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Thursday May 15, 2014

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  • 135th Day of 2014 230 Remaining
  • Summer Begins in 37 Days
  • Sunrise 5:58
  • Sunset 8:13
  • 14 Hours 15 Minutes

  • Moon Rise 9:26pm
  • Moon Set 6:52am
  • Phase 99%

  • High Tide 12:54pm/11:51pm
  • Low Tide 6:00am/5:48pm

  • Holidays
  • Nylon Stockings Day
  • Peace Officer Memorial Day
  • National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

  • International Day of Families
  • International Conscientious Objector Day
  • Hollyhock Festival (Aoi Matsuri)-Japan
  • Independence Day-Paraguay
  • Mother’s Day-Samoa
  • Teacher’s Day-South Korea

  • On This Day In …
  • 1602 --- Cape Cod was discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold. 

  • 1618 --- Johannes Kepler discovered his harmonics law. 

  • 1756 --- The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially begins when England declares war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years.

  • 1800 --- President John Adams orders the federal government to pack up and leave Philadelphia and set up shop in the nation's new capital in Washington DC. After Congress adjourned its last meeting in Philadelphia on May 15, Adams told his cabinet to make sure Congress and all federal offices were up and running smoothly in their new headquarters by June 15, 1800. Philadelphia officially ceased to serve as the nation's capital as of June 11, 1800. At the time, there were only about 125 federal employees. Official documents and archives were transferred from Philadelphia to the new capital by ship over inland waterways. President and Mrs. Adams did not move in to the (unfinished) president's mansion until November of that year. Settling in to the White House was a challenge for the new first lady. In December, Abagail Adams wrote to a friend later she had to line-dry their clothes in what eventually became the East Room.

  • 1856 --- Angered by the shooting of a prominent journalist, San Franciscans form their second vigilance committee to combat lawlessness. The need for vigilance committees in San Francisco was obvious. Only two years after gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, San Francisco had grown from a sleepy little village with 900 inhabitants to a booming metropolis with more than 200,000 residents. The sudden influx of people overwhelmed the city. Harried law enforcement officials found it nearly impossible to maintain law and order, and chaos often reigned in the streets, which were lined with saloons and gambling parlors. Attracted by the promise of gold, marauding bands of Australian criminals called "Sydney ducks" robbed and extorted the people of San Francisco with near impunity. San Franciscans formed their first vigilance committee in 1851. About 200 vigilantes enrolled, most of them from the elite professional and merchant class of the city. They had headquarters along Battery Street, where they could temporarily imprison criminals, and the ringing of the city's fire bell would summon the vigilantes to action. A handful of men who were found guilty of serious crimes like murder were hanged from a nearby derrick normally used to haul freight into the second story of a warehouse. More commonly, though, the vigilantes simply deported criminals like the "Sydney ducks" back to their homelands. Whether due to the vigilante actions or because conventional law enforcement became more effective, things eventually quieted down in San Francisco and the first vigilance committee disbanded. In 1856, however, a rigged election put an Irish-Catholic politician named James P. Casey on the city board of supervisors. James King, a crusading editor of the Daily Evening Bulletin, accused Casey of being involved in criminal activity in the city. On May 14, 1856, Casey confronted King in the street and fatally wounded him with a Colt navy revolver. The next day, angry San Franciscans created the second vigilance committee. This time, however, they could not claim that the city government was not enforcing the law--the sheriff had already arrested Casey and put him in the county jail pending trial. Acting more like a raging mob than an instrument of justice, 500 vigilantes surrounded the county jail and removed Casey from the sheriff's custody on May 18. After a short but reasonably fair trial, they hanged him.

  • 1862 --- The U.S. Bureau of Agriculture was established.  It became the USDA (Department of Agriculture) in 1889.

  • 1896 --- A particularly intense tornado hits Sherman, Texas and kills 73 people. It is estimated that the tornado was a rare F5 tornado, in which winds exceeded 260 miles per hour. Storms of that strength happen, on average, less than once a year.

  • 1911 --- The Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Standard Oil Company, ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • 1918 --- Regular airmail service between New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. began under the direction of the Post Office Department, a forerunner of the United States Postal Service.

  • 1930 --- Ellen Church became the first stewardess for an airline. Church served passengers flying between San Francisco, California and Cheyenne, Wyoming on United Airlines. She also served chicken, fruit salad and rolls. The term ‘stewardess’ has since been banished. The men and women who serve on airlines worldwide are known as flight attendants.
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  • 1940 --- Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware.

  • 1941 --- Joe DiMaggio began his historic major-league hitting streak (56 games). The New York Yankees got Joltin’ Joe off to a rather bad start, however, as they lost to the Chicago White Sox 13-1 at Yankee Stadium.

  • 1942 --- Gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during WW II.By the end of the year, President Roosevelt had ensured that mandatory gasoline rationing was in effect in all 50 states.
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  • 1964 --- The Smothers Brothers, Dick and Tom, gave their first concert in Carnegie Hall in New York City. 
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  • 1989 --- Hershey's reduces the size of the Hershey bar to 1.55 ounces.  The price remains 40 cents.

  • 1948 --- Hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

  • 1969 --- Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas resigned amid a controversy over his past legal fees.

  • 1970 -- Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, were killed when police opened fire during student protests. 
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  • 1970 --- Close to You, the Carpenter’s second album and the one that launched them to meteoric fame, was released by A&M Records. The title song, (They Long to Be) Close to You, became a pop music standard and the first of six million-sellers in a row for Karen and Richard. In all, The Carpenters would have 10 gold records for singles and a dozen top ten hits to their credit.
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  • 1972 --- During an outdoor rally in Laurel, Maryland, George Wallace, the governor of Alabama and a presidential candidate, is shot by 21-year-old Arthur Bremer. Three others were wounded, and Wallace was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The next 
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    day, while fighting for his life in a hospital, he won major primary victories in Michigan and Maryland. However, Wallace remained in the hospital for several months, bringing his third presidential campaign to an irrevocable end.

  • 1973 --- Angels pitcher  Nolan Ryan strikes out 12 Kansas City Royals and walks three to pitch the first no-hitter of his career. The game was played under protest, as Royals Manager Jack McKeon complained that Ryan wasn’t maintaining contact with the pitching rubber while throwing.
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  • 1981 --- Len Barker, the 25-year-old pitching sensation of the Cleveland Indians, became thetenth major-league hurler to toss a perfect game. Barker led the Indians past the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0. 

  • 1988 --- More than eight years after they intervened in Afghanistan to support the procommunist government, Soviet troops begin their withdrawal. The event marked the beginning of the end to a long, bloody, and fruitless Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

  • 1990 --- Vincent Van Gogh's "Portrait of Doctor Gachet" was sold for $82.5 million. The sale set a new world record. 
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  • 2003 --- Texas Democrats returned home after a self-imposed four-day exile in Oklahoma in a dispute over a redistricting plan.

  • 2008 --- California's Supreme Court declared gay couples in the state could marry – a victory for the gay rights movement that was overturned by the passage of Proposition 8 the following November.

  • Birthdays
  • Wavy Gravy
  • Madeline Albright
  • L Frank Baum
  • James Mason
  • Anna Maria Alberghetti
  • Richard Daley
  • Roger Ailes
  • K T Oslin
  • Brain Eno
  • Michael Oldfield
  • Tenzing Norgay
  • Catherine East
  • Pierre Curie
  • Richard Avedon
  • Chaz Palminteri
  • Katherine Anne Porter