On this day

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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On this Day May 19

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1749 – England’s King George II grants the Ohio Company of Virginia a charter of 200,000 acres stretching out from the forks of the Ohio River on the present site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1921 – Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act (also known as the Immigration Act of 1921), establishing national quotas on the immigration of foreigners into the U.S.

1935 – T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. He is just 46. The legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar succumbed to to severe brain injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident six days earlier. His death eventually led to development of the crash helmet. Lawrence was famously portrayed in the Oscar-winning 1962 movie, “Lawrence of Arabia,” by actor Peter O’Toole.

1962 – Marilyn Monroe takes center stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden as she sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. About 15,000 people are on hand for the star-studded gala that takes place 10 days before JFK’s actual birthday.

2006 – Amid a firestorm of publicity and controversy, director Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s mega-bestselling thriller, “The Da Vinci Code,” debuts in theaters, starring Tom Hanks.

2016 – EgyptAir Flight 804, an Airbus A320 on a routine flight from Paris to Cairo, disappears over the Mediterranean Sea with 66 passengers and crew. It takes weeks to find signs of the wreckage, and while terrorism is suspected initially, investigators conclude that the aircraft broke up in midair after a fire broke out in the cockpit and quickly spread.

On this Day May 18

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1917 – Six weeks after the United States formally enters the World War I, Congress passes and President Woodrow Wilson signs into law the Selective Service Act. It requires all American men between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for service in the U.S. military. On June 5, 1917, some 10 million men report to their local Selective Service Registration Boards to sign up.

1953 – Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran becomes the first woman aviator to break the sound barrier. The so-called “Queen of Speed” was an important contributor to the formation of America’s wartime Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

1965 – President Lyndon Johnson announces the launch of Project Head Start, designed as part of his War on Poverty initiative, to provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

1974 – With its detonation of a nuclear bomb, India officially becomes the world’s sixth nuclear power. International reaction to the test was negative, with Canada cutting off virtually all nuclear assistance. The United States also restricted such collaborations and successfully persuaded India not to carry out further nuclear tests at that time.

1980 – The violent eruption of Washington’s Mount St. Helens kills 57 people, destroys hundreds of homes, levels tens of thousands of acres of forest, triggers mudflows and scatters ash across a dozen states. It becomes one of the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic events in U.S. history.