On this day

On this Day May 24

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1775 – Meeting in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress unanimously elects John Hancock of Massachusetts as president. That is why Hancock has the honor of being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

1883 – New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge opens, concluding a 14-year, $18 million construction project that cost more than two dozen workers their lives. The span links the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River.

1899 – The first public parking garage in the U.S. opens in Boston as part of the Back Bay Cycle & Motor Company. It is advertised as a “stable for renting, sale, storage and repair of motor vehicles.”

1935 – Major League Baseball’s first night game is played at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.

1976 – Service aboard the Concorde supersonic (SST) airliner begins between London and Washington, D.C.

1991 – “Thelma & Louise,” starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis and directed by Ridley Scott, opens in U.S. movie theaters. The film earns six Academy Award nominations, including Best Director for Scott and Best Actress for both Sarandon and Davis, but wins for Best Original Screenplay. It introduces a young, unknown Brad Pitt and becomes a fixture of American pop culture with the two main characters representing strong women overcoming obstacles in a male-dominated world.

1991 – The firefighting drama “Backdraft,” starring Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Scott Glenn and Donald Sutherland, and directed by Ron Howard, opens in U.S. theaters. The film goes on to receive three Academy Award nominations.

On this Day May 23

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On this Day May 22

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On this Day May 21

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1881 – After being around wounded soldiers during the Civil War and, later, the Franco-Prussian War overseas, nurse and educator Clara Barton establishes the American Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters as well as to military personnel and their families.

1901 – Connecticut becomes the first state to impose a speed limit for motor vehicles (known then as “horseless carriages”). Motorists are required to keep it to 12 miles per hour in the city and 15 miles per hour on country roads. Speed limits were first enacted in Connecticut because horseless carriage manufacturers were springing up all across New England, and New Englanders were buying, and driving, their products.

1917 – The Great Atlanta Fire destroys much of that city’s Fourth Ward, including nearly 2,000 homes and businesses. Ten thousand people—nearly one tenth of the city’s population—are left homeless.

1979 – Gay rights activists riot outside San Francisco City Hall following the conviction of Dan White for the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, an openly gay San Francisco supervisor. Protesters participating in the so-called White Night Riots contend that White’s sentence is too light.

1980 – A new installment to George Lucas’ “Star Wars” film saga opens in U.S. theaters: “The Empire Strikes Back.”

1999 – Ninetheenth time’s the charm! After 18 straight years of being nominated for a Best Actress Daytime Emmy Award and never winning, Susan Lucci finally captures the coveted honor for her portrayal of Erica Kane in the popular ABC soap opera “All My Children.”

Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1955 – Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry enters a Chicago sound studio and records his first single, “Ida Red.” During the session, his producer decides the track needs a new name: “Maybelline.” It becomes the first of Berry’s many hits.

1968 – “Tighten Up,” by Archie Bell & The Drells from Houston, Texas, is in the middle of a two-week run as the No. 1 single.

1971 – Marvin Gaye releases his eleventh studio album, “What’s Going On,” which becomes Motown Records’ best-selling album to date. It serves as a musical commentary on the Vietnam War. The title track soars to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becomes one of Gaye’s signature songs.

1977 – His musical tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington, “Sir Duke,” puts Stevie Wonder on top of the singles chart.

1979 – Elton John becomes the first Western rock star to tour the Soviet Union. Over the course of eight days, he plays four concerts at the Great October Hall in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and four more at the exclusive Rossya Hotel in Moscow.

1983 – David Bowie grabs the top spot on the singles chart for a week with “Let’s Dance,” off the album of the same name. Coincidentally, that album was nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy but had the misfortune of competing against Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

1994 – “I Swear,” by All-4-One, begins an 11-week domination of the pop chart.

2011 – Adele kicks off seven weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Rolling in the Deep,” which goes on to capture Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video Grammys.

On this Day May 20

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