Today's History Trivia for May 15
1987 Worst Movie Ever Made - Ishtar: The film that would become synonymous with "box office flop," Ishtar is released. Starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman with a production cost of $55 million, it made only $14 million at the box office. Although it maintains a strong cult following, many call it the worst movie ever made.
The Waco Horror
Right after being sentenced to death, black teenager Jesse Washington is dragged out of the court house and lynched in front of the Waco, Texas city hall. His fingers, toes, and genitals were cut off and he was raised and lowered over a fire until he burned to death. Over 10,000 spectators, including city officials and police, gathered to watch. His body was then dragged through town and put on public display. His remains, such as teeth, bones, and genitals, were sold afterwards as souvenirs.
1993 First Newborn to Receive Gene Therapy 4-day-old Andrew Gobea at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. His genes were altered to correct ADA enzyme deficiency - an inherited condition known as "bubble boy" disease. Hopefully, he will be able to avoid the current standard treatment of regular injections of white blood cells, costing over $100,000 a year.
1984 An undamaged Mayan tomb is discovered.
1981 SCTV Network 90 debuts on NBC.
1972 Alabama Governor George C. Wallace is shot by Arthur Herman Bremer.
1970 First two women U.S. generals are named by Pres. Nixon.
1963 Last of the Mercury flights Faith 7, is launched.
1941 Baseball Joe DiMaggio begins his 56-game hitting streak. It ended July 17 after 91 hits for a .408 average.
1940 First successful U.S. helicopter flight A craft built by the Vought-Sikorsky Corporation.
1940 First nylon stockings go on sale, stronger and cheaper than silk stockings, they were an instant hit.
1930 First airline flight with a stewardess A United Airlines flight employing Ellen Church, a registered nurse.
1922 Amelia Earhart The famed aviator is issued her pilots license. She was the 16th woman to be issued a pilot's license by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.
1918 First regular airmail service between Washington D.C. and New York City.
1869 National Woman Suffrage Association formed by Lucy Stone Blackwell.
1862 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is established.
1851 First college sorority formed, the Adelphians of Wesleyan College, becoming Alpha Delta Pi in 1904.
1702 England declares war against France Queen Anne's War.
Today's Birthdays for May 15
1941 Jack "Jaxon" Jackson d. 2006 American underground cartoonist. Considered the "first underground comix artist" for his comic God Nose (1964). Co-founder of Rip Off Press. Writings: The graphic novel Comanche Moon (1979).
1936 Anna Maria Alberghetti Italian-born singer, Tony-winning actress. She made her American debut at Carnegie Hall when she was 14. Stage: Carnival, (1962, Tony award for best actress).
1918 Eddy Arnold d. 2008 American Hall of Fame country-western singer. Known as "The Tennessee Plowboy," he is the all-time best-selling country singer, selling over 85 million records. Music: Bouquet of Roses (1948, #1) and I Really Don't Want to Know (1954, #1).
1914 Tenzing Norgay d. 1986 (Namgyal Wangdi), Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer. He and Sir Edmund Hillary were first to summit Mt. Everest (1953).
1905 Joseph Cotten d. 1994 American actor. Film: Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), and Journey into Fear (1942).
1905 Abraham Zapruder d. 1970 American clothing manufacturer. He made the famous film of Pres. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas.
1902 Richard Joseph Daley d. 1976 American politician, mayor of Chicago (1955-76). After the 1968 race riots he commented "the police aren't here to create disorder, the police are here to preserve disorder." He ordered police to shoot to kill arsonists and to maim looters.
1898 Arletty d. 1992 (Léonie Bathiat), famed French actress. She was imprisoned for treason for her wartime liaison with a German Luftwaffe officer during the occupation of France (1945). She allegedly later commented, "My heart is French but my ass is international." She was given a sentence of eighteen months imprisonment, most of which was served in a private chateau.
1856 L.Frank Baum d. 1919 American author. Writings: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900).
Deaths for May 15
2007 Jerry Falwell b. 1933 American fundamentalist Baptist pastor, televangelist.
2003 June Carter Cash b. 1929 American Grammy-winning singer, wife of Johnny Cash. TV: Grand Ole Opry.
2002 Darwood Kaye b. 1929 (Darwood Kenneth Smith), American actor, the rich and scholarly Waldo of The Little Rascals, he appeared in 21 Our Gang films (1937-40). He went on to become a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor until he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
1989 Johnny Green b. 1908 American Oscar-winning songwriter. Music: Coquette (1928) and Body and Soul (1930). West Side Story (1961), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), and Oliver! (1968).
1986 Theodore H. White b. 1915 American Pulitzer-Emmy winning author. Writings: The Making of the President, 1960 (1961, Pulitzer).
1948 Edward Joseph Flanagan b. 1886 Irish-born American Roman Catholic monsignor, founder of Boys Town (1917). His motto was "There is no such thing as a bad boy."
1886 Emily Dickinson b. 1830 American poet. Of her over 1,800 poems, less than a dozen were published during her lifetime.
884 Marinus I b. ???? religious leader, 108th Pope (882-884).