Fun Facts for Today

May 28

It’s National Hamburger Day and Whale Day and Woman Trousers Day and Amnesty International Day


585BC A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce; this is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated
1503 James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor are married by Pope Alexander VI
1533 The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declares the marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid
1588 The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, begins to set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel; it will take two days for all of the ships to leave port
1742 The first indoor swimming pool opened at Goodman’s Fields, London
1754 In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 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
1892 In San Francisco, CA John Muir organizes the Sierra Club
1897 Jell-o was introduced, 52 years after Peter Cooper held the first US patent for a gelatine dessert; Pearl B. Wait, a carpenter and cough medicine manufacturer from LeRoy, NY produced varieties in strawberry, raspberry, orange and lemon fruit flavors, named Jell-O by his wife, May
1915 John B. Gruelle patented the Raggedy Ann doll
1923 Harry Daugherty, attorney general under Warren G. Harding, declared that it was perfectly legal for women to wear trousers whenever they wanted
1928 The first US television station WGY began broadcasting regular programs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, using 24 lines
1929 On With the Show, the first talking movie that is all in color debuts at New York City’s Winter Garden theater
1930 The Chrysler Building in New York City officially opens
1934 Near Callander, Ontario, the Dionne quintuplets (Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne) are born to Olivia and Elzire Dionne
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC, who pushes a button signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the span
1937 Neville Chamberlain becomes British Prime Minister
1940 Belgium surrenders to Germany
1940 Buster Keaton and Eleanor Norris are married
1961 Amnesty International is founded in England
1964 The Palestine National Congress formed the Palestine Liberation Organization
1966 The ‘It’s a small world’ attraction opens in Fantasyland at Disneyland
1980 The first Islamic parliament, the Majlis, opens in Iran
1987 A robot probe finds the wreckage of the USS Monitor near Cape Hatteras, NC
1987 West German Mathias Rust flies a private plane unchallenged through Soviet airspace and lands in Moscow’s historic Red Square
1988 Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis are married
1989 Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke are married
1991 The 17-year Marxist rule which brought famine and war to Ethiopia ends when rebel tanks storm the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa
1996 President Bill Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, James McDougal and Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, are convicted of fraud
1998 Pakistan responds to a series of Indian nuclear tests with five of its own, prompting the United States, Japan, and other nations to impose economic sanctions
1999 In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s newly-restored masterpiece “The Last Supper” is put back on display
2002 NATO declares Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance
2002 NBC announced that Brian Williams would succeed Tom Brokaw as anchor of its Nightly News after the 2004 presidential election
2002 Libya offered $10 million in compensation for each victim in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in exchange for removal from the US list of states that sponsor terrorism
2003 Prometea, the world’s first cloned horse, was born in a natural delivery in Cremona, Italy; it is also the first cloned mammal born to its genetic mother
2003 Bangladesh authorized police to shoot at will as part of its anti-crime campaign, after reporting more than 350 deaths to gang violence in the past two months
2004 The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, to become prime minister of Iraq’s interim government
2004 The International Clown Hall of Fame posthumously inducted the late Vance “Pinto” Colvig as the first Bozo; Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston created Bozo for recordings in 1946 but for years, promoter and entertainer Larry Harmon claimed to have both created the character and said he was the original
8113 A time capsule called the “Crypt of Civilization,” planted in 1940 by Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA is scheduled to be opened

970BC According to Hebrew tradition, King Solomon, the son of King David and Queen Bathsheba, is born on this day
1660 George I of Great Britain, King of Great Britain and Ireland (1714-1727), the first de facto Prince-Elector of Hanover of the Holy Roman Empire
1738 Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotine, physician and inventor of the guillotine; he first promoted a law that all executions, even those of commoners, be carried out by means of a “machine that beheads painlessly”
1759 William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1804-1806), Prime Minister of Great Britain (1783-1801), Chancellor of the Exchequer (1804-1806, 1783-1801, 1782-1783); the youngest ever PM at the age of 24
1807 Louis Agassiz, naturalist, geologist, and teacher who made revolutionary contributions to the study of natural science with landmark work on glacier activity and extinct fishes
1861 Hugh Robert Mill, geographer and meteorologist who exercised a great influence in the reform of geography teaching and on the development of meteorology as a science
1888 Jim Thorpe, considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon, played American football collegiately and professionally, and also played professional baseball and basketball
1895 Rudolph Leo B. Minkowski, astronomer who studied spectra, distributions, and motions of planetary nebulae and more than doubled the number known
1908 Ian Fleming, author, journalist and WWII Navy Commander; he is best remembered for creating the character of James Bond and chronicling his adventures in 12 novels and 9 short stories
1911 Dame Thora Hird, DBE, 3-time BAFTA TV Award-winning actress whose career spanned over eight decades (Lost for Words, Talking Heads, Last of the Summer Wine, The Entertainer, The Quatermass Xperiment)
1911 Alfred O. C. Nier, physicist who refined the mass spectrometric process to distinguish isotopes
1930 Frank Drake, astronomer who formulated the Drake Equation to estimate the number of technological civilizations that may exist in our galaxy
1931 Carroll Baker, actress (Baby Doll, Ironweed, Star 80, The Watcher in the Woods, The Carpetbaggers)
1940 Maeve Binchy, novelist, newspaper columnist and speaker (Circle of Friends, Light a Penny Candle, Scarlet Feather, Quentins, Tara Road)
1944 Rudolph William Louis “Rudy” Giuliani, lawyer, businessman, and politician from the state of New York who was Mayor of New York City (1994-2001)
1944 Billy Vera, singer, actor, writer, Blue Blaze Irregular and music historian; had a Number One hit record in 1985 with “At This Moment”
1944 Gladys Knight, seven-time Grammy Award-winning R&B/soul singer, actress and author who is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips (“Midnight Train to Georgia”, “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” “Daddy Could Swear (I Declare),” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”)
1944 Patricia Quinn, singer and actress (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I, Claudius, Shock Treatment, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, Fortunes of War, Doctor Who)
1945 John Fogerty, Grammy Award-winning rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
1949 Sue Holderness, actress (Only Fools and Horses, The Green Green Grass, The Sandbaggers)
1964 David Baddiel, comedian, writer, actor, producer (The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Baddiel’s Syndrome, Newman and Baddiel in Pieces, Fantasy Football League)
1968 Kylie Minogue, OBE, Grammy and BRIT award-winning pop singer, songwriter and actress (Neighbours, Doctor Who)
1970 Glenn Quinn, actor (Covington Cross, Angel, Rosanne, Dr. Giggles)

1843 Noah Webster, lexicographer, textbook author, spelling reformer, political writer, word enthusiast, and editor; his name became synonymous with “dictionary”, especially the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language, dies at 84
1849 Anne Brontë, novelist and poet, the youngest member of the Brontë literary family (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Agnes Grey), dies of of pulmonary tuberculosis at 29
1913 John Lubbock, banker, politician, naturalist and archaeologist who coined the terms “Neolithic” and “Paleolithic,” dies at 79
1948 Unity Mitford, prominent supporter of fascism, friend of Adolf Hitler and cousin to Winston Churchill, dies at 33
1971 Audie Murphy, the most decorated United States combat soldier in United States military history; he received the Medal of Honor along with 32 additional US medals, five from France, and one from Belgium; dies in an airplane crash at 46
1972 Edward VIII, King of Great Britain, Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India from the death of his father, George V (1910–36), in January 1936, until his abdication in December 1936; after his abdication he reverted to the style of a son of the sovereign, The Prince Edward, and was created Duke of Windsor, dies at 77
1978 Arthur Brough, actor (Are You Being Served?, Royal Flash), dies at 73
1984 Eric Morecambe, OBE, writer, comedian, and 5-time BAFTA Award-winning performer (The Morecambe & Wise Show, The Magnificent Two), dies at 58
1998 Phil Hartman, comedian, actor, graphic artist and Emmy Award-winning writer (Saturday Night Live, NewsRadio, The Simpsons, Jingle All the Way, The Pee-wee Herman Show) was murdered by his wife while he slept at the age of 49
2003 Ilya Prigogine, physical chemist who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1977 for contributions to nonequilibrium thermodynamics, or how life could continue indefinitely in apparent defiance of the classical laws of physics, dies at 86

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *