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This Day in History - May 19

May 19

715 – St. Gregory II begins his reign as Catholic Pope

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail for North America

1536 – Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded on Tower Green

1568 – Defeated by the Protestants, Mary Queen of Scots, flees to England where Queen Elizabeth imprisons her

1588 – The Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal

1608 – The Protestant states form the Evangelical Union of Lutherans and Calvinists

1635 – Cardinal Richelieu of France intervenes in the great conflict in Europe by declaring war on the Hapsburgs in Spain

1643 – The French army defeats a Spanish army at Rocroi, France

1643 – Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England

1649 – England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Long Parliament, making England a republic for the next eleven years

1715 – The colony of New York passes a law making it unlawful to bring oysters to the market between the months of May and September, in an effort to help preserve the species

1743 – Jean-Pierre Christin invents the Celsius thermometer

1749 – King George II grants the Ohio Company a charter of several hundred thousands acres of land around the forks of the Ohio River to promote westward settlement by American colonists from Virginia

1762 – German philosopher Johann Gottlieb is born

1780 – Near total darkness descends on New England at noon and no explanation is found

1795 – New Hampshire Patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, Josiah Bartlett, dies

1836 – Nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker is kidnapped by Comanche, Kiowa and Caddo Indians, in Texas, after killing her family. The Indians raised Cynthia and by all accounts she was happy. She married a warrior, Nocona, and gave birth to three children. After several unsuccessful ransom attempts, Texas Rangers recaptured her and her daughter Prairie Flower, and forced them to return to live amongst Anglo-Americans again, at her uncle’s farm. Nocona was killed while engaging in attacks on whites. Parker stayed depressed the remainder of her life and weakened by self-imposed starvation, died of influenza in 1870

1856 – Senator Charles Sumner speaks out against slavery

1858 – A pro-slavery band led by Charles Hamilton executes unarmed Free State men near Marais des Cygnes on the Kansas-Missouri border

1863 – Union General Ulysses Grant’s first attack on Vicksburg is repulsed

1864 – The Union and Confederate armies launch their last attacks against each other at Spotsylvania, Virginia

1864 – President Abraham Lincoln writes to anti-slavery Congressional leader Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, proposing that widows and children of soldiers should be given equal treatment regardless of race

1879 – The first woman to sit on the British House of Commons, Lady Nancy Astor, is born

1881 – First President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is born

1885 – German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck takes possession of Cameroon and Togoland

1890 – Vietnamese nationalist and political leader Ho Chi Minh is born

1893 – Romanian author, poet and journalist H. Bonciu is born

1895 – Merchant and philanthropist Johns Hopkins is born

1895 – Cuban poet, theorist and journalist Jose Marti dies

1897 – Writer Oscar Wilde is released from jail after two years of hard labor

1898 – Italian philosopher Julius Evola is born

1898 – US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards

1898 – Prime Minister of the UK, William Ewart Gladstone, dies

1912 – Polish writer Boleslaw Prus dies

1916 – Representatives of Great Britain and France reach an agreement in secret known as the Sykes-Picot agreement, dividing most of the Arab lands under to rule of the Ottoman Empire up between the British and French spheres of influence with the conclusion of WWI

1919 – Mustafa Kemal Ataturk sets off the Turkish War of Independence when he lands at Samsun on the Black Sea coast

1921 – Congress sharply curbs immigration, setting a national quota system

1925 – Black rights activist Malcolm X is born

1934 – Broadcast journalist James Lehrer is born

1935 – Author, war hero, and archeological scholar T.E. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, dies

1935 – The National Football League adopts an annual college draft to begin in 1936

1941 – Food and health writer Jane Brody is born

1941 – Screenwriter and director Nora Ephron is born

1943 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin Roosevelt set a date for the cross-Channel landing that will become known as D-Day

1945 – English singer, songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend is born

1959 – The North Vietnamese Army begins organizing the Ho Chi Minh trail

1962 – Marilyn Monroe gives her famous, sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday,” at a party for US President John F. Kennedy. It would be her last performance

1963 – Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham Jail is published, defending his nonviolent resistance against racism and segregation

1964 – US diplomats find at least 40 microphones planted in the American embassy in Moscow

1964 – The US Air Force begins Operation Yankee Team-low-altitude reconnaissance flights over southern Laos

1967 – US planes bomb Hanoi for the first time

1967 – The Soviet Union ratifies an agreement banning nuclear weapons from outer space

1984 – Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and the Edmonton Oilers defeat the New York Islanders 5-2 to win the Stanley Cup

1994 – 37th First Lady of the US, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies

1997 – A three-year-old boy dies from avian influenza in Hong Kong, that will kill another five people and lead to the destroying of 1.6 million fowl before containment

2006 – Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling thriller “The Da Vinci Code” debuts in theaters amid controversy from religious scholars who found its fictional content offensive


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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