Sunday, 17 May 2009

On This Day...

Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist, women's suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer; 1818-1895

1630 - Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi saw the belts on Jupiter's surface.

1792 - The New York Stock Exchange was founded at 70 Wall Street by 24 brokers.

1814 - Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden. Norway's constitution, which provided a limited monarchy, was signed.

1877 - The first telephone switchboard burglar alarm was installed by Edwin T. Holmes.

1881 - Frederick Douglass was appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, DC.

1932 - The US Congress changed the name "Porto Rico" to "Puerto Rico."

1940 - Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France.

1954 - The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal.

1973 - The US Senate Watergate Committee began its hearings.

1980 - Rioting erupted in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood after an all-white jury in Tampa acquitted four former Miami police officers of fatally beating black insurance executive Arthur McDuffie. Eight people were killed in the rioting.

1985 - Bobby Ewing "died" on the season finale of Dallas on CBS-TV. He returned the following season, with the revalation of an entire year's worth of storylines being nothing but a lengthy and elaborate dream.

1996 - US President Clinton signed a measure requiring neighborhood notification when sex offenders move in. Megan's Law was named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994.

1997 - Rebel leader Kabila declared himself president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly Zaire.

2000 - Thomas E. Blanton Jr. and David Luker surrendered to police in Birmingham, Alabama. The two former Ku Klux Klan members were arrested on charges from the bombing of a church in 1963 that killed four young black girls.

2000 - Austria, the US and six other countries agreed on the broad outline of a plan that would compensate Nazi-Era forced labor.

2001 - The U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp based on Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip.

Happy Birthday
Sandro Botticelli, Italian Rennaissance painter, most famous for his impression of The Birth of Venus (c.1482-86): 1444 - 1510

Edward Jenner, English scientist, pioneer of smallpox vaccine: 1749 - 1823

Joseph Norman Lockyer, English scientist and astronomer, discovered helium: 1836 - 1920

Maureen O'Sullivan, Irish actress: 1911 - 1998

Birgit Nilsson, Swedish opera singer: 1918 - 2005

Dennis Hopper, American actor: b.1936

Taj Mahal, blues musician (NOT the building): b.1942

Enya, Irish singer and composer, best known for her song Orinoco Flow: b.1961

The Birth of Venus (c.1482-86), Sandro Boticelli

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