This Week in History 5/16 – 5/22

HistoryThis Week in History

May 16:

  • Republican Convention in Chicago selects Abraham Lincoln as candidate (1860)
  • WW1: The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense (1918)
  • Dirk Willem, an Anabaptist, while fleeing arrest for being baptized as an adult and allowing secret church meetings in his home, stopped to rescue his pursuer when frozen ice broke beneath him, then was arrested and burned at the stake (1569)
  • Chaim Weizmann elected first president of Israel (1948)
  • WW2: First of 180,000 plus Hungarian Jews reach Auschwitz (1940)
  • Human stem cells are successfully cloned (2013)
  • By one vote, US Senate fails to impeach President Andrew Johnson (1868)
  • Supreme Court ruled bootleggers must pay income tax (1927)
  • US Congress authorizes the nickel 5 cent piece (1866)
  • First Academy Awards (1929)
  • Joan of Arc canonized a saint (1920)
  • WW2: Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto ends after 30 days of fighting (1943)

May 17:

  • Castro offers to exchange Bay of Pigs prisoners for 500 bulldozers (1961)
  • Lewis & Clark begin exploration of Louisiana Purchase (1804)
  • 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street (1792)
  • Revised version of New Testament is published (1881)
  • Buffalo Bill Cody’s first wild west show premieres in Omaha (1883)
  • American Revolutionary War: the Continental Congress bans trade with Canada (1775)
  • John Hawkins & Richard French patent the Reaping Machine (1803)
  • John Flynn establishes  the world’s first civilian flying doctor service in the Australian Outback (1928)
  • Louis Joliet & Jacques Marquette begin exploring Mississippi (1673)
  • During the Boxer Rebellion in China, three villages within 100 miles of Peking are burned by Boxers and 60 Chinese Christians killed (1900)
  • French and Indian War: Britain declares war on France (1756)
  • The International Telegraph Union is established (1865)
  • Alaska becomes a US territory (1884)
  • Brown vs. Board of Education ends public school segregation (1954)
  • The Conservative Baptist Association of America was formally established as a breakaway movement from within the American Baptist Convention. (1947)
  • Liberius, champion of Nicene orthodoxy, was elected as the 36th pope of the early church (352 AD)
  • Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings (1973)

May 18:

  • John Winthrop is elected 1st Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when Puritans are granted voting rights (1631)
  • Mount St Helen erupted in Washington State killing 60 (1980)
  • Congress approves “Lindbergh Act” making kidnapping a capital offense (1934)
  • TWA began commercial service (1934)
  • General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony decreed that anyone in a political position must be a church member (1631)
  • Rhode Island enacts first law declaring slavery illegal (1652)
  • US Supreme court affirms legitimacy of racial separation in Plessy v Ferguson (1896)
  • WW1: US Congress passes Selective Service Act, authorizing the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into the war through compulsory enlistment (1917)
  • Acre, the last territory in Palestine taken by the first Crusaders, fell to invading Muslim armies (1291)
  • Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate (1804)
  • Popular evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared while on a beach outing, and turned up five weeks later claiming to have been kidnapped and held prisoner before escaping from her abductors (1925)
  • Gene Roddenberry suggests 16 names including Kirk for Star Trek Captain (1965)
  • Massachusetts rules all school-age children must attend school (1852)
  • A mass panic on Khodynka Field, Moscow, during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, results in the deaths of 1,389 people (1896)
  • US Supreme Court rules states could not force mentally unstable criminal defendants to take anti-psychotic drugs (1992)
  • The Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in Lancaster, PA (1766)
  • Beatles’ last released LP, “Let It Be” (1970)

May 19:

  • About midday, near-total darkness descends on New England, now known to be caused by forest fires in Canada (1780)
  • US Post Office authorizes use of postcards (1898)
  • First department store opens (1848)
  • Mexican America War: Mexico gives Texas to US, ending the war (1848)
  • English colony Massachusetts Bay grants Puritans voting rights (1631)
  • Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut & New Harbor form United Colonies of New England (1643)
  • Lawrence of Arabia dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name (1935)
  • King George II of England grants the Ohio Company a charter of several hundred thousand acres of land around the forks of the Ohio River (1749)
  • The complete Old and New Testament English Revised Version (EV or ERV) of the Bible was first published (1885)
  • US Homestead Act becomes law – providing cheap land for settlement of the American West (1862)
  • Ann of Boleyn, 2nd wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason (1536)
  • England’s King Charles II approved a bill requiring all ministers to assent publicly to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1662)
  • First mass production of shoes (1885)
  • The musical Godspell, based on the book of Matthew, first opened (1971)
  • Alcuin of York, Middle Ages theologian who promoted education, died (804 AD)

May 20: 

  • American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh takes off on the world’s first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean (1927)
  • Jesse Overholtzer founded Child Evangelism Fellowship in Chicago (1937)
  • US Civil War: Kentucky proclaims its neutrality in Civil War (1861)
  • US Civil War: North Carolina becomes 11th & last state to secede from Union (1861)
  • Shoes were made for both right & left feet (1310)
  • Ameilia Earhart becomes first woman to fly solo across Atlantic (1932)
  • George Gordon and his wife, missionaries to Erromanga island, were martyred by the chief of the island (1861)
  • The first public display of Thomas Edison’s prototype kinetoscope to members of the National Federation of Women’s Club (1891)
  • Hubble Space Telescope sends its 1st photographs from space (1990)
  • Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive patent for blue jeans (1873)
  • Homestead Act provides cheap land for settlement of West (1862)
  • Columbia University in New York City was chartered as King’s College under sponsorship of the Episcopal Church (1754)
  • Death of John Eliot, colonial missionary to the American Indians of Maryland (1690)
  • Shakespeare’s Sonnets are first published in London (1609)
  • First Christian ecumenical council opens at Nicaea, Asia Minor (320 AD)
  • Columbia University in New York City was chartered as King’s College (1754)

May 21:

  • Lindbergh lands in Paris ending first solo flight across Atlantic (1927)
  • Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission, was born (1821)
  • Charles Wesley credits this as the day he received the witness of the Holy Spirit that he was saved (1738)
  • Lewis & Clark Expedition begins (1804)
  • US Civil War: Richmond, Va, is designated Confederate Capital (1861)
  • Lawrence, Kansas is captured and sacked by pro-slavery forces (1856)
  • American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton (1881)
  • Pierre Poiret, founder of the Pietistic movement which attempted to give Christian life more feeling and make it less formal, died (1719)
  • First bicycles, swift walkers, in US introduced in New York City (1819)
  • Connecticut enacts first speed-limit law of 12 miles per hour (1901)
  • WW2: Nazis kill “unfit” people in East Prussia (1940)
  • Mount Unzen on Japan’s Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsumasi, killing about 15,000; Japan’s deadliest volcanic eruption (1792)
  • The General Assembly of Geneva, Switzerland officially embraced Protestantism by accepting the evangelical faith of the Swiss reformers (1536)
  • Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault (2004)
  • All My Children star Susan Lucci finally wins a Daytime Emmy after being nominated 19 times, the longest period of unsuccessful nominations in television history (1999)

May 22:

  • WW2: Adolf Hitler & Benito Mussolini sign “Pact of Steel” (1939)
  • Nicean creed stated Christ’s divinity (359)
  • First public library opens in Connecticut (1803)
  • The Great Immigration, a massive wagon train made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri  (1843)
  • Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board (1962)
  • US President Lyndon B. Johnson presents “Great Society” creating the welfare state in the US (1964)
  • WW2: Dutch Premier De Geer begins working with Nazis (1940)
  • Abraham Lincoln receives a patent, only US president to do so, for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions (1849)
  • A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church (2002)
  • Wright Brothers patent an aeroplane (1906)
  • President Nixon confesses his role in Watergate cover-up (1973)
  • “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuts  (1967)
  • US Civil War: Amnesty Act restores civil rights to Southerners except 500 (1872)
  • Former Vice President Aaron Burr is tried for treason and aquitted (1807)
  • US Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant begins siege on Vicksburg (1863)
  • The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide but only kills one local resident (2004)
  • Townsend Speakman first sells fruit-flavored carbonated drinks (1807)
  • US sailor Michael L Walker arrested for spying for USSR (1985)
  • Napoleon makes statement in support of re-establishing Jerusalem for Jews (1799)
  • Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb kidnap Robert Franks, a fourteen year old who they later kill and confess they did it for fun to create the perfect crime (1924)
  • In the Lewinsky scandal, a federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury about President Bill Clinton (1998)
  • US President Roosevelt signs a treaty with Mexico under which both countries agree to submit a long-standing dispute over interest payments to the Court of Arbitration at The Hague (1902)
  • The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus (334 BC)


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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