on this day … 5/20 1961 – A white mob attacked the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, AL. The event prompted the federal government to send U.S. marshals.


0325 – The Ecumenical council was inaugurated by Emperor Constantine in Nicea, Asia Minor.

1303 – A peace treaty was signed between England and France over the town of Gascony.

1347 – Cola di Rienzo took the title of tribune in Rome.

1506 – In Spain, Christopher Columbus died in poverty.

1520 – Hernando Cortez defeated Spanish troops that had been sent to punish him in Mexico.

1690 – England passed the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.

1674 – John Sobieski became Poland’s first King.

1774 – Britain’s Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior

1775 – North Carolina became the first colony to declare its independence. This is the date that is on the George state flag even though the date of this event has been questioned.

1784 – The Peace of Versailles ended a war between France, England, and Holland.

1830 – The fountain pen was patented by H.D. Hyde.

1861 – North Carolina became the eleventh state to secede from the Union.

1861 – During the American Civil War, the capital of the Confederacy was moved from Montgomery, AL, to Richmond, VA.

1873 – Levi Strauss began marketing blue jeans with copper rivets.

1875 – The International Bureau of Weights and Measures was established.

1899 – Jacob German of New York City became the first driver to be arrested for speeding. The posted speed limit was 12 miles per hour.

1902 – The U.S. military occupation of Cuba ended.

1902 – Cuba gained its independence from Spain.

1916 – Norman Rockwell’s first cover on “The Saturday Evening Post” appeared.

1926 – The U.S. Congress passed the Air Commerce Act. The act gave the Department of Commerce the right to license pilots and planes.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh took off from New York to cross the Atlantic for Paris aboard his airplane the “Spirit of St. Louis.” The trip took 33 1/2 hours.

1930 – The first airplane was catapulted from a dirigible.

1932 – Amelia Earhart took off to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She became the first woman to achieve the feat.

1933 – “Charlie Chan” was heard for the final time on the NBC Blue radio network, after only six months on the air.

1939 – The first telecast over telephone wires was sent from Madison Square Garden to the NBC-TV studios at 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. The event was a bicycle race.

1939 – The first regular air-passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean began with the take-off of the “Yankee Clipper” from Port Washington, New York.

1941 – Germany invaded Crete by air.

1942 – Japan completed the conquest of Burma.

1961 – A white mob attacked the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, AL. The event prompted the federal government to send U.S. marshals.

1969 – U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Apbia Mountain, which was referred to as Hamburger Hill.

1970 – 100,000 people marched in New York supporting U.S. policies in Vietnam.

1978 – Mavis Hutchinson, at age 53, became the first woman to run across America. It took Hutchinson 69 days to run the 3,000 miles.

1980 – The submarine Nautilus was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

1985 – The Dow Jones industrial average broke the 1300 mark for the first time. The Dow closed at 1304.88.

1985 – The FBI arrested U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer John Walker. Walker had begun spying for the Soviet Union in 1968.

1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope sent back its first photographs.

1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado measure banning laws that would protect homosexuals from discrimination.

1999 – At Heritage High School in Conyers, GA, a 15-year-old student shot and injured six students. He then surrendered to an assistant principal at the school.

2010 – Scientists announced that they had created a functional synthetic genome.

2010 – Five paintings worth 100 million Euro were stolen from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

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