1915
German submarine sinks Lusitania »
WORLD WAR II
1945
Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies at Reims »

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phkrause

May 8th

1945

V-E Day is celebrated in America and Britain
 
On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine. The eighth of May spelled the day when German ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1792
Militia Act establishes conscription under federal law »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1899
William Butler Yeats' "The Countess Cathleen" opens at the Irish Literary Theatre »
1963
Sean Connery stars in his first Bond movie, "Dr. No" »
1976
The theme song from “Welcome Back, Kotter” is the #1 song in America »
2010
Betty White becomes oldest "Saturday Night Live" host »
CIVIL WAR
1864
General Lee's army beats Grant’s Union troops to Spotsylvania »
COLD WAR
1984
Soviets announce boycott of 1984 Olympics »
CRIME
1988
Woman convicted of killing two in Excedrin tampering  »
DISASTER
1950
Flash floods in Nebraska kill 23 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1541
Spanish Conquistador Hernando De Soto reaches the Mississippi »
1973
American Indian Movement (AIM) ends occupation of Wounded Knee »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1956
Henry Ford II leaves post at Ford Foundation »
PRESIDENTIAL
1884
Harry S. Truman is born »
SPORTS
1970
New York Knicks win their first NBA championship »
VIETNAM WAR
1970
Nixon defends invasion of Cambodia »
1972
Mining of North Vietnamese harbors is announced »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1846
Future President Zachary Taylor fights the Battle of Palo Alto »
WORLD WAR I
1919
New celebration of Armistice Day proposed »

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phkrause

May 9th

1960

FDA approves "the pill" 
 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the world’s first commercially produced birth-control bill–Enovid-10, made by the G.D. Searle Company of Chicago, Illinois... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1791
Patriot politician and composer Francis Hopkinson dies »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1860
J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, is born »
1964
An unlikely challenger ends the Beatles' reign atop the U.S. pop charts »
1971
Last episode of “The Honeymooners” airs »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Union troops take Snake Creek Gap, Georgia »
COLD WAR
1955
West Germany joins NATO »
CRIME
1997
Andrew Cunanan continues murder spree »
DISASTER
2001
Soccer fans trampled in Ghana »
GENERAL INTEREST
1671
Irish adventurer "Captain Blood" steals crown jewels »
1926
Explorer Richard Byrd claims to have flown over the North Pole »
1978
Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is found dead »
1997
Former POW Douglas "Pete" Peterson becomes ambassador to Vietnam »
1950
L. Ron Hubbard publishes "Dianetics" »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2008
"Speed Racer" movie released »
PRESIDENTIAL
1914
Woodrow Wilson proclaims the first Mother's Day holiday »
HISTORY VAULT
Mother's Day
From first ladies to royal rulers, explore the lives and legacies of some of history's most influential women in the Women of History collection in HISTORY Vault.
 
Stream episodes about this, plus hundreds of HISTORY’s best documentaries and specials, all commercial-free.
START FREE TRIAL
SPORTS
1973
Johnny Bench hits three home runs off Steve Carlton »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
Reporter breaks the news of secret bombing in Cambodia »
1970
Massive antiwar demonstrations held in Washington »
1974
House votes to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Nixon »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1887
"Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show opens »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Allies launch dual offensive on Western Front »
WORLD WAR II
1945
High-ranking Nazi Hermann Göring is captured by the U.S. Seventh Army »

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May 10th

1869

Transcontinental railroad completed, unifying United States 
 
On this day in 1869, the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet in Promontory, Utah, and drive a ceremonial last spike into a rail line that connects their railroads. This made transcontinental railroad travel possible for the first time in U.S. history. No longer would ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1775
Second Continental Congress assembles as Americans capture Fort Ticonderoga  »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1749
Final volume of serialized novel "Tom Jones" is published  »
1909
Country music pioneer "Mother" Maybelle Carter is born »
1977
Legendary actress Joan Crawford dies  »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Famed Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson dies  »
COLD WAR
1990
China releases 211 prisoners arrested during Tiananmen Square protests »
CRIME
1924
J. Edgar Hoover begins his 48-year tenure as FBI director  »
DISASTER
1996
Eight climbers die on Mt. Everest  »
GENERAL INTEREST
1865
Confederate President Jefferson Davis captured by Union forces »
1940
Winston Churchill becomes prime minister of Britain  »
1994
Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, is inaugurated  »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1980
Government gives Chrysler $1.5 billion loan »
PRESIDENTIAL
1877
Rutherford B. Hayes has first phone installed in White House »
SPORTS
1970
Bobby Orr leads Boston Bruins to Stanley Cup title, their first in 29 years  »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
Operation Apache Snow is launched »
1972
Intense air war continues over North Vietnam »
WORLD WAR I
1871
Treaty of Frankfurt am Main ends Franco-Prussian War »

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May 11th

1934

Dust storm sweeps from Great Plains across Eastern states
 
On this day in 1934, a massive storm sends millions of tons of topsoil flying from across the parched Great Plains region of the United States as far east as New York, Boston and Atlanta. At the time the Great Plains were settled in the mid-1800s, the land was covered by prairie grass, which held ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1776
Washington recommends using German-American troops to Congress »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1942
William Faulkner’s short story collection “Go Down, Moses” is published »
1981
Reggae star Bob Marley dies at 36 »
2000
George Clooney makes surprise return appearance on "ER"  »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Confederate Cavalry General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded »
COLD WAR
1988
Famous Russian spy Kim Philby dies »
CRIME
1949
Evidence found against French serial killer known as "The Queen of Poisoners" »
DISASTER
1985
Fire kills 50 at soccer stadium »
GENERAL INTEREST
1812
British prime minister Spencer Perceval assassinated  »
1858
Minnesota enters the Union »
1987
"Butcher of Lyon," former Nazi Gestapo chief, charged with war crimes »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1947
B.F. Goodrich Co. announces development of tubeless tire »
PRESIDENTIAL
1977
President Carter puts in a long day at the office »
SPORTS
1997
IBM supercomputer Deep Blue beats chess champion Garry Kasparov »
VIETNAM WAR
1961
President Kennedy orders more troops to South Vietnam »
1969
Bloody 10-day battle at "Hamburger Hill" begins »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1896
Western writer Mari Sandoz is born »
WORLD WAR I
1919
Germans prepare to protest Versailles Treaty terms »
WORLD WAR II
1944
Allies attack the Gustav line in drive for Rome »

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May 12th

1932

Kidnapped Lindbergh baby found dead 
 
The body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh’s baby is found on this day in 1932, more than two months after he was kidnapped from his family's Hopewell, New Jersey, mansion.... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1780
Americans suffer worst defeat of revolution at Charleston »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1828
Poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti is born »
1907
Celebrated actress Katharine Hepburn is born  »
1963
Bob Dylan walks out on "The Ed Sullivan Show"  »
CIVIL WAR
1864
North and South see bloody day at the Bloody Angle »
COLD WAR
1975
American freighter ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian navy  »
DISASTER
1987
Forest fire sweeps across China »
GENERAL INTEREST
1937
George VI crowned King of the United Kingdom »
1949
Soviet Union lifts its 11-month blockade against West Berlin »
1970
Harry A. Blackmun confirmed to Supreme Court  »
PRESIDENTIAL
1903
Teddy Roosevelt's trip to San Francisco is captured on film »
SPORTS
1957
Race car driver A.J. Foyt gets first pro victory »
1970
Ernie Banks hits 500th home run »
2000
Fourth-generation NASCAR driver Adam Petty dies in crash »
VIETNAM WAR
1961
Lyndon B. Johnson visits South Vietnam »
1971
Heavy fighting erupts in A Shau Valley »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1832
Fur trader William Sublette heads west »
WORLD WAR I
1918
Germany and Austria-Hungary sign pact to exploit Ukraine »
WORLD WAR II
1941
Hitler backs Rashid Ali in his fight against Britain »

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May 13th

1846

President Polk declares war on Mexico
 
On May 13, 1846, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly votes in favor of President James K. Polk's request to declare war on Mexico in a dispute over Texas. Under the threat of war, the United States had refrained from annexing Texas after the latter won independence from Mexico in 1836. But in 1844, ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1807
Connecticut Patriot Eliphalet Dyer dies »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1898
Thomas Edison sues over new motion-picture technology »
1907
Daphne du Maurier, author of "Rebecca," is born »
1971
Stevie Wonder leaves Motown Records »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Union General Ulysses S. Grant advances toward Jackson, Mississippi  »
COLD WAR
1958
Vice President Nixon is attacked by angry crowd in Venezuela »
CRIME
1981
Pope John Paul II is shot »
1985
A raid is set against headquarters of radical armed cult, MOVE »
DISASTER
1972
Fire breaks out at Japan nightclub, killing 118 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1568
Mary Queen of Scots defeated »
1607
Jamestown settlers arrive in Virginia »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1980
Autoworkers union head joins Chrysler board »
SPORTS
1973
Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in first “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match »
VIETNAM WAR
1971
Paris peace talks at standstill »
1972
Heavy fighting continues at Quang Tri and Kontum »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1975
Bob Wills, the inventor of western swing, dies »
WORLD WAR I
1915
Edith Wharton writes of the war's effect on France »
WORLD WAR II
1940
Prime Minister Churchill announces: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." »

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May 14th

1804

Lewis and Clark depart to explore the Northwest
 
One year after the United States doubled its territory with the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition leaves St. Louis, Missouri, on a mission to explore the Northwest from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Even before the U.S. government concluded purchase negotiations with ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1787
Constitutional Convention delegates begin to assemble »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1842
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, publishes his popular volume "Poems" »
1936
Bobby Darin is born »
1998
Frank Sinatra dies »
CIVIL WAR
1864
The Battle of Resaca, Georgia, begins »
COLD WAR
1955
The Warsaw Pact is formed »
CRIME
1948
A three-year-old's brutal murder begins an unusual investigation »
DISASTER
1991
Two trains crash in Japan, killing more than 40 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1796
Jenner tests smallpox vaccine »
1904
First American Olympiad opens in St. Louis, Missouri »
1948
State of Israel proclaimed »
1973
America's first space station, Skylab, is launched »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2007
DaimlerChrysler sells most of Chrysler for $7.4 billion »
PRESIDENTIAL
1999
Clinton apologizes to Chinese leader for embassy bombing »
SPORTS
1913
Pitcher Walter Johnson's scoreless inning streak ends  »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
President Nixon responds to National Liberation Front proposal »
1970
South Vietnamese sustain second highest casualties of war »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1861
William Fetterman joins the U.S. Army »
WORLD WAR I
1915
London Times article sparks "Shells Crisis" »
WORLD WAR II
1943
United States and Britain plan Operation Pointblank »

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May 15th

1937

Madeline Albright, America's first female secretary of state, is born
 
On this day in 1937, Madeleine Albright, America's first female secretary of state, is born Maria Jana Korbelova in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The daughter of Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, Albright fled to England with her family after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1781
Continentals capture Fort Granby, South Carolina »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1890
Writer Katherine Anne Porter is born »
1982
"Ebony And Ivory" begins a seven-week run at #1 on the pop charts »
2008
Celebrity private detective Anthony Pellicano found guilty »
CIVIL WAR
1864
VMI cadets fight in Battle of New Market »
COLD WAR
1988
Soviets begin withdrawal from Afghanistan »
CRIME
1976
A young woman and her married lover kill her family »
DISASTER
1896
Tornado decimates Texas town »
GENERAL INTEREST
1756
The Seven Years War begins »
1941
First Allied jet-propelled aircraft flies »
1963
Project Mercury's Faith 7 launches in program's final flight »
1972
Governor George Wallace shot »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1942
Seventeen states put gasoline rationing into effect »
PRESIDENTIAL
1800
President John Adams orders federal government to Washington, D.C. »
1942
Ronald Reagan applies for transfer to Army Air Force »
SPORTS
1973
Nolan Ryan pitches first no-hitter »
VIETNAM WAR
1967
U.S. positions south of the DMZ come under heavy fire »
1970
Air Force sergeant awarded Medal of Honor »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1856
Second vigilante committee organizes in San Francisco »
WORLD WAR I
1916
Austrians launch massive offensive on Trentino Front »
WORLD WAR II
1942
Legislation creating the Women's Army Corps becomes law »

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phkrause

May 16th

1929

First Academy Awards ceremony
 
On this day in 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its first awards, at a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California. The brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, head of the powerful MGM film studio, the Academy was ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1777
Georgia Patriot Button Gwinnett is fatally wounded in duel »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1717
Satirical writer, Voltaire, is imprisoned in the Bastille »
1964
Mary Wells gives Motown Records its first #1 hit with "My Guy" »
2014
Pioneering TV journalist Barbara Walters signs off »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Union army wins the Battle of Champion Hill »
COLD WAR
1960
U.S.-Soviet summit meeting collapses after U-2 spy plane shot down »
CRIME
1975
A nurse stabs expectant mother to death, steals unborn baby »
DISASTER
1849
New York City establishes hospital for cholera victims »
GENERAL INTEREST
1770
French dauphin, Louis, marries Marie Antoinette »
1943
Warsaw Ghetto uprising ends »
1968
Worker protests mount in France »
1975
Japanese woman scales Everest »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1956
GM dedicates new technical center »
PRESIDENTIAL
1868
Senate acquits President Andrew Johnson of high crimes and misdemeanors »
SPORTS
1980
Basketball great, Magic Johnson, plays center as a rookie, wins championships »
VIETNAM WAR
1965
Accident at Bien Hoa kills 27 U.S. servicemen »
1968
Navy Corpsman receives Medal of Honor for action »
1972
U.S. bombing destroys main fuel line »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1881
Outlaw Dick Fellows is released »
WORLD WAR I
1918
U.S. Congress passes Sedition Act »
WORLD WAR II
1943
As Brits launch Operation Chastise, Germans launch Operation Gypsy Baron »

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phkrause

May 17th

1954

Brown v. Board of Ed is decided
 
In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1769
George Washington criticizes "taxation without representation" »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1873
Writer Dorothy Richardson, pioneer of stream of consciousness, is born  »
1965
The FBI Laboratory weighs in on the "dirty" lyrics of "Louie Louie" »
2000
Final episode of "Beverly Hills, 90210" airs  »
2012
Donna Summer, queen of disco, dies »
CIVIL WAR
1863
Confederates defeated at the Battle of Big Black River »
COLD WAR
1990
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets with Lithuanian prime minister  »
CRIME
1974
LAPD raid leaves six SLA members dead »
DISASTER
1994
Fire engulfs Honduras prison, killing 103 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1970
Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl sails papyrus boat »
1973
Televised Watergate hearings begin »
2004
First legal same-sex marriage performed in Massachusetts »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2005
Toyota announces plans for hybrid Camry »
PRESIDENTIAL
1827
Future president Andrew Johnson marries Eliza McCardle  »
SPORTS
1983
Islanders win fourth consecutive Stanley Cup »
VIETNAM WAR
1970
South Vietnamese and U.S. troops attack "Parrot's Beak" area of Cambodia »
1972
South Vietnamese reinforcements near An Loc »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1885
Apache chief Geronimo flees Arizona reservation, setting off panic »
WORLD WAR I
1873
Celebrated French writer, Henri Barbusse, is born »
WORLD WAR II
1943
The Memphis Belle flies its 25th bombing mission »

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May 18th

1920

Pope John Paul II is born
 
On May 18, 1920, Karol Jozef Wojtyla is born in the Polish town of Wadowice, 35 miles southwest of Krakow.Wojtyla went on to become Pope John Paul II, history's most well-traveled pope and the first non-Italian to hold the position since the 16th century. After high school, the future pope enrolled ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1783
United Empire Loyalists reach Canada »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1593
Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe »
1980
Ian Curtis of Joy Division dies by suicide »
2001
Animated feature, "Shrek," is released »
CIVIL WAR
1863
The siege of Vicksburg commences »
COLD WAR
1989
One million protesters take to the streets in Beijing »
CRIME
1926
Popular evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears »
DISASTER
1980
Mount St. Helens erupts »
GENERAL INTEREST
1860
Abraham Lincoln nominated for presidency at Republican Convention »
1896
Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson »
1974
India joins the nuclear club »
2012
Facebook raises $16 billion in largest tech IPO in U.S. history »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1958
Lotus makes Formula One debut »
PRESIDENTIAL
1861
Newspaper prints scathing report about First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln »
SPORTS
2004
Randy Johnson throws perfect game at 40 »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
Communists attack Xuan Loc »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1871
Chief Satanta attacks wagon trains, killing teamsters »
WORLD WAR I
1917
U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act »
WORLD WAR II
1943
Adolf Hitler gives the order for Operation Alaric »
1944
Allied Polish Corps takes Monte Cassino »

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May 19th

1935

Lawrence of Arabia dies
 
T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before. Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1795
New Hampshire statesman Josiah Bartlett dies  »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1897
Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde is released after two years in prison »
1965
Pete Townshend writes "My Generation" on his 20th birthday »
2006
"The Da Vinci Code" is released in movie theaters »
CIVIL WAR
1864
Battle of Spotsylvania concludes »
COLD WAR
1967
Soviets ratify treaty banning nuclear weapons from outer space »
CRIME
1715
Oyster harvesting is restricted in early years of species protection »
DISASTER
1997
Avian flu kills young boy »
2016
EgyptAir flight 804 disappears over the Mediterranean Sea »
GENERAL INTEREST
1536
Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, is executed »
1588
Spanish Armada sets sail to secure English Channel »
1749
Ohio Company chartered, encouraging colonization of the West »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
2007
Smart USA introduces its microcar  »
PRESIDENTIAL
1864
President Lincoln proposes equal treatment of soldiers' dependents »
SPORTS
1984
Wayne Gretzky leads Oilers to championship »
VIETNAM WAR
1964
U.S. Air Force begins Operation Yankee Team »
1972
South Vietnamese fight to open road to An Loc »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1836
Young Texan girl kidnapped during Native American raid »
WORLD WAR I
1916
Britain and France conclude Sykes-Picot agreement »
WORLD WAR II
1943
FDR and Winston Churchill plot D-Day »

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May 20th

1873

Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive patent for blue jeans
 
On this day in 1873, San Francisco businessman Levi Strauss and Reno, Nevada, tailor Jacob Davis are given a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, marking the birth of one of the world's most famous garments: blue jeans. In San Francisco, Strauss established a wholesale dry goods... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1778
Marquis de Lafayette’s troops avoid capture at Battle of Barren Hill »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1946
English poet W.H. Auden becomes a U.S. citizen »
1998
Frank Sinatra is laid to rest »
2007
"The Simpsons" airs 400th episode »
CIVIL WAR
1862
Union Congress passes the Homestead Act »
COLD WAR
1956
United States drops hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll »
CRIME
2005
Convicted pedophile Mary Kay Letourneau marries former victim »
DISASTER
1965
Plane crashes at Cairo airport, killing 124 »
GENERAL INTEREST
1498
Vasco da Gama reaches India »
1506
Christopher Columbus dies »
1927
Charles Lindbergh takes off across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis »
1969
Battle for "Hamburger Hill" ends after 10 grueling days  »
1996
Supreme Court defends rights of gays and lesbians in Romer v. Evans »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1995
Street in front of the White House closed to traffic »
SPORTS
1989
Sunday Silence wins Preakness Stakes by a nose  »
VIETNAM WAR
1953
French see "light at the end of the tunnel" in Vietnam »
WORLD WAR I
1915
British renew attacks against German forces in Battle of Festubert »
WORLD WAR II
1940
Germans break through to English Channel at Abbeville, France »

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May 21st

1881

American Red Cross founded
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.history.com%2
In Washington, D.C., humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters in congruence with the International Red Cross. Barton, born in Massachusetts in 1821, worked ... read more »
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
1758
Lenape Indians abduct Mary Campbell from western Pennsylvania »
ART, LITERATURE, AND FILM HISTORY
1910
Serialization of Colette's novel "The Vagabond" begins »
1955
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry records his first hit, "Maybellene"  »
1999
Soap star Susan Lucci wins first Emmy after 19 nominations »
CIVIL WAR
1863
The Siege of Port Hudson begins »
COLD WAR
1988
Gorbachev consolidates power »
CRIME
1924
Murderers Leopold and Loeb gain national attention  »
1992
"Long Island Lolita" is arrested »
1996
A veteran's flashback defense doesn't hold up in court »
DISASTER
1960
Huge earthquake hits Chile »
GENERAL INTEREST
1542
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto dies in American wilderness »
1927
Charles Lindbergh competes the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight »
1932
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make solo, nonstop transatlantic flight  »
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1901
Connecticut enacts first speed-limit law »
PRESIDENTIAL
2000
Former president James Garfield's spine put on display »
SPORTS
1978
Rookie golfer Nancy Lopez wins her first Coca-Cola Classic »
VIETNAM WAR
1969
Military spokesman defends battle at "Hamburger Hill" »
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1539
Black Spanish explorer Estevan is reported killed »
WORLD WAR I
1911
French troops occupy Fez, sparking second Moroccan Crisis »
WORLD WAR II
1940
Nazis kill "unfit" people in East Prussia »
1942
Thousands of Jews die in Nazi gas chambers; IG Farber sets up factory »

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