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What Happened in Past Mays?

24 Apr 2015 | Posted Under History

What Happened in Past Mays?

compiled by Phyllis Barr in 2015 from on-line and old-fashioned sources such as books!


Phyllis Barr, President

"Corporate Culture & Heritage Marketing" by
Barr Consulting Services:

Story Telling and Providing Content

New York, N.Y.

Phone: 212-765-6968

 - Biography, services, case histories, testimonials, etc


including my blog on what we can learn from early homo sapiens about story telling and content as well as:

others on corporate culture and anniversaries and employee orientation and playing a chair! 

Corporate Culture & Heritage Marketing by
Barr Consulting Services assists
companies with leveraging the history
and heritage of a company, brand or
not-for-profit as a marketing or fundraising tool.

It specializes in leveraging anniversary
celebrations as a marketing or fundraising tool.

Services: Providing Content; Story Telling;

Consulting; Research; Editing;
Writing: Curating; Creating Knowledge
Banks;  Conducting Oral History interviews; Assisting companies with corporate culture clash after a merger: Creating Virtual Time Capsules.

 Note: There were some women born in May who were pioneers and although this is not Women's History month, I can't help but give them a bit more space! 

May 1, 1852 (?) - Calamity Jane was born. Her real name was Martha Jane Cannary Burke. She was a Scout for the U.S. Army, a frontierswoman, and appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. She was involved in several military operations against Native Americans. There are various theories on how she got her nickname and questions about the year in which she was born.

 May 1, 1857 - The United States Congress chartered Howard University.

 May 2 1931 - The Empire State Building was dedicated. 

May 3, 1879 - Maud O'Farrell Swartz, who emigrated from Ireland, was born. She was a writer, suffragette, and labor union organizer. She worked for the first woman cabinet member of an American administration, Frances Perkins, who served as Labor Secretary in the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

 May 4, 1961 - The Freedom Riders began protesting segregation of interstate bus travel in the South.

 May 5, 1891 - Carnegie Hall opened. It was first called The Music Hall, but was renamed in 1898 after industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

May 6, 1960 - A Civil Rights Act  was passed by Congress, one of several to be passed in the 1960's. It "established federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone's attempt to register to vote or actually vote."

 May 8, 1884 - Future President of the United States Harry Truman was born. He was President from 1945 to 1953. When President Franklin Roosevelt died early in his fourth term, then Vice President Truman became President. He then went on to win another term much to the surprise of the pundits. 

May 9, 1869 - The Transcontinental Railroad was completed. 

May 9, 1914 - President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Mother's Day. 

May 12, 1820 - Florence Nightingale was born, named after the city in which she was born. She became, against the wishes of her parents, a nurse. She was a reformer in health care for the poor and members of the military and a pioneer in linking sanitary conditions and illnesses and deaths. She blamed bad conditions for the death of many soldiers and civilians. Nightingale served in the Crimean War in 1854. 

May 13, 1872 - Matilda Arabella Evans, who became the first African-American woman to receive a medical license and to practice medicine in South Carolina, was born. She was an OB/GYN and Surgeon. She established the Taylor Lane Hospital, the first African-American hospital in Columbia, S.C., in 1901. She also was a teacher, ran her own farm, established a clinic and a newspaper, and organized recreational activities for underprivileged boys. During W.W.I,  she was appointed to the Volunteer Medical Corps. 

May 14, 1804 - Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an expedition from St. Louis, MO to explore the area of the Louisiana Territory which had been purchased from France in 1803 during the administration of Thomas Jefferson. 

May 16, 1991 - Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to deliver an address to the United States Congress. 

May 17, 1792 - The New York Stock Exchange was established when 24 traders met under a Buttonwood tree on Wall Street to set up rules called "The Buttonwood Agreement." 

May 17, 1954 - The United States Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education. The following year on May 32, the Supreme Count ordered school integration. 

May 20, 1927 - Charles Lindbergh departed on his historic flight from Roosevelt Field on Long Island. He landed near Paris the next day. It was the first solo transatlantic flight. 

May 21, 1932 - Amelia Earhart became the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. She was the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for this feat. She was also an author. Earhart disappeared over the Pacific during an around-the-world trip in 1937. Some believe she was on a spying mission for the United States; others believe she survived a crash and lived on an island in the Pacific for some time.

 The mystery continues. 

May 22, 1819 - The steamship Savannah left Georgia for Liverpool, England. It was the first  crossing of the Atlantic by a steamship. The trip took 26 days. 

May 24, 1844 - Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first telegraphic message. It was sent from Washington D.C. to Baltimore, MD. 

May 24, 1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge opened. 

May 25, 1787 - Delegates met in Philadelphia, PA to begin work on the United States Constitution. George Washington was elected President of the Constitutional Congress. In 1789, he was sworn in as the first President of the new United States of America. 

May 25, 1919 - Sarah "Madam C. J." Walker, an entrepreneur who manufactured hair care products and cosmetics, died. She was the first person in her family to be born free. Madam Walker was the first African-American woman to become a millionaire. She was  a philanthropist who contributed to the NAACP and Tuskegee Institute, among other institutions.

 May 25, 2879 - St. Patrick's Cathedral  on Fifth Avenue was dedicated. 

May 26, 1803 - The cornerstone was laid for New York's City Hall which was completed in 1812.

 May 26, 1951 - Sally Ride, the first American woman astronaut, was born. She has a Ph.D. in Physics. She answered a NASA advertisement in 1978. Before going into space in 1983, she held several positions with NASA including Capsule Communicator for several missions. Two Russian women preceded her into space. Ms. Ride died last year.

 May 26, 1965 - The Voting Rights Bill  was passed by Congress. 

May 28, 1980 - 55 women graduated from the United States Naval Academy. They were the first women graduates. 

May 29, 1917 - Future President John F. Kennedy was born. He was President from 1961 to 1963. Prior to that he was a Senator from Massachusetts. He served in W.W. II, during which he was seriously injured. He appointed his brother, Robert, to be Attorney General, an unusual circumstance.  

May 30, 1909 - The NAACP met for the first time. 

May 31, 1824 - Jesse Benton Fremont was born. She was a prolific writer who wrote books about her husband's and her own experiences and explorations out West. She also wrote articles for magazines.  Her husband, John Charles Fremont, was an explorer and one of the first two Senators from California after it became a state, taking office in 1850. Her father, Thomas Hart Benton, was a Senator from Missouri. In 1856, Senator Fremont's anti-slavery views led him to run for President on the ticket of the newly formed Republican Party. He was the first candidate to run on an anti-slavery platform. He lost to James Buchanan. Mrs. Fremont, also an opponent of slavery, worked alongside him and was active in politics, unusual for a woman in her day. Her father, a Democrat, did not support their views and refused to vote for him. 

Until next month,

 Historically yours, 



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