• 7~years war begins... • Coup attempt in Tokyo... • Alabama's Wallace shot... • UK 3rd thermonuclear power... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Soviets start leaving Afghanistan... • First Allied jet flies... • Battle of New Market... • San Francisco vigilantes... • US forces under heavy fire in Vietnam... • 20 million VWs ... • Protectionism or not?... • Cars on Nantucket... • Ship of Fools author is born... • Women's Army Corps... • New Cray supercomputer... • Amazon IPO... • Justice Department meets with Microsoft...
a 15 May:
2208:: 4m19s annular eclipse of the sun, centered at 17:46 UT, best visible at 18º40'N 87º05'W, off the east coast of Yucatan.
2189:: 7m31s annular eclipse of the sun, centered at 10:02 UT, best visible at 22º35'S 43º10'E, near the west coast of Madagascar.
2008 In January 2005 parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in St.Louis voted 299-5 for the parish council, with its 6 lay members, to be a board of directors governing the parish as an independent entity appointing its own clergy and not subject to the jurisdiction of the local ordinary, Archbishop Raymond Burke [~]. On 15 December 2005 the archbishop decreed that the board of directors was excommunicated because of “persistence in schism.” The archbishop said the Congregation has confirmed his December 15, 2005 decrees declaring the board of directors had incurred the penalty of excommunication because of “persistence in schism”. and their unauthorized hiring of Father Marek B. Bozek, a priest of the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, who had been suspended by his own bishop, and is also excommunicated..
Today the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a decree signed by its prefect, Cardinal William Levada, rejects the appeal made by the board, upholds the decisions of Archbishop Burke, and states that
“it is evident that the Board Members have committed the delict of schism by constituting St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as an independent entity capable of appointing its own clergy apart from the hierarchy of the Church.... In a gradual process the parish has been removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinary. This can be seen as an expression of the refusal of the members of the Board to subject themselves to the lawfully constituted Ecclesiastical authority.”
2005 Parliamentary elections in Ethiopia, won by the ruling coalition of prime minister Meles Zenawi, with only minor irregularities noticed by foreign observers. But the opposition “Coalition for Unity and Democracy” (headed by Hailu Shawel} and “United Ethiopian Democratic Forces” claim that the result is invalid because of widespread coercion and fraud.
2003 Lunar eclipse visible in Europe, Africa, Antarctica, and in North America with umbra from 20:02 to 23:17 MDT (16 May 02:02 to 05:17 UT) and totality from at 21:13 to 22:06 MDT (16 May 03:13 to 04:06 UT)
2002 In Nederlandia comitia parlamentaria facta sunt, quorum victores exstiterunt democratae Christiani et populistae extremae dextrae. Omnibus apparet, nisi Pim Fortuyn, dux huius factionis, per insidias occisus esset, extremistas tantam gratiam apud cives inituros non fuisse. Partes autem administratrices cladem acerbam acceperunt, quo fit, ut coalitio socialistarum et fautorum factionis centralis post regimen octo annorum potestate absistere cogatur. Dubium enim non est, quin Jan Peter Balkenende, praeses democratarum Christianorum, novus primus minister Nederlandiae futurus sit.
2001 Qwest's 96'000 pay phones in 14 states of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains begin a 4-month period of conversion from 35 to 50 cents. U S West, Qwest's predecessor, last raised the rate from 25 to 35 cents over the period 1987 to 1998. The two biggest US pay phone operators, Verizon and SBC, as well as AT&T with its fewer pay phones, are not increasing their rates.
2000 By a 5-4 vote, the US Supreme Court throws out a key provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, saying that rape victims could not sue their attackers in federal court.
2000 United Press International was sold to the parent company of The Washington Times.
| 1991 French President Francois Mitterrand appointed
Edith Cresson to be France's first female premier.
1991 US Defense Department releases documents claiming that Noriega was "CIA's man in Panama"
1990 Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches a record 2822.45
1989 Soviet President Gorbachev in Beijing for first Sino-Soviet summit in 30 years.
| 1972 Ryukyu Is and Daito Is returned to Japan after
27 yrs of US control
1948 The British Mandate over Palestine ends. The previous day was that of the creation of the state of Israel. Now it is invaded by the armies of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, and Egypt. This day is commemorated every year by Palestinians as Al-Naqba (The Catastrophe), as it is followed by their expulsion from their homes in Israel proper, and oppression in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
1942 Gasoline rationing went into effect in 17 US states, limiting sales to three gallons a week for non-essential vehicles.
1941 First Allied jet plane flies.
The first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion is made in England. The turbo jet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, a Royal Air Force engineer who also flew the initial tests.
The jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion. The aircraft's turbojet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, an English aviation engineer and pilot generally regarded as the father of the jet engine. Whittle, born in Coventry in 1907, was the son of a mechanic. At the age of 16, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an aircraft apprentice at Cranwell and in 1926 passed a medical exam to become a pilot and joined the RAF College. He won a reputation as a daredevil flier and in 1928 wrote a senior thesis entitled Future Developments in Aircraft Design, which discussed the possibilities of rocket propulsion. From the first Wright brothers flight in 1903 to the first jet flight in 1939, airplanes were propeller driven.
Early on, engineers realized that propeller technology would never overcome certain inherent limitations, especially in regard to speed. However, before Whittle came along, no one had theorized a practical alternative. After graduating from the RAF college, he was posted to a fighter squadron, and in his spare time he worked out the essentials of the modern turbojet engine. A flying instructor, impressed with his propulsion ideas, introduced him to the Air Ministry and a private turbine engineering firm, but both ridiculed Whittle's ideas as impractical. In 1930, he patented his jet engine concept and in 1936 formed the company Power Jets Ltd. to build and test his invention. In 1937, he tested his first jet engine on the ground. He still received only limited funding and support, and on 27 August 1939, the German Heinkel He 178, designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, made the first jet flight in history. The German prototype jet was developed independently of Whittle's efforts. One week after the flight of the He 178, World War II broke out in Europe, and Whittle's project got a further lease of life. The Air Ministry commissioned a new jet engine from Power Jets and asked the Gloster Aircraft Company to build an experimental aircraft to accommodate it, specified as E 28/39.
On 15 May 1941, at dusk on a remarkably bitter day, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 flew, beating out a jet prototype being developed by the same British turbine company that earlier balked at his ideas. In its initial tests, Whittle's aircraft flown by the test pilot Gerry Sayer achieved a top speed of 600 km/h at 7500 m altitude, faster than the Spitfire or any other conventional propeller-driven planes. Its specs were: Wing Span: 8.84 m, Length: 7.72 m, Weight: Gross 1678 kg.
As the Gloster Aircraft Company worked on an operational turbojet aircraft for combat, Whittle aided the Americans in their successful development of a jet prototype. With Whittle's blessing, the British government took over Power Jets Ltd. in 1944. By this time, Britain's Gloster Meteor jet aircraft were in service with the RAF, going up against Germany's jet-powered Messerschmitt Me 262s in the skies over Europe. Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 with the rank of air commodore. That year, he was awarded £100'000 by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors and was knighted. His book Jet: The Story of a Pioneer was published in 1953. In 1977, he became a research professor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He died in Columbia, Maryland, in 1996.
| 1940 Nylon stockings went on general sale for the first
time in the United States.
1940 Capitulation hollandaise à 9h15.
1934 Dept of Justice offers $25'000 reward for Dillinger, dead or alive.
1919 Greek forces occupy Smyrna in Asia Minor, which for 3000 years had been populated mainly by Greeks, had been under Ottoman rule, but had reverted to Greek rule as part of the international agreements following World War I. Smyrna would be recaptured by Turkish forces under Mustafa Kemal (later Kemal Atatürk) [1881 – 10 Nov 1938] on 09 September 1922, then devastated further by a fire set by the Turks on 13 September 1922, starting in the Armenian district. Smyrna was renamed Izmir in 1930 by the Turks.
1915 A.T.&T. becomes first corporation to have 1 million stockholders
1911 The Supreme Court orders the dissolution of Standard Oil Co., ruling it was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
1891 British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) established.
1891 Pope Leo XIII promulgates his Encyclical Rerum Novarum [English text].
1885 Canadian M‚ti insurgent Louis Reil captured, Saskatchewan
1862 Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia.
1829 Joseph Smith [23 Dec 1805 – 27 Jun 1844] is ordained by John the Baptist according to Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons.
1800 Pope Pius VII [14 Aug 1742 – 20 Aug 1823] calls on French bishops to return to Gospel principles
1793 DULAURENS Jean Jacques, domicilié à Quimper, département du Finistère, est condamné à la déportation par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
1686 Rev. Robert Ratcliffe arrived in Boston from England, with orders from King Charles II to establish the Anglican Church in Massachusetts.
1618 Johannes Kepler discovers his harmonics law
1602 Cape Cod discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold
1455 A crusade against the Turks and for the capture of Constantinople is proclaimed by Pope Calixtus III.
2007 Jerry Falwell [11 Aug 1933–], US fundamentalist Protestant pastor and televangelist, founder in Lynchburg, Virginia, of the Thomas Road Baptist Church (17 Jun 1956) and of Liberty University (1971); co-founder of the right-wing political organisation Moral Majority (1979). —(070515)
2006 David Sharp [15 Feb 1972–], British engineer and amateur alpinist, dies slowly from lack of oxygen during an unsupported solo ascension of the north side of Mount Everest, sitting in a shallow snow cave near the summit, while some 40 other climbers pass by without stopping to help. One of his teammates, the Brazilian Vitor Negrete [13 Nov 1967–], dies on 19 May 2006, also from lack of oxygen, after his descent from his solo ascension to the summit on 18 May. Of the 2062 persons who ever reached the summit of Everest (some of them more than once) prior to April 2007, 203 died on their descent.. —(080514)
2005 All 100 or so persons aboard a ferry which sinks in the morning in high winds and strong currents in the 4-km-wide Char Kazal river near Galachipa, in the Patuakhali district of Bangladesh.
2004 A US soldier by a roadside bomb exploding alongside his vehicle in Baghdad, late in the evening. Another US soldier is wounded.
2004 Two al-Mahdi militiamen among those attacking US occupation troops at a police station in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad, Iraq.
2004 Four Iraqi civilians, including twin girls, aged 2, by a mortar shell which hits their house near a British military base in Basra, Iraq.
2004 major Mohammed Abdel-Hassan Imshani, shot at the hospital in Amarah, Iraq, by a bodyguard of the Amarah puppet governor Riyahd Mahoud, by whom, Abdel-Hassan, police chief of town al-Majar al-Kabir, was being accused by Mahoud of encouraging attacks on the British occupiers, as they argue about Abdel-Hassan's demand for the immediate return to his town of the bodies of 21 al-Mahdi Army militiamen killed the previous day attacking the British.
2003 Dr. Sister Alfansa; Mrs. Betty Vinayak (wife of M. K. Shaji?), 35; boy Johnie Vinayak (Shaji?), 12; girl Tonny Vinayak (Shaji?), 7; Ganpati Vinayak; and at least 33 others, at 04:00, in fire starting at 03:45 (14 May 22:15 UT), which spreads to four coaches [shown after being separated from the train >] of the Golden Temple Express train, 10 km north of Ludhiana, Punjab, India, as it was headed to Amritsar. 13 persons are injured seriously enough to be hospitalized. India has the world's largest railway network after the United States, with almost 14'000 trains carrying over 13 million passengers a day. It has about 300 accidents a year.
2003 Four terrorists, killed in the evening by ambushing Indian soldiers, just past the border from Pakistan into Indian-occupied Kashmir, in the Krishnagati area of Poonch district.
2003 Mohammed Zaaneen, 12, Palestinian, after been shot in the head, in the early hours, by Israeli troops invading Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, and being left unattended for four hours while the Israelis prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded. Four other Palestinians (two gunmen and two boys of 15) are also killed by the Israeli incursion.
2001 Idit Mizrahi, 22, [< photo] shot from ambush by Palestinian gunmen, shortly after 19:00, near the settlement of Ma'aleh Mikhmas, east of Ramallah. She was from the secular West Bank enclave settlement of Rimonim, driving to Jerusalem for a family wedding with her father and brother.
2001 Abdel Karim Maname, shot by Israeli tank in the Gaza strip. Maname was a bodyguard for Sheik Ahmed Yassin, founder of.Hamas.Three other Palestinians are killed by Israelis this same day.
2001 Father Raphael Paliakara and two other Catholic priests, shot by gunmen who had just exacted money from them, at the seminary in Ngarian, 26 km east of Imphal, capital of Manipur state, India. Father Paliakara was the rector. The killers are suspected to be rebels of the People's Liberation Army.
1970 Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, by police opened gunfire during student protests.
1952 Niles Maurice Spencer, US painter born on 16 May 1893. MORE ON SPENCER AT ART 4 MAY 16 with links to images.
1935 Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, Ukrainian Cubist painter born on 26 February 1878. MORE ON MALEVICH AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
^ 1932 Tsuyoshi Inukai, 77, Japanese Prime Minister, and a policeman, murdered in coup attempt.
In 1932, Japanese military conspirators aimed at nothing less than instant revolution. On Friday 13 May 1932, five plotters had met in a restaurant in the naval base town of Tsuchiura, a two-hour train ride from Tokyo. Two naval officers, an army cadet, a student and a teacher from the agricultural Native Land-Loving School put the finishing touches on plans to terrorize the civilian government and force the country under martial law; thereupon, the army could take over in the name of the emperor. At 17:00 on Sunday 15 May, nine young naval and army officers visited Tokyo's sacred Yasukuni Shrine, dedicated to the country's war dead, then piled into two taxis and drove to the prime minister's official residence. One group easily entered the front door and located the prime minister's suite, while the other went around to the rear.
Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai [20 Apr 1855–], small, goateed and wearing a kimono, addled the revolver-wielding intruders by calmly asking them to sit down and talk. Suddenly, the second group of officers burst in. Their leader, a lieutenant, snapped, "No use talking. Fire!" The others obeyed. The fatally wounded Inukai slumped to the matted floor. On their way out, the killers shot a truncheon-armed policeman who challenged them. Abandoned by the taxi-drivers who had brought them, the nine found two more cabs. Their next target was central civilian police headquarters, but they found the building empty. One carload then drove on to military police headquarters and surrendered, and the second followed suit after detouring to toss a grenade at the Bank of Japan building. There were other explosives-throwing incidents in Tokyo that night.
Twenty-one naval officers and army cadets and 20 civilians would be tried for the 15 May violence. They would receive light sentences, none of which they would fully serve. It was felt that, while the extremists' actions had been objectionable, their motives had been "pure and patriotic."
Initially, the rebelling officers had planned to murder not only the prime minister but also Charlie Chaplin [16 Apr 1889 – 25 Dec 1977], who was visiting Japan. Lieutenant Seishi Koga, the plot leader, later explained: "Chaplin is a popular figure in the United States and a darling of the capitalist class. We believed that killing him would cause a war with America." The plan to assassinate Chaplin was discarded because "it was disputed...that it could bring about war with the United States and increase the power of the military."
Although senior officers refused the rebels' request to order the army to move against the government, the 15 May incident would have far-reaching effects. Civilian leaders were cowed into silence. Party government was replaced by a "cabinet of national unity" consisting of eight military officers and three civilians and headed by Admiral Makoto Saito [27 Oct 1858 – 26 Feb 1936] as prime minister. —(080514)
1908 Charles Frederic Ulrich, German artist born on 18 October 1858.
1904 Mosè di Giosuè Bianchi, Italian painter and etcher born on 13 October 1840. MORE ON BIANCHI AT ART 4 OCTOBER with links to images.
1891 Edwin Long, English painter born on 12 July 1829.
1886 Emily Dickinson US poet, in Amherst, Massachusetts.
1859 Lancelot~Théodore Turpin comte de Crissé, Paris painter, lithographer, and collector, born on 06 (09?) July 1782. MORE ON TURPIN AT ART 4 JULY with links to images.
1854 Hendrik Reekers, Dutch artist born on 21 September 1815.
1789 Jean~Baptiste~Marie Pierre, French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and administrator, born on 06 March 1714. MORE ON PIERRE AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1782 Richard Wilson, Welsh Romantic painter, active in Italy and England, specialized in Landscapes, born on 01 August 1714. MORE ON WILSON AT ART 4 AUGUST with links to images.
1734 Sebastiano Ricci (or Rizzi), Italian Rococo era painter, born in 1659. MORE ON RICCI AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1665 Claes Wou, Dutch artist born in 1592.
0884 Marinus I, Pope
1936 Paul Zindel, Playwright.
1931 Pierre Lagaillarde, fondera l'Organisation de l'Armée Secrète en février 1961. Se réfugiera en Espagne.
1926 Anthony Shaffer, playwright ("Sleuth")
1926 Peter Shaffer, Playwright ("Amadeus")
1923 Richard Avedon [–01 Oct 2004], US photographer (1957 ASMP award)
1922 Adil Carcani [–13 Oct 1997], who would become the last Communist Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Albania (18 Dec 1981 - 1991). —(080514)
1915 Paul Anthony Samuelson economist (1970 Nobel, 1947 John Bates Clark Medal)
1902 Richard Daley (Mayor-D-Chic)
1864 Wilhelm Hammershøi, Copenhagen painter who died on 13 February 1916. MORE ON HAMMERSHØI AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1862 US Department of Agriculture is created.
1859 Pierre Curie France, physicist (Nobel 1903)
1838 Nicolae Grigorescu, Romanian painter who died on 21 July 1907. MORE ON GRIGORESCU AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1835 Émile Léonard Mathieu, French mathematician who died on 19 October 1890. He is remembered especially for his discovery (in 1860 and 1873) of five sporadic simple groups named after him.
1628 conte Carlo Cignani, Italian painter and draftsman who died on 06 September1719. — more
1625 Carlo Maratti (or Maratta), Italian painter who died on 15 December 1713. MORE ON MARATTI AT ART 4 MAY with links to images.
1567 (infant baptism) Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer (L'Orfeo) who died on 29 November 1643. He was the most important developer of the then new genre, the opera. He composed seven operas of which three survive: La favola d'Orfeo (1607); Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1641); L'incoronazione di Poppea (1642). He also did much to bring a “modern” secular spirit into church music.