Fun Facts for Today

May 29

It’s …there are no odd holidays that I could find today!


1453 Ottoman forces under Sultan Muhammad II storm Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire; the empire falls and the city becomes the capital of the Ottoman Empire
1660 Charles II is restored to the throne of Great Britain
1677 The treaty of Middle Plantation establishes peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Indians
1721 South Carolina was formally incorporated as a royal colony
1733 The right of Canadians to keep Indian slaves upheld at Quebec City
1765 Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia’s House of Burgesses; Henry responded to a cry of “Treason!” by saying, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”
1780 Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton brutally massacred Colonel Abraham Buford’s continentals even after the continentals surrendered; 113 Americans were killed
1790 Rhode Island becomes the last of the original United States colonies to ratify the Constitution and is admitted as the 13th US state
1848 Wisconsin is admitted as the 30th US state
1854 President Franklin Pierce signs the Kansas-Nebraska Act, creating two new territories; settlers of the territories would determine the legality of slaveholding
1864 Emperor Maximilian of Mexico arrives in Mexico for the first time
1884 Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd are married
1886 Chemist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, the ad appearing in the Atlanta Journal
1898 The heirs of Alfred Nobel sign a “reconciliation agreement” so that lawyers and accountants can execute his will; the will’s major bequest was to create the Nobel Prizes, but first, there were disputes to be settled
1912 Fifteen young women are fired by Curtis Publishing for dancing the “Turkey Trot” during their lunch break
1919 Observation of shifted star positions during a solar eclipse confirm Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity
1943 Norman Rockwell’s portrait of “Rosie the Riveter” appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post; Rockwell’s model was 19-year-old Mary Keefe of Arlington, VT
1943 Meat and cheese began to be rationed in US
1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay are the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest
1954 Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder is released in US theaters
1973 Tom Bradley was elected as mayor of Los Angeles; he was the first African-American to hold the office
1978 US postage stamps were raised from 15¢ after being 13¢ for three years
1982 Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff ever to visit Canterbury Cathedral
1987 A jury in Los Angeles found Twilight Zone movie director John Landis and four associates innocent of involuntary manslaughter in the movie-set deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children
1991 Tokyo Disneyland welcomes its 100-millionth guest
1992 Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg opens in US theaters
1999 The space shuttle “Discovery” completed the first-ever docking with the international space station
2001 The US National Marine Fisheries Service declared the California coast white abalone an endangered species
2003 AOL Time Warner and Microsoft announced a settlement in their battle over Internet browsers, with the software giant paying AOL $750 million
2004 The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC
2006 Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to more talks to shore up the implementation of a collapsing ceasefire as the EU moved to ban them as a terrorist group

1630 Charles Stuart, later Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland
1716 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, naturalist who was a prolific pioneer in the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology
1736 Patrick Henry, one of the most influential (and radical) advocates of the American Revolution and republicanism, especially in his denunciations of corruption in government officials and his defense of historic rights who is best remembered for his “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” speech
1781 Henri Braconnot, chemist known for isolating glucose, a simple sugar, directly from such plant material as sawdust, linen or bark by boiling them with acid
1874 G. K. Chesterton, writer whose prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction
1894 Josef von Sternberg, director, writer, filmmaker (The Last Command, The Blue Angel, Morocco, Blonde Venus, Jet Pilot)
1897 Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Academy Award-winning composer (The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex)
1903 Bob Hope (Leslie Townes Hope), comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television, and movies who was noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO tours entertaining American military personnel
1906 T.H. White, author (The Sword in the Stone, The Once and Future King, England Have My Bones)
1917 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States (1961-1963), US Senator from Massachusetts (1953-1960), Member of the US House of Representatives (1947-1953), Lieutenant in the US Navy (1941-1945), Pulitzer Prize for Biography recipient (Profiles in Courage)
1932 Paul R. Ehrlich, a pioneer in alerting the public to the problems of overpopulation and in raising issues of population, resources, and the environment as matters of public policy
1952 Louise Cooper, fantasy author (The Time Master Trilogy, The Indigo Series, The Chaos Gate Trilogy, The Daughter of Storms Trilogy)
1953 Danny Elfman, musician, singer (Oingo Boingo) and Emmy Award-winning composer (Desperate Housewives, The Simpsons, Spider-Man, Batman)
1957 Ted Levine, actor (Monk, Crime Story, Next of Kin, The Silence of the Lambs, Ali, The Fast and the Furious)
1958 Annette Bening, BAFTA Award-winning actress (American Beauty, Being Julia, The Grifters, Bugsy, Richard III, Valmont)
1959 Rupert Everett, actor (Stardust, Shakespeare in Love, Shrek the Third, The Madness of King George, My Best Friend’s Wedding)
1959 Adrian Paul, model, dancer, choreographer, martial artist, actor (Highlander: The Series, Tracker, The Colbys, Love Potion No. 9)
1963 Lisa Whelchel, actress (The New Mickey Mouse Club, The Facts of Life, The Double McGuffin)
1967 Noel Gallagher, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist (Oasis)
1975 Mel B aka “Scary Spice” (Melanie Janine Brown), pop singer and songwriter turned actress and television personality (Spice Girls)

1829 Sir Humphry Davy, chemist who discovered several chemical elements and compounds, invented the miner’s safety lamp, and epitomized the scientific method, dies at 50
1911 Sir William S. Gilbert, dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, of which the most famous include H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado, dies at 74
1942 John Barrymore, stage and screen actor (Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Don Juan, Moby Dick, Dinner at Eight), dies at 60
1951 Fanny Brice, actress, singer, vaudevillian who starred in 11 Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway from 1910 until 1936, dies at 59
1957 James Whale, film director (Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, Show Boat, The Man in the Iron Mask), commits suicide at 67
1979 Mary Pickford, America’s Sweetheart and Academy Award-winning actress (Coquette, The Poor Little Rich Girl, Sparrows, My Best Girl), dies at 87
1996 Jeremy Sinden, actor (Star Wars, Danger UXB, Brideshead Revisited, Fortunes of War, Let Him Have It, Middlemarch), dies at 45
1997 Jeff Buckley, singer-songwriter and guitarist, drowned while swimming with a friend off Mud Island in Memphis at the age of 30
1998 Barry Goldwater, five-term US Senator from Arizona (1953–1965, 1969–87), the Republican Party’s nominee for President in the 1964 election and he was a Major General in the US Air Force Reserves, dies at 89

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