This Week in History 5/9 – 5/15

HistoryThis Week in History

May 9:

  • US President Woodrow Wilson issues a proclamation creating Mother’s Day (1914)
  • US Revolutionary War: First newspaper cartoon in America-divided snake “Join or Die” (1754)
  • 17th amendment provides for election of senators by popular vote (1913)
  • Vietnam War: Reporter breaks the news of secret bombing in Cambodia (1969)
  • British parliament accepts abolition of slave trade (1788)
  • The International Astronomical Union formally adopt Annie Jump Cannon’s stellar classification system which, with only minor changes, is still used today (1922)
  • Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opens in London (1887)
  • WW1: Allies launch dual offensive on Western Front (1915)
  • House votes to initiate impeachment proceedings against US President Nixon (1974)
  • WW2: The Channel Islands are formally liberated by the British (1945)
  • WW2: The Soviet Union marks Victory Day (1945)
  • US Civil War: US Naval Academy relocated from Annapolis, Maryland to Newport, Rhode Island (1862)
  • US becomes the first country to legalize the birth control pill (1960)
  • First horseless carriage show in London featured 10 models (1896)
  • WW2: British intelligence breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen (1941)
  • WW2: Czechoslovakia liberated from Nazi occupation (1945)
  • The steam locomotive City of Truro becomes the first steam engine to exceed 100 mph (1904)
  • Lawn mower patented (1899)
  • Reno, Nevada is founded (1868)
  • Cornerstone for Hebrew University, Jerusalem laid (1925)
  • A financial panic begins in the US following the struggle between two groups to control the railroads between the Great Lakes and the Pacific (1901)
  • Ronald Hubbard publishes Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which launches the religion of Scientology (1950)
  • US Civil War: Battle of Dalton, Georgia (1864)
  • The first Australian Parliament opens in Melbourne (1901)
  • WW2: 5th German Pantser army surrenders in Tunisia (1943)
  • Vietnam War: 100,000s demonstrate against Vietnam War in reaction to 4 rioters killed at Kent State (1970)
  • Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, is released (1958)
  • Captain Blood attempts to steal Crown Jewels (1671)
  • Declaration of Independence of Romania (1877)
  • WW2: Hermann Goering is captured by the United States Army (1945)
  • Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England, the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world which is still in force (1386)

May 10:

  • US Revolutionary War: 2nd Continental Congress in Philadelphia names George Washington supreme commander (1775)
  • First Mother’s Day observed (1908)
  • US Revolutionary War: 2nd Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and issues paper currency for first time (1775)
  • Transcontinental railroad completed (1869)
  • Apollo 10 transmits first color pictures of Earth from space (1969)
  • First US Navy ship, the “United States,” is launched (1797)
  • Victoria Woodhull becomes first woman nominated for US presidency by Equal Rights Party at Apollo Hall, NYC (1872)
  • WW2: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent (1940)
  • WW2: Nazis stage public book burnings in Germany (1933)
  • US Revolutionary War: Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold lead a successful attack on Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York (1775)
  • US President Hayes has first phone installed in White House (1877)
  • First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America, first US foreign war (1801)
  • J. Edgar Hoover becomes director of FBI (1924)
  • Halley’s Comet closest approach to Earth (1910)
  • Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his his kite-flying experiment (1752)
  • US Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis is captured by Union Army (1865)
  • A hand grenade which was thrown by Vladimir Arutyunian lands about 65 feet from U.S. President George W. Bush while he was giving a speech, but it malfunctions and does not detonate (2005)
  • WW2: Churchill becomes Prime Minister of England as Germany invades Holland and Belgium (1940)
  • Vietnam War: US troops begin attack on Hill 937, Hamburger Hill (1969)
  • Bacon’s Rebellion begins, frontiersmen vs Virginia government (1676)
  • Scottish Protestants under John Knox uprising against Queen Mary (1559)
  • Columbus discovers Cayman Islands (1503)
  • John Johnson, a free African American, is granted 550 acres in Northampton, Virginia (1652)
  • US Civil War: Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson dies (1863)
  • US atomic sub USS Triton completes first submerged circumnavigation of the globe (1960)
  • Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first black president (1994)

May 11:

  • American Bible Society founded (1816)
  • First hospital founded, Pennsylvania Hospital, in the 13 Colonies in America (1751)
  • Ellis Island added to Statue of Liberty National monument (1965)
  • Waltz introduced into English ballrooms (1812)
  • BF Goodrich announced the development of tubeless tire in Akron, Ohio (1947)
  • The General Court of Massachusetts repealed two laws: one forbidding Christmas, and the second mandating capital punishment for Quakers (1682)
  • By a vote of 37-12, Israel becomes 59th member of UN (1949)
  • Mercedes-Benz is formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging the two companies (1924)
  • Minnesota admitted as 32nd US state (1958)
  • US Civil War: Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern (1864)
  • British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is murdered (1812)
  • Constantinople becomes capital of Roman Empire (330 AD)
  • In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth lead an expedition westwards from Sydney opening up inland Australia for continued expansion (1813)
  • While visiting Japan, Prince Nicholas, later Tsar Nicholas II, survives an assassination attempt in what becomes known as the Otsu Scandal (1891)
  • Siam renames itself Thailand (1949)
  • Jews are expelled from Stria, Austria (1421)

May 12:

  • WW2: Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin (1941)
  • William Wilberforce makes his first major speech on abolition in UK House of Commons (1789)
  • WW2: Nazi U-boat sinks American cargo ship at mouth of Mississippi River (1942)
  • US Revolutionary War:Americans suffer worst defeat of revolution at Charleston (1980)
  • Wireless Radio Broadcasting is patented by Nathan B Stubblefield (1908)
  • US Civil War: Last land action of Civil war at Palmito Ranch, Texas (1865)
  • Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals is patented (1792)
  • WW2: Nazi blitzkrieg conquest of France began by crossing Muese River (1940)
  • US Civil War: Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia (1864)
  • George VI crowned King of England after Edward VIII abdicated his throne (1937)
  • Body of kidnapped son of Charles Lindbergh is found in Hopewell, New Jersey (1932)
  • WW2: 1,500 Jews gassed in Auschwitz (1942)
  • WW2: Benito Mussolini ends women’s rights in Italy (1928)
  • English barons serve ultimatum on King John leading to Magna Carta (1215)
  • Federal Emergency Relief Administration & Agricultural Adjustment Administration form to help the needy & farmers (1933)
  • US Revolutionary War: Society of St Tammany is formed by Revolutionary War soldiers which later becomes an infamous group of NYC political bosses (1789)
  • Louisiana legalized prize fighting (1890)
  • Opium laws enforced (1928)
  • Fifty-four Knights Templar were burned at the stake as heretics in France (1310)

May 13:

  • Jamestown settlers arrive and establish the first permanent English colony in America (1607)
  • Great Dustbowl Storm sweeps across US prairies (1934)
  • President Polk declares war on Mexico (1946)
  • Approximately 2,000 students begin hunger strike in Tienanmen Square, China (1989)
  • US Civil War: Private John Jefferson Williams of B Company, 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry is last man killed (1865)
  • WW1: US Secretary of State Bryan sends a note to Germany demanding that Germany disavow the attacks on the Lusitania and make immediate reparations (1915)
  • US Civil War: Queen Victoria announces Britain’s position of neutrality (1861)
  • WW2: US sentences 58 camp guards of Nazi Mauthausen concentration camp to death (1946)
  • US Federal education funding is denied to 12 school districts in the South because of violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (1966)
  • In Tallahassee, Florida, the State legislature passed a bill requiring daily Bible readings in all public schools (1925)
  • A statute enacted in Rhode Island offered freemanship with no specifically Christian requirements which enfranchised Jews (1665)
  • Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II in an assassination attempt (1981)
  • Three astronauts simultaneous walked in space for the first time (1992)
  • Republic of Ecuador is founded (1830)
  • Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa María, is discovered off the northern coast of Haiti (2014)
  • Near Fatima, Portugal, three shepherd children reported that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had appeared to them (1917)
  • Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia (1787)
  • Cardinal Richelieu of France reputedly creates the table knife (1637)
  • Mary Queen of Scots is defeated at battle of Langside (1568)

May 14:

  • Traditional date for Ascension of Christ (33 AD)
  • First Anglican service in the New World at Jamestown (1607)
  • State of Israel formally proclaimed as Star of David flag rises in Jerusalem for the first time in modern history (1948)
  • Lewis and Clark exhibition begins (1804)
  • Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US constitution (1787)
  • Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland & Romania (1955)
  • US grants Israel de facto recognition (1948)
  • First passenger flight in an airplane (1908)
  • Vaseline is granted a patent (1878)
  • US President Harry Truman signs bill establishing a rocket test range at Cape Canaveral (1949)
  • Lina Medina becomes the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five (1939)
  • English country doctor Edward Jenner administered the first inoculation against smallpox (1796)
  • WW2:Gen Rommel, Speidel & Von Stulpnagel attempt to assassinate Hitler (1944)
  • Gail Borden, land surveyor, newspaper publisher, and inventor, patents his process for condensed milk (1853)

May 15:

  • Billy Graham launches a crusade that draws 18,000 people to Madison Square Garden (1957)
  • WW2: Birth of Women’s Army Corp (1942)
  • National Woman Suffrage Association forms in New York, founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1869)
  • Gordon Cooper is launched into space aboard Faith 7 on the longest American space mission to that date (1963)
  • President John Adams orders the federal government to pack up and leave Philadelphia and set up shop in the nation’s new capital in Washington, D.C. (1800)
  • McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California (1940)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada founded (1905)
  • WW1: The first officer’s training camp is opened in the US, as the country prepares for war (1917)
  • In an attempted coup d’état, the Japanese Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed (1932)
  • Mickey Mouse made his first ever appearance in silent film Plane Crazy (1928)
  • Gigi, directed by Vincent Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier, premieres (1958)
  • Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1817)
  • Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, ordained by John the Baptist according to Joseph Smith (1829)
  • US Department of Agriculture created (1862)
  • Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition (1252)
  • Anne Boleyn & brother George, Lord Rochford, accused of adultery and incest (1536)


This entry was posted in History, This Week in History by Tamera Lynn Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

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