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Arts & Culture

Almanac - Friday, 5-19-17


Thomas Edison spoke for the first time on radio on this date in 1926.  

Today,  is Friday, May 19, 2017 the 139th day of the year with 226 days remaining.

  • Sunrise: 5:56am  
  • Sunset: 8:17pm

...giving us 14 hours and 20 minutes of daylight.  52% of the waning moon will be visible, setting at 2:37pm
Tides at the Golden Gate

  • High:  6:09am/7:56pm
  • Low:  12:50am/7:56pm

Special international celebrations today…

  • Ho Chi Minh's Birthday - Vietnam
  • Holiday of Poetry - Turkmenistan
  • Youth & Sports Day - Turkey

It’s also…

  • Boys Club Day
  • Endangered Species Day
  • International Virtual Assistants Day
  • May Ray Day
  • O. Henry Pun-off Day
  • NASCAR Day
  • National Defense Transportation Day
  • National Scooter Day
  • National Hepatitis Testing Day
  • National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Pizza Party Day
  • National Devil's Food Cake Day

On this day in…

1535 - French explorer Jacques Cartier set sail for North America.

1536 - Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII, was beheaded after she was convicted of adultery.

1568 - After being defeated by the Protestants, Mary the Queen of Scots, fled to England where she was imprisoned by Queen Elizabeth.

1588 - The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, bound for England.

1608 - The Protestant states formed the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists.

1643 - Delegates from four New England colonies met in Boston to form a confederation.

1643 - The French army defeated a Spanish army at Rocroi, France.

1796 - The first US game law was approved. The measure called for penalties for hunting or destroying game within Indian territory.

1847 - The first English-style railroad coach was placed in service on the Fall River Line in Massachusetts.

1856 -US Senator Charles Sumner spoke out against slavery.

1857 - The electric fire alarm system was patented by William F. Channing and Moses G. Farmer.

1858 - A pro-slavery band led by Charles Hameton executed unarmed Free State men near Marais des Cygnes on the Kansas-Missouri border.

1864 - The Union and Confederate armies launched their last attacks against each other at Spotsylvania in Virginia.

1906 - The Federated Boys' Clubs, forerunner of the Boys' Clubs of America, were organized.

1911 - The first American criminal conviction that was based on fingerprint evidence occurred in New York City.

1912 - The Associated Advertising Clubs of America held its first convention in Dallas, TX.

1921 - TheUS Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, which established national quotas for immigrants.

1926 - Thomas Edison spoke on the radio for the first time.

1926 - Benito Mussolini announced that democracy was deceased. Rome became a fascist state.

1926 - In Damascus, Syria, French shells killed 600 people.

1928 - The first frog-jumping jubilee held in Calaveras County, CA.

1935 - T.E. Lawrence "Lawrence of Arabia" died from injuries in a motorcycle crash in England.

1935 - The NFL adopted an annual college draft to begin in 1936.

1943 - Winston Churchill told the US Congress that his country was pledging their full support in the war against Japan.

1958 - Canada and the US formally established the North American Air Defense Command.

1962 - Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday" for U.S. President John F. Kennedy. The event was a fund-raiser at New York's Madison Square Garden.

1964 - The US State Department reported that diplomats had found about 40 microphones planted in the US Embassy in Moscow.

1967 - The Soviet Union ratified a treaty with the US and Britain that banned nuclear weapons from outer space.

1974 - ErnoRubik invented the puzzle what would later become known as the Rubik's Cube.

1967 -US planes bombed Hanoi for the first time.

1981 - The Empire State Building was designated a New York City Landmark.

1988 - In Jacksonville, FL, Carlos Lehder Rivas was convicted of smuggling more than three tons of cocaine into the United States. Rivas was the co-founder of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel.

1989 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average passed 2,500 for the first time. The close for the day was 2,501.1.

1992 - US Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the CBS sitcom "Murphy Brown" for having its title character decide to bear a child out of wedlock.

1992 - In Massapequa, NY,  Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot and seriously wounded by Amy Fisher. Fisher was her husband Joey's teen-age lover.

1992 - The 27th Amendment to the USConstitution went into effect. The amendment prohibits Congress from giving itself midterm pay raises.

1998 - In Russia, strikes broke out over unpaid wages.

1998 - Bandits stole three of Rome's most important paintings from the National Gallery of Modern Art.

1999 - "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released in the US. It set a new record for opening day sales at 28.5 million.

2000 - The bones of the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton went on display in Chicago.

2003 - Hundreds of Albert Einstein's scientific papers, personal letters and humanist essays were make available on the Internet. Einstein had given the papers to the Hebrew Universtiy of Jerusalem in his will.

Today’s birthday celebrants include (or included)...

  • Johns Hopkins 1795 - entrepreneur, philanthropist, mosted noted for the creation of Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Sarah Peale 1800 - Portrait painter
  • Ho Chi Minh (Nguyen Sinh Cung) 1890 - North Vietnamese Communist revolutionary, prime minister and president
  • Bruce Bennett 1906 - Shot putter, actor
  • George Auld 1919 - Musician
  • Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) 1925 - African-American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist
  • Jim Lehrer (James Charles "Jim" Lehrer) 1934 - Journalist, news anchor
  • David Hartman 1935 - Television personality
  • James Fox 1939 - Actor
  • Nancy Kwan 1939 - Actress
  • Stephen Young (Stephen Levy) 1939 - Actor
  • Francis Scobee (Francis Richard "Dick" Scobee) 1939 - Astronaut, killed commanding the Space Shuttle Challenger
  • Mickey Newbury 1940 - Songwriter
  • Nora Ephron 1941 - Diretor, producer, screenwriter, novelist, journalist
  • Peter Mayhew 1944 - Actor ("Star Wars")
  • Pete Townshend 1945 - Musician (The Who)
  • David Helfgott 1947 - Concert pianist
  • Dusty Hill 1949 - Musician (ZZ Top)
  • Grace Jones 1952 - Singer, model, actress
  • Joey Ramone 1951 - Musician (The Ramones)
  • Phil Rudd 1954 - Musician (AC/DC)
  • Steven Ford (Steven Meigs Ford) 1956 - Actor, son of U.S. President Gerald Ford
  • Martyn Ware 1956 - Musician (The Human League)
  • Iain Harvie (Del Amitri) 1962
  • Jenny Berggren 1972 - Musician (Ace of Base)
  • Kevin Garnett 1976 - Basketball player
  • Eric Lloyd 1986 - Actor
  • Sam Smith (Samuel Frederick Smith) 1992 - Singer