Today's History Trivia for May 10
Eye of God
NASA features for its "photo of the day" what would become an Internet classic.
1736 Charity Hospital, New Orleans Property is purchased for the building of a charity hospital in New Orleans, which would become the second oldest continuously-operated public hospital in the U.S. It was closed as result of Hurricane Katrina (2005).
1989 The Panama presidential election is voided by Gen. Manuel Noriega.
1941 World War II Rudolf Hess, Hitler's private secretary, embarks on a solo peace mission to Scotland - without Hitler's permission. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.
1940 World War II Germany invades France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Belgium and the Netherlands fell within a matter of days. France would fall the following month.
1933 World War II Under direction of Hitler's propaganda director Josef Goebbels, thousands of Nazis, professors, and students gathered to burn a massive pile of books that had been collected by storm troopers. The offending authors included Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, and Erich Maria Remarque.
1869 Transcontinental railroad is completed with the driving of the Golden Spike, Promontory Point, Utah.
1797 First vessel of the new navy is launched, the United States.
1775 American Revolution Fort Ticonderoga is taken by Col. Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold.
1752 Lightning Experiment Thomas-Francois Dalibard uses a large metal pole to conduct electricity from lightning, proving Benjamin Franklin's theory that lightning and electricity were related. Franklin had proposed an experiment that would draw lightning through a 30-foot rod. Dalibard after hearing of the idea gave it a try. Franklin, himself, would reportedly try a similar experiment a month later using a kite instead of a pole (see event).
Today's Birthdays for May 10
1963 Lisa Nowak American astronaut. In 2007 she was arrested for attempted kidnapping after driving from Houston to Orlando and confronting another female astronaut who was dating her ex-boyfriend. Her travel supplies included a adult diapers, a black wig, rubber tubing, gloves, BB-pistol, and plastic bags.
1837 P. B. S. Pinchback d. 1921 (Pinckney Benton Stewart), American publisher, politician. He was the first African American governor of a U.S. state (1872, Louisiana). Born to a black freed slave and her former master in Georgia. When the lieutenant governor Oscar Dunn died, Pinchback, as Senate president pro tempore, succeeded to the position of acting lieutenant governor (1871). In 1872, when the governor was impeached, state law required the governor to step aside until his impeachment case was tried. Pinchback served in his place for about 6 weeks until his term ended.
1960 Bono Vox (Paul Hewson), Irish singer, with U2. Music: Sunday Bloody Sunday (1983) and With You Or Without You (1987, #1).
1955 Mark David Chapman American assassin, shot and killed John Lennon (1980). Lennon had signed an autograph for him earlier that day.
1946 Donovan (Donovan Leitch), Scottish singer, songwriter. Music: Mellow Yellow (1967) and The Hurdy Gurdy Man (1969).
1934 Gary Owens d. 2015 American actor, disc jockey. TV: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Gong Show (1976-77, host).
1922 Nancy Walker d. 1992 (Anna Myrtle Swoyer), American actress. TV: Rhoda (Rhoda's mom), McMillan and Wife (Mildred the maid), and in commercials as Rosie - the quicker picker upper.
1918 George Schwartz Welch d. 1954 American WWII flying ace. He was one of the few U.S. pilots to engage the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor, claiming two kills, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. It had been alleged he broke the sound barrier in a dive two weeks before Chuck Yeager (note: Yeager's feat was during level flight). However, current information disproves this claim. Welch was portrayed in the film Tora! Tora! Tora (1970) by Rick Cooper.
1911 Major General Bruno Arthur Hochmuth d. 1967 He was the first U.S. general killed by enemy fire during the Vietnam War; the helicopter he was riding in was gunned down over Hué, Vietnam. Four other Marines, and a South Vietnamese Army aide were also killed in the incident.
1902 David O. Selznick d. 1965 American Oscar-winning producer. Film: King Kong (1933), Gone With the Wind (1939, Oscar), and Rebecca (1940, Oscar).
1899 Fred Astaire d. 1987 (Frederick Austerlitz), American dancer whose career spanned six decades.
1850 Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton d. 1931 British tea maker, yachtsman. He began his tea empire in 1871 with a single provision shop in Glasgow.
1810 James Shields d. 1879 American general, politician. He is the only person to have served as a U.S. Senator for three states: Illinois (1849-55), Minnesota (1858-59), and Missouri (1879). In 1842, believing that Abraham Lincoln had written disparaging letters to the newspaper about Shields, he challenged the future President to a duel. They met prepared for battle, but called it off at the last minute.
1788 Augustin Jean Fresnel d. 1827 French physicist, pioneer in light theory.
1730 George Ross d. 1779 American jurist. Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Deaths for May 10
1994 John Wayne Gacy, Jr b. 1942 American serial killer, aka "Killer Clown." He confessed to raping and killing 33 young men and boys between 1972 and 1978 - more than any other person in U.S. history up to that time. He buried 28 of his victims in the crawl space under his house. He was executed in 1994.
1904 Sir Henry Morton Stanley b. 1841 (John Rowland), British-born American reporter, explorer. Upon finding Scottish explorer Dr. Livingstone in Africa in 1871 he queried, "Dr. Livingstone I presume?"
1863 Stonewall Jackson b. 1824 (Thomas Jonathan Jackson), Confederate Civil War general. He was shot by friendly fire His injuries required the amputation of his left arm. He died eight days later from pneumonia.
1818 Paul Revere b. 1735 American soldier, hero of the American Revolution. He is best known for alerting the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" (1861).
1992 John Lund b. 1911 American actor. Film: To Each His Own (1946) and A Foreign Affair (1948).
1977 Joan Crawford b. 1904 (Lucille LeSueur), American actress. Film: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
1968 Scotty Beckett b. 1929 American actor, one of the Little Rascals. He appeared in 15 Our Gang films. TV: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (Winky).
1956 Clarence Edward Mulford b. 1883 American author. He created the character Hopalong Cassidy, which was the first character featured on a metal lunch box (1950-53).
1920 John Wesley Hyatt b. 1837 American inventor. He invented the first commercially viable method of producing celluloid (1869), the first successful plastic. He is also noted for his work in roller bearings, water purification, billiard balls, bowling balls, and checkers.
1798 George Vancouver b. 1757 British explorer for whom Vancouver Island is named.
1774 Louis XV b. 1710 King of France (1715-74), became king at the age of 5.
1566 Leonhard Fuchs b. 1501 German botanist for whom the shrub Fuchsia is named.
1482 Paolo Toscanelli b. 1397 Italian mapmaker. His map, which incorrectly showed Asia as only 3,000 miles west of Europe, leading Columbus to believe he had landed in Asia when in fact he had landed in the Americas.