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Interesting historical events that occurred on May 16…

May 15, 2012

Wednesday, May 16.  2012.  Only 229 days left this year…

Here’s what happened today in history that I thought about posting about…

1771 – The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia and a group of rebels called The “Regulators“, occurs in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina.

the gun wire

Sammy Davis, Jr.

1843 – The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri.

1866 – The U.S. Congress eliminates the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.

1868 – President Andrew Johnson is acquitted in his impeachment trial by one vote in the United States Senate.

1874 – A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroys much of four villages and kills 139 people.

1918 – The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense.

1919 – A naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves TrepasseyNewfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.

1929 – In Hollywood, California, the first Academy Awards are handed out.

1943 – Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends.

1951 – The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between Idlewild Airport (now John F Kennedy International Airport) in New York City and Heathrow Airport in London, operated by El Al Israel Airlines.

1953 – American journalist William N. Oatis is released after serving 22 months of a ten-year prison sentence for espionage in Czechslovakia.

1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.

1988 – A report by United States’ Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1991 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom addressed a joint session of the United States Congress. She is the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress.


1905 – Henry Fonda, American actor (d. 1982)

1919 – Liberace, American pianist (d. 1987)

1944 – Danny Trejo, American actor

1953 – Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor

1966 – Janet Jackson, American singer

1973 – Tori Spelling, American actress


1957 – Eliot Ness, American federal agent (b. 1903)

1984 – Andy Kaufman, American comedian (b. 1949)

1990 – Sammy Davis, Jr., American entertainer (b. 1925)

1990 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer (b. 1936)

2010 – Ronnie James Dio, American heavy metal vocalist (b. 1942)




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