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Notable Historic Events
for the Month of May
Empire State Building
1931...As part of the dedication of the
Empire State Building,
President Herbert Hoover flips a switch from the
and all the lights in the
building turn on. The
Empire State Building is a staggering 1,250 feet high. The construction,
which only takes one year, is a boon to thousands of men needing work during the
building brings a sense of pride to the state of
New York, and will go on to become one of its most iconic symbols. The
building continues to be the largest building in the world until 1972, when the
World Trade Towers are built. Today the height of the building is behind 23
buildings. The Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, which is 2,717 feet tall,
is now the tallest building in the world.
1960...Gary Powers' U-2 spy
plane is shot down over the
1963...James Whittaker becomes the first American to summit Mt.
Everest. He is from
1939...Lou Gehrig ends his streak of consecutive
games played over thirteen years. He has played 2,130 games.
1997...Tony Blair becomes
prime minister of
2011...Osama bin Laden is killed by
US Navy Seals.
1979...Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female
Prime Minister of
hearings are held to discuss the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur.
President Truman and General MacArthur disagree on how to handle the Cold
War. MacArthur thinks that
President Truman is weak on communism.
President Truman believes that following MacArthur's ideas would lead to
World War III with
Russia. MacArthur begins talking against the
President's policies and
President Truman has no choice but to relieve the general of his command in
Korea. This does not sit well with the public, as General MacArthur gained fame
and prestige during
Congress investigates the dismissal, but in the end the
Congress lets it go, unable to make any conclusions. During
MacArthur's long testimony the public comes to realize that the general's views
are indeed extreme.
Kent State University Riot
1776...Rhode Island becomes the first
American colony to renounce its allegiance to King George III.
1886...The Haymarket riot starts as a labor protest near Haymarket Square in Chicago,
Working conditions are terrible in the late 1880s. There are many more
people who want and need to work than there are jobs. Employers are taking
advantage of the situation with poor working conditions and low wages. Unions
are forming and workers are beginning to strike. The labor protest at Haymarket
Square was meant to be peaceful. On this occasion the workers were demanding an
8-hour work day. When someone threw a bomb at the
police gunfire broke out, and
and several people in the crowd were killed. Dozens were injured. The immediate
result of this incident was a temporary setback for the labor unions, although
many people viewed the labor leaders as martyrs. Labor Unions will continue to
rise, and many years later the site of this incident will become a
Alan Shepard J.
1821...Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the Island of St. Helena in the
1961...Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into space.
1904...Cy Young, pitching for the Boston Red Sox, pitches a perfect game.
1937...The Hindenburg, a
dirigible, bursts into flames while landing at
New Jersey. Thirty-six passengers and crew members
are killed while spectators on the ground watch in horror.
1954...Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile on a
track in Oxford,
1994...The tunnel under the
English Channel opens.
1915...The Lusitania is torpedoed by a
submarine off the coast of
Ireland. Almost 1,200 people drown, including 128 Americans.
1969...Brezhnev becomes president of the USSR.
Beatles release Album "Let It Be"
United States and
Britain celebrate V-E Day. The
surrendered unconditionally, and the 6-year war in Europe is over.
1970...The last album by the Beatles, Let It Be, is released shortly after
1887...Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London,
Woodrow Wilson issues a
presidential proclamation to establish
It is to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday of
1950...Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
is publish by L Ron Hubbard. This leads to the birth of scientology.
Germany joins NATO.
Railroad is completed.
The Union Pacific and Central Pacific lines meet in
1940...Winston Churchill becomes
prime minister of
1994...Nelson Mandela is sworn in as President of South Africa.