This Date In History
Famous poet and author of the Rubiyaat Omar Khayyam is born.
After initially rejecting it based on faulty calculations, the imminent astrophysicist Johann Kepler reaffirms his third law of planetary motion, stating that the larger a planet's orbit, the slower its rotational velocity is.
This date marks the beginning of the Seven Years' War, with England declaring against France.
Paraguay gains its independence from Spain. It still celebrates May 15 as its national independence day.
L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz series of books, is born.
Famed chemist Pierre Curie is born.
You gotta fight for your rights! Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony form the National Women's Suffrage Association.
Shut in poet Emily Dickinson passes away at the age of 55.
Richard Daley, notorious mayor of Chicago, is born.
Actor Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind) is born.
Actor James Mason (Lolita, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea) is born.
The "city of lights", Las Vegas, Nevada is incorporated by the state.
Standard Oil is declared a monopoly by the United States Supreme Court and is ordered to dissolved.
Famous jazz singer Eddy Arnold is born.
The civil war in Finland comes to an end.
Playwright Peter Shaffer ("Equus", "Amadeus") is born.
Peter's twin brother Anthony is also born, and becomes a famous playwright in his own right ("Sleuth").
The world's most famous animated couple, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, make their first onscreen appearance together in the screwball Disney short "Plane Crazy."
Noted abstract painter Jasper Johns is born.
The first stewardess, a Miss Ellen Church, boards a plane bound for Chicago from Oakland, California.
Japanese Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed by 11 navy officers in what becomes known as "the May 15 incident." This helps bring forth the change in Japanese government towards a more militaristic rule, which leads them through World War II.
Noted author Paul Zindel (The Day No Pigs Would Die, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds) is born.
U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright is born.
Germany occupies The Netherlands and begins making preparations for moving into France.
Nylon goes on sale in the United States for the first time.
By president Franklin Delano Roosevelt's orders, the Women's Auxiliary Corps, or WAC, is formed.
Our favorite ambient musician Brian Eno is born.
Israel is attacked by all of its neighbors, marking the start of the Arab-Israeli War.
Singer Jonathan Richman (The Modern Lovers) is born.
Hollywood star Chazz Palmintieri (The Usual Suspects, Oscar) is born.
Composer Mike Oldfield, most famous for his "Tubular Bells" composition used as the theme to The Exorcist, is born.
Baseball hall of famer George Brett is born.
Mercury 9, the last of the Mercury Program shuttles, is launched into orbit.
Spectacular Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz is born.
American painter Edward Hopper, most famous for his painting "Nighthawks", dies.
Emmitt Smith, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, is born.
While campaigning for the Presidency in Maryland, former Alabama governor George Wallace is shot and paralyzed.
Famed New York City gangland kingpin Meyer Lansky dies.
After nearly 10 years of sustained fighting, the then-U.S.S.R. begins pulling out of Afghanistan, a telling defeat of Communism and the Soviet Union.
Famed Harlem street ball player Earl "The Goat" Manigault dies.
June Carter Cash, country singer and wife of The Man In Black Johnny Cash, dies.
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