Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Once upon a May day

TWC_logo_100x100For several months now, I’ve been tweeting each day a quick note on something that happened on that date in the past. Here is a compilation of May events. To keep up with them in real time, use the link in the right column to follow me, smartaindale, on Twitter.

May 1: In 1931, New York’s 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated.

May 2: In 1982, the Weather Channel made its debut.

May 3: In 1999, some 70 tornadoes roared across Oklahoma and Kansas, killing 46 people and injuring hundreds.

May 4: In 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire during an anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

May 5: In 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.

May 6: In 1954, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in 3:59.4.

May 7: In 1963, the United States launched the Telstar 2 communications satellite.

May 8: In 1921, Sweden’s Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty.

May 9: In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

May 10: In 1869, a golden spike was driven in Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

May 11: In 1935, the Rural Electrification Administration was created as one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

May 12: In 1965, the Rolling Stones recorded the final version of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” at RCA Studios in Hollywood.

May 13: In 1918, the first U.S. airmail stamps were issued to the public.

May 14: In 1998, the sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.

May 15: In 1940, DuPont began selling its nylon stockings nationally.

May 16: In 1988, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.

May 17: In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, unanimously struck down racially segregated public schools.

May 18: In 1980, Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

May 19: In 1780, a mysterious darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada.

May 20: In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, NY, aboard the Spirit of St. Louis on his historic solo flight to France.

May 21: In 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

May 22: In 1960, an earthquake of magnitude 9.5, the strongest ever measured, struck southern Chile, claiming some 1,655 lives.

May 23: In 2010, the final episode of the supernatural castaway drama “Lost” aired on ABC after six seasons.

May 24: In 1991, the critically acclaimed road movie “Thelma and Louise” made its theater debut.

May 25: In 1961, President John F. Kennedy set a goal for man to walk on the moon during that decade.

May 26: In 1897, the first copies of the classic vampire novel “Dracula,” by Irish writer Bram Stoker, appeared in London bookshops.

May 27: In 1962, a dump fire in Centralia, Penn., ignited a blaze in underground coal deposits that continues to burn.

May 28: In 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.

May 29: In 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

May 30: In 1431, Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

May 31: In 1889, some 2,200 people in Johnstown, Penn., perished when the South Fork Dam holding back Lake Conemaugh collapsed, sending 20 million tons of water rushing through the town.

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