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May 10, 1749 May 10, 1869
 • The 10th and final volume of Henry Fielding's "Tom Jones" is printed. The novel tells the humorous story of the attempts of the illegitimate but charming Tom Jones to win his neighbor's daughter, despite her father's objections to his uncertain parentage.  • At Promontory Point in a remote corner of Utah, the Presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads meet and drive a ceremonial spike that connects their railroads and makes transcontinental railroad service possible for the first time in U.S. history. In their eagerness for government land grants, the two lines had built right past each other and the final meeting place had to be renegotiated.
May 11, 1981 May 11, 1997
 • Reggae legend Bob Marley dies of cancer in Miami Beach, Florida. Marley, born in Jamaica in 1945, formed his band, the Wailers, in 1963. In the early 1970's the band's music began to catch on outside of Jamaica, assisted by Eric Clapton's cover of "I shot the Sheriff".  • An IBM computer, "Deep Blue", beat world chess champion Gary Kasparov when Kasparov resigned the sixth and final match in the highly publicized playoff.
May 12, 1943 May 12, 1949
 • During World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.  • An early crisis of the Cold War comes to an end when the Soviet Union lifts its 11 month blockade against West Berlin. The blockade had been broken by a massive U.S.-British airlift of vital supplies to West Berlin's 2 million citizens.
May 13, 1607 May 13, 1981
 • More than 100 English colonists settled along the west bank of the James River in Virginia to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.  • In Rome's St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously wounded while passing through the square in an open car. The assailant, 23 year old escaped Turkish murderer Mehmet Ali Agea, missed the pope's vital organs.
May 14, 1796 May 14, 1948
 • English doctor Edward Jenner administers the world's first smallpox vaccinations by scratching cowpox fluid into the skin of an 8 year old boy. Doctors across Europe soon adopted Jenner's technique, leading to a drastic decline in the spread of the disease.  • In Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Isreal, establishing the first Jewish state in 2,000 years.
May 15, 1948 May 15, 1972
 • Hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Isreal was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.  • During an outdoor rally, George Wallace the governor of Alabama, at a Laurel, MD., shopping center, is shot by 21-year old Arthur Bremer. Wallace was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. He was a presidential candidate.
May 16, 1770 May 16, 1866
 • Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.  • Congress votes to discontinue use of the half-disme, a small silver coin. The disme's demise resulted in the birth of one of the enduring coins of the late 19th and 20th centuries, a five cent piece affectionately dubbed the "nickel".
May 17, 1792 May 17, 1875
 • The New York Stock Exchange was founded by brokers meeting under a tree located on what is now Wall Street.  • The first Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs in Louisville. The winner was Aristides.
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