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 "Did You Know..."


Notable Historic Events

for the Month of May




May 21st

 Clara Barton

Clara Barton

1881...Clara Barton founds the American Red Cross. Clara Barton will go on to become one of the most honored women in American history. Clara Barton is a woman of incredible courage and compassion. She is a nurse during the Civil War. She tends to the soldiers, often risking her own life in the process. She becomes known as the Angel of the Battlefield as she nurses the ill and injured, and comforts and cooks for the men. After the war Clara goes to Europe where she learns about the European Red Cross. It becomes her mission to start a similar organization in the United States. After founding the American Red Cross, Clara serves as its president for 23 years, not stopping until she is 82-years-old.  Clara Barton's legacy continues today, as the American Red Cross reaches out, with its organization of Volunteer Workers, to help those in need of assistance.

1901...Connecticut passes the first speed-limit law. Motor vehicles are now limited to 12mph in the city, and 15 mph on country roads.

1927...Charles Lindbergh completes a solo transatlantic flight and lands The Sprit of St. Louis  in Paris, France.


May 22nd

The Great Migration to the West: The Pioneers

The Great Migration and the Pioneers

1455..The 30-yearWar of Roses begins.  The war is between the House of York and the House of Lancaster.

1843...The Great Migration begins, as 1,000 settlers leave Independence, Missouri for a 2000-mile trip to the West. It will take five months for these settlers and pioneers  reach Oregon.

1972...President Nixon goes to Moscow for a summit with Brezhnev and other Soviet leaders.


May 23rd

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde

1701...Captain Kidd walks the plank for piracy and murder.

1934...The notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death in Louisiana.

1960...War criminal Adolf Eichmann is captured in Argentina and taken to Israel to stand trial for crimes against humanity and the Jewish people.


May 24th

John Hancock

John Hancock

1775...John Hancock is elected President of the Second Continental Congress.  He later becomes the first member of Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. He does so with a large, clear signature that he says King George cannot fail to read.

1844... Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph to Congress and receives funding for a Washington-to-Baltimore telegraph line.

1883...The Brooklyn Bridge, a suspension bridge connecting the cities  of New York and Brooklyn, opens for traffic.  It takes fourteen years to construct the bridge, and twenty-seven people lose their lives during the construction.


May 25th

The Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch

1787...The Constitutional Convention begins, with George Washington presiding. The Convention will lay the foundation for the government of the United States.

1961...President Kennedy asks Congress to support the space program and work toward sending an American to the moon by the end of the decade.

1968...The 630-foot Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri is dedicated. 

1977...George Lucas' movie Star Wars premiers on Labor Day Weekend.  It will go on to win seven Oscars.


May 26th

Czar Nicholas II

Czar Nicholas II

1896...Czar Nicholas II is crowned the ruler of Russia in Moscow.

1896...The Dow Jones Industrial Average is published for the first time.

1927...Ford Company ceases production of the Model T automobile.  The car is also known as the Tin Lizzie.


May 27th

The Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

1703...Peter the Great founds the city of St. Petersburg after winning access to the Baltic Sea in the Great Northern War.

1937...The Golden Gate Bridge in California opens.  It connects Marion County with San Francisco.  Two hundred thousand people show up to walk the bridge.  It opens for automobile traffic the next day.

1941...Ships and planes from the Royal Navy sink the German battleship Bismarck in the Atlantic Ocean.  A torpedo knocks out the steering gear, and the ship is unable to move. Locating the Bismarck is huge endeavor and goes down as one of the most extensive naval manhunts in history.


May 28th

Polo Grounds Stadium     

Polo Grounds Stadium

1902...The first serious book in the Western genre is published. The Virginian, written by Owen Wister, is about the life of cowboys.

1937...The German government forms a new automobile company named Volkswagenwerk.  It is referred to as the "People's Car Company".

1957..Two major league baseball teams move to California. The New York Giants move to San Francisco and the Brooklyn Dodgers move  to Los Angeles. 


May 29th

Edmund Hillary

1848...Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the United States of America.

1953...Sir Edmund Hillary summits Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world . Mt. Everest is located in Nepal and is 29,029 feet high. Mt. Everest is difficult summit because the air is very thin at the top of the mountain.

1988...President Reagan goes to Moscow for summit talks with Gorbachev.

2003...Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday.


May 30th

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

1431...Joan of Arc is burned at the stake for heresy.

1922...William H. Taft, former President and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. dedicates the Lincoln Memorial.

1911...The first Indianapolis 500 is held.  It is won by Ray Harroun.

1971...Mariner 9 sets off towards the planet Mars to gather scientific information.


May 31st

Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

1859...Big Ben rings for the first time in Westminster, London.

1996...Benjamin Netanyahu is elected President of Israel.

2005...The secret source called Deep Throat during the Watergate Scandal is finally identified as W. Mark Felt.  He was the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).


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