Back to Home Page
May 20, 1889 May 20, 1992
 • Jacob German, operator of a taxicab for the Electric Vehicle Company, becomes the first driver to be arrested for speeding when he is stopped for driving at the "breakneck" speed of 12 mph on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.  • Amy Fisher, the so-called "Lond Island Lolita", is arrested for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco on the front porch of her Massapequa, N.Y., home.
May 21, 1881 May 21, 1927
 • In Washington, DC., humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters.  • American pilot Charles A. Lindbergh lands at Le Bourget Field in Paris, successfully completing the first solo, nonstop trans Atlantic flight and the first ever nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
May 22, 1868 May 22, 1977
 • The Great Train Robbery took place near Marshfield, Indiana, as seven members of the Reno gang held up the crew, detached the locomotive, and made off with $96,000 dollars in cash, gold and bonds.  • Janet Guthrie becomes the first female to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Guthrie failed to finish the 1977 race due to mechanical problems, but the following year she finished in ninth place, a remarkable feat considering her meager funding.
May 23, 1934 May 23, 1960
 • Notorious criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police while driving a stolen car near Sailes, LA. The Barrow Gang was believed responsible for the deaths of 13 people, including 9 police officers.  • Israeli Prime Minister David BenGurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured and will stand trial in Isreal. Eichmann, the Nazi officer who organized Adolf Hitler's "final solution of the Jewish question", was found guilty on 15 charges in 1961 and was hanged in Tel Aviv in 1962.
May 24, 1883 May 24, 1964
 • After 14 years and 27 deaths during construction, the Brooklyn Bridge opens. The granite foundations of the bridge were built underwater in pressurized chambers. More than a hundred workers suffered from cases of compression sickness, also called the "bends".  • Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., suggests during an interview using low-yield atomic bombs in North Vietnam. A storm of criticism followed, and Goldwater was crushed by Lyndon B. Johnson in the U.S. presidential election later that year.
May 25, 1793 May 25, 1961
 • In Baltimore, Maryland, Father Stephen Theodore Badin becomes the first Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States.  • President Kennedy asked the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
May 26, 1868 May 26, 1940
 • The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended with his acquittal as the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.  • The evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France, during World War II began.
May 27, 1647 May 27, 1941
 • The first recorded American execution of a "witch" took place in Massachusetts. (The method involved was not burning at the stake, but hanging.)  • The British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.
May 28, 1937 May 28, 1987
 • The Golden Gate Bridge, one of the world's largest single-span suspension bridges at 6,450 feet, opens to vehicular traffic. More than 80,000 miles of wire went into its construction.  • Matthias Rust, a 19 year old amatuer pilot from West Germany, takes off from Finland, travels through more than 400 miles of Soviet airspace, and lands his small Cessna aircraft in Red Square by the Kremlin. The event was an immense embarrassment to the Soviet government and military, and Rust would spend 18 months in a Soviet prison.
May 29, 1914 May 29, 1953
 • In one of the worst ship disasters in history, the British liner Empress of Ireland collides with the Norwegian freighter Storstad in the Gulf of Canada's St. Lawrence River. The Storstad penetrated 15 feet into the Empress of Ireland's starboard side, and the vessel sank within 14 minutes, drowning 1,012 of its passengers and crew.  • Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, became the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth at 29,035 feet above sea level.
Back to Home Page