Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including Nelson Mandela being sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly attempting to sabotage the white South African government, the death of David Brinkley, and the self-immolation of of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc in a busy Saigon intersection in protest of the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.
On this day in history:
1184 BC – Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.
1752: Today, while at a conference with British authorities, Chief Shingas will be named
sachem or king of the DELAWAREs by Tanacharison of the IROQUOIS. The DELAWAREs
were subjugated by the IROQUOIS.
1776 – The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin,
Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of
1829: Major Bennett Riley, and troops have just joined Charley Bent’s wagon train bound for
Santa Fe, near Round Grove, in Kansas. A band of 100 KIOWAs, and COMANCHEs, steal the
wagon train’s herd of cattle. The Indians then start attacking the wagon train and the soldiers.
Riley will fire his artillery piece, and the Indians will scatter.
1894: Representatives from the AFL, Knights of Labor, populists, railroad brotherhoods and
other trade unions hold a unity conference in St. Louis but fail to overcome their differences.
1913: Police shoot at maritime workers striking United Fruit Co. in New Orleans; one killed, two
1935 – Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the
United States at Alpine, New Jersey.
1937: Union Men from the United Automobile Workers of America wanting to join the Pickets at
steel mills in Michigan were turned back today by deputies using tear gas , the Union has now
called for mass protests by all members of the Union at Monroe , Michigan.
1949: Hank Williams made his debut at the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ in Nashville and received an
unprecedented total of six encores.
1963 – John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 that would revolutionist American society. Proposing equal access to public
facilities, end segregation in education and guarantee federal protection for voting rights.
President Kennedy also told nation in the radio-TV address that segregation was morally wrong
and that it was “time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislature body, and…in all
of our daily lives.”
1963: Vivian Malone and James Hood, accompanied by U.S. Deputy Attorney General
Nicholas Katzenbach attempt to register at the University of Alabama. Governor George
Wallace bodily blocks their entrance. When National Guardsmen return later in the day with
Malone and Hood, Wallace steps aside.
1964 – Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly attempting to sabotage the
white South African government.
1970 – After being appointed on May 15, Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington officially
receive their ranks as U.S. Army Generals, becoming the first females to do so.
1971 – The U.S. Government forcibly removes the last holdouts to the Native American
Occupation of Alcatraz, ending 19 months of control.
1977: KC and the Sunshine Band became only the second group after The Jackson Five to
achieve four US No.1’s when ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ went to the top of the charts.
1987 – Diane Abbott, Paul Boateng and Bernie Grant are elected as the first black
Parliamentarians in Great Britain.
2003: Scientists have found the oldest known human fossilized skulls dated around 160,000
years old in the Afar region of Ethiopia.
2007: The Episcopal Church of Cuba ordained its first female bishop. Reverend Nerva Cot
became only the eighteenth female bishop in the world, and the first female bishop in the
developing world. In the consecration ceremony Cot was surrounded by high ranking church
officials from Cuba as well as officials from Haiti, Panama, and Miami.
2008 – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes a historic official apology to Canada’s
First Nations in regard to a residential school abuse in which children are isolated from their
homes, families and cultures for a century.
2009: Stephen Tyrone Johns, a guard at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington
D.C. was shot and killed by an eighty-eight year old man. The man opened fire on a crowd
inside the museum before he was shot by police and taken into custody. The attacker was
reported to be James von Brunn, a white supremacist who had been convicted of prior violent
crimes and served time in prison.
Born on this day in history:
1769: Anne Newport Royall born (writer, publisher, reformer, journalist)
1815: Julia Margaret Cameron born (photographer)
1847: Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett born (suffragist)
1860: Mary Jane Rathbun (marine zoologist)
1862: Violet Florence Martin born (writer; wrote as Ross of Somerville and Ross)
1875: Addie D. Waites Hunton born (YMCA official, racial justice reformer)
1880: Jeannette Rankin born (reformer, first woman elected to the U.S. Congress)
1883: Charlotte Eugenia Hawkins Brown born (educator)
1910 – Jacques Cousteau, French biologist, author, and inventor, co-developed the aqua-lung
1913 – Vince Lombardi, American football player, coach, and manager (d. 1970)
1920 – Hazel Scott, Trinidadian-American singer, actress, and pianist (d. 1981).
1930 – Charles Rangel, U.S. Congressman, born.
1933 – Gene Wilder, American actor, director, and screenwriter.
1937 – Johnny Brown, American actor and singer.
1940: Born on this day, Joseph DiNicola, Joey and the Starlighters. (1962 US No.1
single ‘Peppermint Twist, Part 1’). Jimi Hendrix was a member of the band during 1964.
1947: Born on this day, Glenn Leonard, vocals, The Temptations, (1971 UK No.8 single ‘Just
My Imagination’ and re-issued ‘My Girl’ UK No.2 in 1992).
1947 – Henry Cisneros, American politician, Mayor of San Antonio.
1960 – Mehmet Oz, American surgeon, author, and television host.
On this day in history, we lost:
323 BC – Alexander the Great dies in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon.
1941 – Daniel Carter Beard, American author and illustrator, founded the Boy Scouts of
America (b. 1850)
1963 – Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burns himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon
intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.
1969: John L. Lewis dies. A legendary figure, he was president of the United Mine Workers
from 1920 to 1960 and a driving force behind the formation of the Congress of Industrial
1979: Film star John Wayne , also known as the “Duke,” died of cancer.
1999 – DeForest Kelley, American actor and screenwriter (b. 1920)
2003 – David Brinkley, American journalist (b. 1920)
Sources: The People History; This Day in Labor History; Wikipedia List of Historical Anniversaries; This Day in Women’s History; This Day in African History;History.com; History Orb; Yenoba; Selected Black Facts; Phil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music