May 28: This Day in History

Gil-Scott-HeronMay 28, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the births of Betty Shabazz and Gladys Knight, the death of Gil-Scott Heron, and the beginning of the French and Indian War.


On this day in history:

1754 – French and Indian War: in the first engagement of the war, Virginia militia under the 22-

year-old Lieutenant colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party in the

Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.

1830 – Andrew Jackson, called “Sharp Knife” by the Indians, has long fought the Indians of

the southeast. He believes that the Indians and white settlers will not be able to peacefully

live together. His solution to this is to renege on all of the previous treaties, which granted

the Indians their lands forever, and to move all Indians west of the Mississippi River. Jackson

makes this proposal to Congress during his First Congressional speech on December 8, 1829.

Congress makes the proposal into a law on this date.

1835: The Ladies Shoe Binders Society formed in New York.

1851: One in a series of treaties is signed with California Indians at Dent’s and Ventine’s

Crossings. The purpose of the treaty is to reserve lands for the Indians and to protect them from

angry Europeans.

1892 – In San Francisco, California, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club.

1912: Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in

Philadelphia for dancing the Turkey Trot. They were on their lunch break, but management

thought the dance too racy.

1937 – The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened by President

Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., who pushes a button signaling the start of vehicle

traffic over the span.

1946: At least 30,000 workers in Rochester, N.Y., participate in a general strike in support of

municipal workers who had been fired for forming a union.

1961 – Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners is published in several internationally

read newspapers. This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organization

Amnesty International.

1963: Equal Pay Act passed.

1964 – The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.

1966: Percy Sledge started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘When A Man

Loves A Woman’. A No.4 hit on the UK chart and No.2 when re-issued in 1987. Before the

recording session, the song had no title or lyrics. The session proceeded with the expectation

that Sledge would produce them for the vocal takes. When it came time to record the vocals,

Sledge improvised the lyrics with minimal pre-planning, using the melody as a guide for rhythm

and phrasing. The performance was so convincing that others working on the session assumed

Sledge had the lyrics written down.

1973: Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon was on both the UK and US album charts. It

remained in the US charts for 741 discontinuous weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any

other album in history. (After moving to the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Chart, the album notched

up a further 759 weeks, and had reached a total of over 1,500 weeks on the combined charts by

May 2006).

1983: Actress and singer Irene Cara started a six week run at No.1 on the US singles chart

with ‘Flashdance…What A Feeling’. Taken from the film ‘Flashdance’, a No.2 hit in the UK. Cara

had also appeared in TV’s ‘Roots’ and ‘The Next Generation’.

1987: A 19 year old West German, Mathias Rust, flying a light plane undetected from Helsinki to

Moscow and lands safely in Red Square.

1991: The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) take control of the

nation’s capital Addis Ababa ending 17 years of Marxist rule in Ethiopia.

1996 – The U.S. President Bill Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal,

Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, and the Governor of Arkansas Jim Guy Tucker, are

convicted of fraud.

1998: Pakistan detonates 5 nuclear explosions in retaliation for similar nuclear tests by their

neighbor India.

2008 – The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a

republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.

Born on this day in history:

1858: Lizzie Black Kander born (settlement and relief worker, cook book writer, educator)

1876: Katharine Blunt born (educator, home economist, nutritionist)

1888 – Jim Thorpe, American football player and coach (d. 1953)

1908 – Ian Fleming, English journalist and author (d. 1964)

1910 – T-Bone Walker, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1975)

1919: May Swenson born (poet)

1934 – Betty Shabazz, American educator and activist (d. 1997)

1940: Maeve Binchy born (writer)

1944 – Rudy Giuliani, American lawyer and politician, 107th Mayor of New York City

1944 – Gladys Knight, American singer-songwriter and actress (Gladys Knight & the Pips)

1962: Born on this day, Roland Gift, singer, Fine Young Cannibals, (1989 US No.1 & UK No.5

single ‘She Drives Me Crazy’).


1971 – Marco Rubio, American politician

On this day in history, we lost:

1849: Anne Brontë died, only 29 years old

1971 – Audie Murphy, American lieutenant and actor, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1924)

1981 – Mary Lou Williams, American pianist and composer (b. 1910)

1988 – Sy Oliver, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (b. 1910)

2010 – Gary Coleman, American actor (b. 1968)

2011: Sixty-two year old musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron died after becoming ill. Scott-Heron

was known for being a great influence on hip-hop and rap music, as well as jazz, blues, and

soul music. Much of his work contained strong political messages, including his most famous

work entitled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” a piece about racial relations in media and


Sources: The People HistoryThis Day in Labor HistoryWikipedia List of Historical AnniversariesThis Day in Women’s HistoryThis Day in African History;History.comHistory OrbYenobaSelected Black FactsPhil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music