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Notable Historic Events

May 11th

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The Midwest Dust Bowl

The Dust Bowl

1812...Spencer Perceval, prime minister of Britain, is assassinated in the Lobby of the House of Commons.

1934...The misery of the Great Depression increases when dust storms hit the Great Plains and travel all the way to the Eastern States. The Midwest has been struggling with parched land and failing crops. When the crops fail, the ground is left bare and exposed. Then the soil, stripped of its protective layer, is swept into the wind by dust storms. In 1934 the most severe storm yet barrels through the Midwest and travels all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. As a result of the dust storms, President Roosevelt (FDR) improves farming methods with crop rotation and grass-seeding. While this brings some relief, things didnít really turn until it begins to rain again and the drought is over.

1858...Minnesota becomes the 23rd state in the United States of America.


Charles Lindberg

Charles Lindbergh

1932...The body of the Lindbergh baby is found, more than two months after he was kidnapped from his home in Hopewell, New Jersey.

1937...King George VI is crowned at Westminster Abby.

2000...NASCAR driver Adam Petty crashes into a wall during a practice run and is killed.


President James K. Polk

President James K. Polk

1569...The forces of Mary Queen of Scots are defeated by Scottish Protestants led by Stuart. Stuart is the regent of her son King Charles VI of Scotland. Mary flees and takes refuge in England.

1846... President Polk declares war on Mexico. The dispute over Texas finally propels President Polk to declare war, and Congress affirms that decision. The United States and Mexico have been at odds over border disputes for months. In 1845 Texas is admitted into the Union. There are still boundary issues with Mexico. When U.S. and Mexican troops clash the United States declares war on Mexico. The two countries fight for two years. President Polk quietly offers Mexico $25 million dollars for disputed land. The war ends in 1948.Texas acquires its preferred southern border (The Rio Grande) and the Union acquires the territory of California and New Mexico.

1981...Pope John Paul II is shot in St. Peter's Square by a Turkish terrorist.


Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

1796...Edward Jenner, a country doctor in England, administers the first test of his smallpox vaccine.

1804...Lewis and Clark depart on their expedition to explore the Northwest from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

1904...The United States hosts the Olympics for the first time, in St. Louis.


Governor George Wallace

Governor George Wallace

1756...The Seven Years' War, also called the French and Indian War, begins.

1942...Seventeen of the United States begin gas rationing during WWII.

1972... The governor of Alabama, George Wallace, is shot. He will be permanently paralyzed.




1717...Voltaire goes to prison in the Bastille in Paris, France.

1868...The Senate votes against impeaching President Andrew Johnson on the charge of high crimes and misdemeanors.

1929...The first Academy Awards Ceremony is held in Hollywood, California.


Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

1875...The first Kentucky Derby is held at Church Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

1948...The Jewish state of Israel is created.

1954...The Supreme Court rules that school segregation is illegal in Brown vs. Board of Education.

1973...The Senate begins hearings on the Watergate Scandal. The public watches from their television sets.


Mt. St. Helens

Mt. Saint Helens

1864...Union General Ulysses S. Grant surrounds Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi. The battle becomes one of the most successful campaigns of the war.

1980...Mount St. Helens erupts.  Mount St. Helens is located in Washington State. The eruption of the mountain kills 57 people and removes 1,700 feet from the top of the mountain. The resulting landslide barrels down the river at 100 mph, devastating everything in its path.

2004...Randy Johnson, at age 40, throws a perfect game.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

1536...Ann Boleyn, the 2nd wife of King Henry VIII, is executed.

1588...The Spanish Armada sets sail to secure the English Channel and to conquer England.

1962...Marilyn Monroe performs a "memorable" version of the Happy Birthday song to President John Kennedy on his 45th birthday at New York's Madison Square Garden.


Charles Lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh

1873...Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent for work pants. The pants are reinforced with metal rivets for strength. These pants lead to blue jeans, or Levis.

1927...Charles Lindbergh, flying The Sprit of St. Louis, sets off on his solo, nonstop transatlantic flight from Roosevelt Field, New York, to Paris.

1995...The road in front of the White House is closed to traffic for security reasons.

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