Today's History Trivia for May 14
1973 Skylab The U.S. space station is launched. About a minute after take-off a protective shield and a solar panel broke off, damaging the other solar panel in the process. The crew was sent up on the 25th and made repairs.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you
Suzanne Schneer commits suicide. Her suicide was the inspiration for lyrics in James Taylor's Fire and Rain. She was a friend of Taylor who committed suicide by jumping in front of a New York subway train. Taylor was in London recording at the time. His band members did not tell him of her death until later, so as not to distract him from the recording sessions.
1948 Israeli Independence Proclaimed The Israeli Declaration of Independence is proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. It declared the establishment of a Jewish state to be known as the State of Israel.
1796 First Vaccination English physician Edward Jenner gives one to an 8-year-old boy for protection against smallpox. After observing that milkmaids were generally immune to smallpox, Jenner postulated that the pus in the blisters that milkmaids received from cowpox (a disease similar to smallpox, but much less virulent) protect someone from smallpox. He then went on to test and prove his theory. Although others had previously observed that those who contracted cowpox were immune to smallpox, it was Jenner who proved that the pus from someone with cowpox would provide immunity. It was estimated at the time that 60% of the population acquired smallpox and 20% of the population died of it. It is said that his work has saved more lives than the work of any other human.
2003 Iraq War Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld states at a Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense hearing, "I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons." However, just two months earlier on March 16, Vice President Dick Cheney had declared, "We believe [Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
1992 World's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton is seized by the FBI from the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, claiming it had been illegally taken from federal land.
1904 First Olympic games held in the U.S. After starting again in 1896 (after a 1600 year absence), the games make their way to he U.S., opening at the St. Louis Exposition.
1856 First camels imported to the U.S. for commercial purposes American naval officer David Dixon Porter arrives in Texas with a shipload of camels from Turkey. Source: Famous First Facts
1804 Lewis and Clark expedition The famed explorers depart from St. Louis, Missouri to begin exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Their work established a route to the Pacific.
1787 Constitutional Convention meets in Philadelphia.
Today's Birthdays for May 14
1905 Herbert Morrison d. 1989 American radio reporter. He reported the Hindenburg explosion exclaiming, "Oh, the Humanity!"
1969 Danny Wood (Daniel Wood Jr.), American pop musician, member of New Kids on the Block.
1966 Fabrice "Fab" Morvan French dancer, singer, half of the Milli Vanilli duo. Their album Girl You Know It's True won the Grammy for Best New Artist, which was taken back after it was revealed they didn't sing on it. He has since begun a solo career. Music as Milli Vanilli: Greatest Hits (2007), Solo: Love Revolution (2003).
1944 George Lucas American director. Film: American Graffiti (1973) and Star Wars (1977).
1943 Derek "Lek" Leckenby d. 1994 English guitarist, with Herman's Hermits. Music: I'm Into Something Good (1964, #1 in UK), Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter (1965, #1), I'm Henry VIII, I Am (1965, #1), and There's a Kind of Hush (1967).
1936 Bobby Darin d. 1973 (Walden Robert Cassotto), American pop singer. Music: Splish Splash (1958) and Mack the Knife (1959).
1924 Bradley Jay Anderson d. 2015 American cartoonist. Creator of Marmaduke (1954).
1727 Thomas Gainsborough d. 1788 English artist. Paintings: Blue Boy (c. 1770).
1316 Charles IV d. 1378 Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Bohemia (1347-78).
Deaths for May 14
1970 Billie Burke b. 1884 (Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke), American actress. Film: The Wizard of Oz (1939, Glinda the Good Witch of the North). She was married to Ziegfeld Follies producer Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.
2015 B.B. King b. 1925 (Riley B. King), American Grammy-winning blues singer. He was the first blues singer to tour the USSR (1979). Music: Three O'Clock Blues (1951, #1).
2004 Anna Lee b. 1913 English actress. She was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident, yet continued acting in a wheelchair for more than two decades. TV: General Hospital (Lila Quartermaine).
2003 Robert Stack b. 1919 (Charles Langford Modini Stack), American actor. Film: Bwana Devil (1952, the first 3-D movie). TV: The Untouchables (1959-63, Eliot Ness) and Unsolved Mysteries (host). He placed 2nd in the National Skeet Shooting Championship (1935).
1998 Frank Sinatra b. 1915 (Francis Albert Sinatra), American singer, actor. Music: Strangers in the Night (1966). He did it his way.
1997 Harry Blackstone Jr b. 1934 American magician.
1992 Lyle Alzado b. 1949 American football player, two-time All-Pro. As an amateur boxer, he fought an exhibition match against Muhammad Ali. He died of brain cancer, which he attributed to steroid abuse.
1983 Miguel Alemán b. 1900 Mexican president (1946-52). As the first non-military candidate ever elected president of Mexico, he promoted industrialization and agriculture.
1982 Hugh Beaumont b. 1909 American actor. TV: Leave It to Beaver (Ward Cleaver).
1978 William "Bill" Powell Lear b. 1902 American inventor, businessman, founder of Lear Jet, Inc. He also developed the 8-track cartridge and was co-inventor of the first practical car radio.
1975 Ernst Frederik Werner Alexanderson b. 1878 Swedish-born American engineer. A pioneer in transoceanic radio communication, he developed tuned-frequency receivers. In 1927 he developed a TV with a seven-foot screen.
1965 Frances Perkins b. 1880 American politician, first woman U.S. presidential cabinet member (1933, F.D. Roosevelt's secretary of labor).
1919 Henry John Heinz b. 1844 American food manufacturer, founder of H.J. Heinz Co. (1888).
1643 Louis XIII b. 1601 King of France. His death made his 5-year-old son, Louis XIV, king.
964 John XII b. ???? religious leader, 130th Pope (955-964). He gambled and is reputed to have run a brothel, for which he was temporarily deposed in 963.
649 Theodore I b. ???? Greek-born religious leader, 73rd Pope (642-649).