5:40am

Tue May 6, 2014
KALW Almanac

Tuesday May 6, 2014

1939
1939

  • 126th Day of 2014 239 Remaining
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  • Holidays
  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day
  • National Nurses Day
  • No Diet Day
  • No Homework Day
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  • National Crepe Suzette Day
  • No Diet Day
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  • Martyr’s Day-Syria/Lebanon
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  • On This Day In …
  • 1833 --- John Deere developed the first steel plow.
  • 1835 --- The first issue of the ‘New York Herald’ newspaper was published by James Gordon Bennett.
  • 1840 --- A tornado that touched down in eastern Louisiana and crossed the Mississippi River into Natchez, Miss., killed 317 people - most of them on boats in the river.
  • 1851 --- John Gorrie patented an ice making machine, the first U.S. patent for a mechanical refrigerator.
  • 1851 --- Linus Yale of Newport, NY became well known for his patent of the clock-type lock. If the name Yale sounds familiar, it should. Yale locks are among the top brands of security devices sold today.
  • 1876 --- Thomas Gainsborough's painting Duchess of Devonshire is auctioned in London, England, nearly 100 years after it disappeared into obscurity. The portrait of Georgiana Spencer, an ancestor of  Princess Diana, sold for 10,000 guineas, the highest price ever paid for a work of art up until this time. Public interest in Gainsborough's masterpiece peaked a few weeks later when it was stolen from the Thomas Agnew & Sons art gallery.
  • 1889 --- The Universal Exposition opened in Paris, France, marking the dedication of the recently constructed Eiffel Tower. The exposition also was known for the display of the first automobile in Paris. It was a German Mercedes-Benz, one of the world’s most luxurious automobiles.
  • 1915 --- Babe Ruth hit his first major-league home run. He was playing for the Boston Red Sox at the time. ‘The Sultan of Swat’ went on to smash 714 round-trippers before he retired, as a New York Yankee, in 1935.
  • 1933 --- President Franklin Roosevelt signs an executive order creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was just one of many Great Depression relief programs created under the auspices of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which Roosevelt had signed the month before. The WPA, the Public Works Administration (PWA) and other federal assistance programs put unemployed Americans to work in return for temporary financial assistance. Out of the 10 million jobless men in the  United States in 1935, 3 million were helped by WPA jobs alone.
  • 1937 --- German airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built, explodes as it arrives in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people died in the fiery accident that has since become iconic, in part because of the live radio broadcast of the disaster. The dirigible was built to be the fastest, largest and most luxurious flying vessel of its  time. It was more than 800 feet long, had a range of 8,000 miles, could carry 97 passengers and had a state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz engine. It was filled with 7 million cubic feet of hydrogen, even though helium was known to be far safer, because it made the flying ship more maneuverable.
  • 1940 --- John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.
  • 1954 --- 25-year-old medical student Roger Bannister cracks track and field's most notorious barrier: the four-minute mile. Bannister,  who was running for the Amateur Athletic Association against his alma mater, Oxford University, won the mile race with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.
  • 1959 --- The Pablo Picasso painting of a Dutch girl was sold for $154,000 in London. It was the highest price paid (at the time) for a painting by a living artist.
  • 1970 --- Hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation shut down as thousands of students join a nationwide campus protest. Governor  Ronald Reagan closed down the entire California university and college system until May 11, which affected more than 280,000 students on 28 campuses. Elsewhere, faculty and administrators joined students in active dissent and 536 campuses were shut down completely, 51 for the rest of the academic year. A National Student Association spokesman reported students from more than 300 campuses were boycotting classes. The protests were a reaction to the shooting of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen during a campus demonstration about President Nixon's decision to send U.S. and South Vietnamese troops into Cambodia. Four days later, a student rally at Jackson State College in Mississippi resulted in the death of two students and 12 wounded when police opened fire on a women's dormitory.
  • 1981 --- A jury of international architects and sculptors unanimously selected Maya Ying Lin's entry for the design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • 1982 --- Gaylord Perry of the Seattle Mariners became the 15th pitcher in the major leaguesto win 300 career victories. Perry, known for his spitball as well as a variety of other pitches, led the Mariners past the New York Yankees 7-3.
  • 1984 --- Almost 20 years and who knows how many drummers into their unique career in rock, the surviving members of one of England's loudest bands had reached yet another low point in the spring of 1984. Only two years removed from a disastrous 1982 world tour that not only failed to turn the album Smell The Glove into a comeback hit, but also led to the group's breakup, Spinal Tap now had to suffer the indignity of seeing the Marty DiBergi-helmed behind-the-scenes film of that tour gain widespread theatrical  release. Would the numerous embarrassments catalogued in the hard-hitting rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap provoke public sympathy for and renewed interest in the band that Nigel Tufnel, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls began back in 1964 as The Originals? Or would the group behind such familiar classic-rock hits as "Give Me Some Money" and "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" be consigned once and for all to obscurity? In this atmosphere of uncertainty, Spinal Tap elected to go back to their roots, kicking off a tour of small American rock clubs with an appearance at  New York’s legendary CBGB's on May 6, 1984.
  • 1992 --- In an event steeped in symbolism, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev reviews the Cold War in a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri—the site of  Winston Churchill’s "Iron Curtain" speech 46 years before. Gorbachev mixed praise for the end of the Cold War with some pointed criticisms of U.S. policy.
  • 1994 --- In a ceremony presided over by England's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterand, a rail tunnel under the English Channel was officially opened, connecting Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age.
  • 1994 --- Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the  U.S. Justice Department against Ticketmaster. The charge was the company had a monopoly on the concert ticket business. 
  • 2013 --- Three women are rescued from a Cleveland, Ohio, house where they had been imprisoned for many years by their abductor, 52-year-old Ariel Castro, an unemployed bus driver. The women—Michelle Knight, Amada Berry and Gina DeJesus—went missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 21, 16 and 14 years old, respectively. Also rescued from the house was a 6-year-old girl born to Berry while she was being held captive and fathered by Castro.
  • Birthdays
  • Willie Mays
  • Sigmund Frued
  • Toots Shor
  • Orson Wells
  • George Clooney
  • Bob Seger
  • Roma Downey
  • Gabourey Sidibe
  • Rudolph Valentino
  • Maximilien Robespierre
  • Robert Peary
  • PM Tony Blair
  • Mare Winningham
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