Today in History …
by Robert Joseph Baker | May 22, 2016 12:00 am
Last Updated: May 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm
334 BC – The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.
192 – Dong Zhuo is assassinated by his adopted son Lü Bu.
853 – A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys the undefended Damietta in Egypt.
1176 – The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo.
1200 – King John of England and King Philip II of France sign the Treaty of Le Goulet.
1246 – Henry Raspe is elected anti-king of the Kingdom of Germany, in opposition to Conrad IV.
1254 – Serbian King Stefan Uroš I and the Republic of Venice sign a peace treaty.
1370 – Jews were massacred and expelled from Brussels, Belgium.
1377 – Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.
1455 – Start of the Wars of the Roses: At the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1629 – Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and Danish King Christian IV sign the Treaty of Lübeck to end the Danish intervention in the Thirty Years’ War.
1659 – France, England & Netherlands sign Hedges Concerto treaty.
1762 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
1762 – Trevi Fountain in Rome is officially completed and inaugurated by Pope Clemens XIII.
1799 – Napoleon makes statement in support of re-establishing Jerusalem for Jews.
1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially began as the Corps of Discovery departed from St. Charles, Missouri.
1807 – A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1807 – Most of the English town of Chudleigh is destroyed by fire.
1809 – On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna, Austria), Napoleon I is repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
1812 – Action of 22 May 1812: A small French two-frigate squadron comprising Ariane and Andromaque, returning from a commerce raiding campaign in the Atlantic, meets the 74-gun HMS Northumberland while trying the slip to Lorient through the British blockade.
1816 – A mob in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, riots over high unemployment and rising grain costs; the rioting spreads to Ely the next day.
1819 – The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England, on June 20.
1826 – HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.
1840 – The transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
1848 – Slavery is abolished in Martinique.
1849 – Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats over obstacles in a river, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.
1856 – Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas”).
1858 – Confederación Granadina (now Colombia and Panama) forms, replacing the Republic of New Granada.
1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson: Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.
1864 – American Civil War: After ten weeks, the Union Army’s Red River Campaign ends with the Union unable to achieve any of its objectives.
1871 – The U.S. Army issues an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.
1872 – Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act into law restoring full civil and political rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1885 – Prior to burial in the Panthéon, the body of Victor Hugo was exposed under the Arc de Triomphe during the night.
1888 – Leroy Buffington patents a system to build skyscrapers.
1897 – The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened
1903 – Launch of the White Star Liner, SS Ionic.
1906 – The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.
1915 – Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the contiguous US during the 20th century.
1915 – Three trains collide in the Quintinshill rail disaster near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246; the accident is found to be the result of non-standard operating practices during a shift change at a busy junction.
1926 – Chiang Kai-shek replaces communists in Kuomintang, China.
1927 – Near Xining, China a 8.3 quake caused 200,000 deaths in one of the world’s most destructive earthquakes.
1939 – World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
1941 – British troops attack Baghdad.
1942 – Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.
1942 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed.
1942 – World War II: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps as a flight instructor.
1943 – Joseph Stalin disbands Comintern.
1945 – Operation Paperclip: United States Army Major Robert B. Staver recommends that the U.S. evacuate German scientists and engineers to help in the development of rocket technology.
1947 – Cold War: In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, the U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.
1958 – Sri Lankan riots of 1958: This riot is a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.
1960 – An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean earthquake, hits southern Chile. It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
1961 – An earthquake rocks New South Wales.
1962 – Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board.
1963 – Greek left-wing politician Grigoris Lambrakis, is shot and dies five days later.
1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson presents Great Society.
1967 – Egyptian president Nassar closes Straits of Tiran to Israel.
1967 – The L’Innovation department store in the center of Brussels, Belgium, burns down. It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
1968 – The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
1969 – Apollo 10 ‘s lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.
1972 – Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
1972 – Over 400 women in Derry attack the offices of Official Sinn Féin in Derry, North Ireland, following the shooting of William Best by the Official Irish Republican Army.
1980 – Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man.
1987 – Hashimpura massacre in Meerut, India.
1987 – First ever Rugby World Cup kicks off with New Zealand playing Italy at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
1990 – North and South Yemen are unified to create the Republic of Yemen.
1990 – Microsoft releases the Windows 3.0 operating system.
1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations.
1997 – In Italy the Grand Princess was launched at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard. It was the world’s largest passenger cruise ship at 109,000 gross tons and was scheduled for interior completion in the spring of 1998.
1998 – Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton.
2002 – American civil rights movement: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
2003 – In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
2004 – The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) which kills one resident, and becomes the widest tornado on record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide; a record that wouldn’t be broken until the El Reno tornado on May 31, 2013.
2005 – A Presidential election is held in Mongolia; the result is a victory for Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP).
2008 – The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashes 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between May 22 and May 31, 2008. The tornadoes strike 19 states and one Canadian province.
2009 – The Credit CARD Act of 2009 was signed into U.S. law by the President, Barack Obama.
2010 – An Air India Express Boeing 737 goes over a cliff and crashes upon landing at Mangalore, India, killing 158 of the 166 people on board. It is the worst crash involving a Boeing 737.
2011 – An EF5 tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri, killing 162 people and wreaking $2.8 billion worth in damage—the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history.
2012 – Tokyo Skytree is opened to public. It is the tallest tower in world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).
2014 – General Prayut Chan-o-cha of the Royal Thai Armed Forces announces a military coup d’état, following six months of political turmoil.
2014 – An explosion occurs in the city of Ürümqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries.
2015 – The Republic of Ireland becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.