Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: MAY 9



1869 – Central Pacific and Union Pacific Rail Roads meet in Promontory, UT. A golden spike was driven in at the celebration of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S.

1267 – Vienna’s church orders all Jews to wear a distinctive garb

1278 – Jews of England imprisoned on charges of coining

1427 – Jews are expelled from Bern, Switzerland

1497 – Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci leaves for first voyage to New World

1503 – Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands.

1525 – Church reformer John Pistorius caught in the Hague

1534 – French navigator Jacques Cartier reaches Newfoundland

1559 – Scottish Protestants under John Knox uprise against queen-mother Mary

1652 – John Johnson, a free black, is granted 550 acres in Northampton VA

1676 – In Virginia, Bacon’s Rebellion began. Nathaniel Badon led the the rebellion which pitted frontiersmen against the government.

1768 – The imprisonment of the journalist John Wilkes as an outlaw provoked violence in London. Wilkes was returned to parliament as a member for Middlesex.

1773 – The English Parliament passed the Tea Act, which taxed all tea in the American colonies. The legislation led to the Boston Tea Party.

1774 – Louis XVI ascended the throne of France.

1775 – Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold led an attack on the British Fort Ticonderoga and captured it from the British.

1796 – Napoleon Bonaparte won a brilliant victory against the Austrians at Lodi bridge in Italy.

1801 – First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States.

1840 – Mormon leader Joseph Smith moved his band of followers to Illinois to escape the hostilities they had experienced in Missouri.

1857 – The Seepoys of India revolted against the British Army.

1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irvinville, GA.

1869 – Central Pacific and Union Pacific Rail Roads meet in Promontory, UT. A golden spike was driven in at the celebration of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S.

1872 – Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for the U.S. presidency.

1876 – Richard Wagner’s “Centennial Inaugural March” was heard for the first time at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, PA.

1898 – A vending machine law was enacted in Omaha, NE. It cost $5,000 for a permit.

1904 – In Germany, the Horch & Cie. Motorwagenwerke AG was founded. It would eventually become the Audi company.

1908 – The first Mother’s Day observance took place during a church service in Grafton, West Virginia.

1915 – Canadian physician Cluny Macpherson first presents his gas mask invention to the British War Office

1918 – HMS Vindictive sunk to block entrance of Ostend Harbor

1922 – American captain Edmund Fanning discovered Kingman Reef between the Hawaiian Islands and American Somoa.

1924 – J. Edgar Hoover was appointed head of the Bureau of Investigation. The department became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

1927 – The Hotel Statler in Boston, MA. became the first hotel to install radio headsets in each of its 1,300 rooms.

1930 – The Adler Planetarium opened to the public in Chicago, IL.

1933 – Censorship: In Germany, the Nazis stage massive public book burnings

1940 – Germany invaded Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

1941 – Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission.

1942 – U.S. forces in the Philippines began to surrender to the Japanese.

1943 – U.S. troops invaded Attu in the Aleutian Islands to expel the Japanese.

1954 – Bill Haley releases “Rock Around the Clock” – It was the first rock song to top the Billboard charts and has become a classic of the early rock era.

1960 – The U.S.S. Triton completed the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip started on February 16.

1962 – Marvel Comics published the first issue of “The Incredible Hulk.”

1968 – Preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris.

1969 – The National and American Football Leagues announced their plans to merge for the 1970-71 season.

1976 – Paul Harvey’s daily syndicated program “The Rest of the Story” premieres on the ABC Radio Networks, continuing until his death in 2009

1980 – Ottawa gives financially strapped Chrysler Canada $20 million in loan guarantees, and Ontario provides a $10 million grant

1986 – Navy Lt. Commander Donnie Cochran became the first black pilot to fly with the Blue Angels team.

1989 – General Manuel Noriega’s Government nullifies country’s elections, which the opposition had won by a 3-1 margin

1992 – Bible Land Museum opens in Jerusalem Israel

1994 – Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president.

1999 – China broke off talks on human rights with the U.S. in response to NATO’s accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.

2000 – 11,000 residents were evacuated in Los Alamos, NM, due to a fire that was blown into a canyon. The fire had been deliberately set to clear brush.

2001 – In Ghana, 121 people were killed in a stampede at a soccer game.

2002 – Robert Hanssen was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole. Hanssen, an FBI agent, had sold U.S. secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.

2005 – A hand grenade allegedly thrown by Vladimir Arutinian lands about 65 feet (20 metres) from United States President George W. Bush while he was giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctions and does not detonate

2008 – Philippine court acquits Imelda Marcos in a 17-year-old case of 32 counts of illegal transfer of wealth totaling $863 million in Swiss bank accounts

2011 – It was announced that Microsoft had closed a deal to purchase the internet phone service Skype for $8.5 billion.

2013 – The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) apologized for the “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups about their tax-exempt status during the 2012 election.

2016 – NASA announced that it’s Kepler mission had verified 1,284 new planets. This was the single largest finding of planets to date.

2017 – Apple’s stock market value exceeded the $500 billion mark.

2018 – Israel fires missiles at 70 Iranian targets inside Syria after Iran fires missiles into the Golan Heights, with claims Israel struck first in attack on Baath

2019 – US begins raising tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to 25% after trade talks fail

2021 – Kazungula road and rail bridge 1km long opens over the Zambezi River linking Botswana and Zambia, with a curve so it doesn’t encroach on Zimbabwe (Robert Mugabe opposed it)

2022 – US reports highest rate of gun-related deaths in 24 years in 2020, according to the CDC, with firearm homicides increasing 35% to 6.1 deaths per 100,000 people nationwide

2023 – First children born in the UK with DNA from three people, using mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) – in attempt to prevent baby from inheriting mitochondrial DNA mutations

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com