After the long Manitoba winter has finally departed, it figures that May would be merry. At last, the arrival of spring weather along with all its wonderful and long-awaited outdoor activities. In this climate of extremes, we really deserve the joy of spring!
Here’s a look at the May calendar, down through history:
May 1, 1840 — England released the first adhesive postage stamp.
May 1, 1931 — The Empire State Building was dedicated.
May 1, 1941 — The cereal food Cheerios hit store shelves.
Proof that those were simpler days is the fact that kids of that era felt those funny little “Os” were exciting stuff — at least a lot more exciting than porridge.
May 1, 1952 — Mr. Potato Head was introduced, which was almost as exciting as Cheerios.
May 2, 1885 — Good Housekeeping magazine first hit the newsstand.
May 3, 1936 — Joe DiMaggio makes his major-league debut with three hits for the N.Y. Yankees.
May 3, 1963 — Martin Luther King Jr. made his I Have a Dream speech.
May 3, 1937 — Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer prize for her novel Gone With the Wind. A few years later it became the first blockbuster movie hit — in colour!
May 4, 1932 — Atlanta Penitentiary had a new resident after Chicago gangster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion.
May 4, 1626 — Manhattan Island was sold to the Dutch by local aboriginals, who agreed to the deal in exchange for $24 worth of cloth and buttons.
May 4, 1878 — The phonograph was played for the first time at the Grand Opera House in New York.
May 5, 1862 — Mexican forces under Benito Juarez defeated French troops in the Battle of Puebla. Today, this battle is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo.
May 5, 1893 — The New York Stock Exchange crashes, causing the Great Panic of 1893.
May 6, 1889 — The Paris Exposition opened with the just completed Eiffel Tower as its centrepiece.
May 6, 1937 — The dirigible Hindenburg exploded into flames while landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey.
May 6, 1994 – The amazing Chunnel, linking England and France, officially opened.
May 7, 1789 — The first U.S. Inaugural Ball was held in honour of George Washington and his wife Martha.
May 7, 1888 — George Eastman (Kodak) patented the box camera.
May 7, 1945 — Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Rheims, France, ending the Second World War in Europe.
May 8, 1952 — Mad magazine hit the newsstand.
May 9, 1926 — Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first people to fly over the North Pole.
May 9, 1960 — The birth control pill was approved in the U.S. by the FDA.
May 10, 1994 — Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.
May 11, 1916 — Mathematician Albert Einstein presented his Theory of General Relativity.
May 13, 1983 — Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson became the first major league ballplayer to strike out 2,000 times.
May 14, 1878 — Vaseline petroleum jelly slid onto store shelves for the first time.
May 14, 1973 — The first U.S. space station, Skylab, was launched.
May 15, 1940 — Nylon stockings hit the market for first time.
May 18, 1804 — Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor of France.
May 18, 1884 — Ringling Brothers circus premiered.
May 22, 1933 — The first reported sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
May 22, 1967 — The debut on TV in the U.S. of Mister Rogers' Neighbourhood.
May 27, 1647 — Achsah Young was the first woman to be executed as a witch in Massachusetts.
May 27, 1919 — The pop-up toaster was patented.
May 28, 1934 — The Dionne Quintuplets were born in Ontario. Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie were identical, and the sisters became world-famous as the first quints to survive more than a few days.
Two years later, a film called The Country Doctor was made. It was about the doctor who delivered the quints and was later charged with exploiting them.
May 29, 1953 — Sir Edmund Hillary was on top of the world as the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.