May 19 May 16, 2015 18:07:44 GMT -5
Post by Evon on May 16, 2015 18:07:44 GMT -5
May 19 is the 139th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 226 days remaining until the end of the year.
Days until elections:
U.S. Debt Clock: www.usdebtclock.org/
715 Pope Gregory II is elected.
1051 Henry I of France is married to Anne of Kiev.
1382 A synod meeting of Blackfriars, London, to condemn John Wycliffe (mid 1320s–1384) and his followers was shaken by an earthquake. The terrified clergymen fled. This "Earthquake Synod" was led by Archbishop Courtenay and condemned as heretical twenty-four theses from the writings of Wycliffe. Wycliffe later claimed that God sent the earthquake "because the friars had put heresy upon Christ. The earth trembled as it did when Christ was damned to bodily death."
Portrait by Juan de Flandes thought to be of 11-year-old Catherine. She resembles her sister Joanna of Castile.
1499 Catherine of Aragon is married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Catherine is 13 and Arthur is 12.
1535 French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).
1536 Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest, and became the first English queen to be publicly executed.
1547 John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony (1503–1554) signed the Wittenberg Capitulation, which transferred control of the city to the Albertine line of the house of Wettin.
The "Hampden" portrait, by Steven van der Meulen, ca. 1563. This is the earliest full-length portrait of the queen, made before the emergence of symbolic portraits representing the iconography of the "Virgin Queen".
1568 Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1643 New England Confederation. The United Colonies of New England, consisting of Connecticut, New Haven, Massachusetts, and Plymouth is founded. Only "heretical" Rhode Island was excluded from this, the first attempt at major inter-colonial cooperation.
1649 Oliver Cromwell declares England a Commonwealth. England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Long Parliament making England a republic for the next 11 years.
1662 England's King Charles II (1630–1685) approved a bill requiring all ministers to assent publicly to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
1743 Jean-Pierre Christin developed the centigrade temperature scale.
The Ohio Country, showing present-day U.S. state boundaries
1749 King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
1776 American Revolutionary War: A Continental Army garrison surrenders in the Battle of The Cedars.
1780 New England's Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M.
John Quincy Adams
1828 U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States. It was labeled the Tariff of Abominations by its southern detractors because of the effects it had on the antebellum Southern economy.
1845 Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England. He disappeared on his last expedition, attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. The icebound ships were abandoned and the entire crew perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning and scurvy.
Cover of the exchange copy of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
1848 Mexican–American War: Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US$15 million.
William Francis Channing, c. 1847
1857 The first U.S. patent for an "electromagnetic fire alarm telegraph for cities" was issued to William Francis Channing of Boston, Mass. and Moses Gerrish Farmer, of Salem, Mass. (No. 17,355). The city of Boston adopted the system, having voted in June 1851 to spend $10,000 to test the device. It consisted of a circuit between a signal station, central station and alarm station, designed to give a local or general alarm in a town or city. The central station upon receiving an alarm from a signal station activates the public alarm signal station such as a bell struck mechanically in a belfry. Enough signal stations, each sending its own location signal, were envisaged such that one would be in reach of every house. It began operation 28 Apr 1852.
1885 The complete English Revised (E.V. or E.R.V.) Version of the Bible was published in England.
Edward Goodrich Acheson
1896 Edward G. Acheson was issued a U.S. patent for an electric furnace used to produce carborundum (silicon carbide), one of the hardest industrial substances (No. 560,291). The furnace used an electric current passed through a core of carbon rods to produce a strong heating effect resulting from their resistance.
1897 Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.
Halley's Comet and Venus, 1910
1910 The Earth passed through the tail of Halley's Comet, the most intimate contact between the Earth and any comet in recorded history. The event was anticipated with dire predictions. Since a few years earlier, astronomers had found the poisonous gas cyanogen in a comet, it was surmised that if Earth passed through the comet's tail everyone would die. Astronomers explained that the gas molecules within the tail were so tenuous that absolutely no ill effects would be noticed. Nevertheless, ignorance bred opportunists selling "comet pills" to the panicked portion of the public to counter the effects of the cyanogen gas. On 20 May, after Earth had passed through the tail, everyone was still alive - with or without taking pills!
1919 Turkish War of Independence begins. General Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the coast of Black Sea and thus begins the Turkish War of Independence. The war lasted for over 4 years but Turkey came out on top.
1921 The United States Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.
1928 Jonathan Udo Ekong (1881–1982) was sent to the U.S. by the Ibesikbos in Nigeria to seek missionaries for his country.
1936 The African mission of the Lutheran Synodical Conference was opened.
1941 The Viet Minh, a communist coalition, formed at Cao Bằng Province, Vietnam.
1942 World War II: In the aftermath of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Task Force 16 heads to Pearl Harbor. Task Force 16 (TF16) was one of the most storied task forces in the United States Navy, a major participant in a number of the most important battles of the Pacific War.
1943 World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the Normandy landings ("D-Day"). It would later be delayed over a month due to bad weather.
1950 A barge containing munitions destined for Pakistan explodes in the harbor at South Amboy, New Jersey, devastating the city.
1950 Egypt announces that the Suez Canal is closed to Israeli ships and commerce.
1956 Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) condemned artificial insemination as immoral and illicit.
1957 May 1957 Central Plains tornado outbreak sequence. The worst of the damage occurred in the Ruskin Heights area, a suburb and housing development south of Kansas City, Missouri. 57 tornadoes were reported from Colorado to the Mississippi Valley and 59 people were killed during the outbreak, including 44 in the Ruskin Heights tornado.
1959 The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail.
USS Triton (SSRN-586)
1959 The first submarine with two nuclear reactors was completed. The USS Triton had two water-cooled General Electric nuclear reactors to power electricity generators which powered the propellers. The Triton was 447-ft long, 37-ft wide, manned by 148 officers and crew and had a cruising range of 110,000 miles. After its launch on 19 Aug 1958, The first U.S. atomic powered submarine had been completed four years earlier, on 22 Apr 1955.
1961 Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).
Rare Colour Home Movie Of Marilyn Monroe At President Kennedy Birthday Gala 1962
1962 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday".
1962 Stan Musial breaks National League hit record. St. Louis Cardinal's great and Hall of Famer Stan Musial breaks Honus Wagner's National League hit record with hit number 3,431.
1963 The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, drafted shortly after his arrest on April 12 during the Birmingham campaign advocating for civil rights and an end to segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The letter was in response to "A Call for Unity": A statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods, following his arrest, and became one of the most-anthologized statements of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
1971 USSR launches Mars 2. The Soviet Union launches Mars 2, an unmanned space probe from Baikonur Cosmodrome. It becomes the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.
1971 Godspell opened at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City. The musical by Stephen Schwartz is based on the New Testament Gospel of Matthew.
1984 Michael Larson, a contestant on the television game show Press Your Luck exploits a bug in the prize board, and wins over US$110,000.
1986 The Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1997 The Sierra Gorda biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.
2007 President of Romania Traian Băsescu survives an impeachment referendum and returns to office from suspension.
2008 Barack Obama was the first presidential candidate to visit the Crow Nation.
2010 The Royal Thai Armed Forces concludes its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders.
2012 Three gas cylinder bombs explode in front of a vocational school in the Italian city of Brindisi, killing 1 and injuring 5 others.
2012 A car bomb explodes near a military complex in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, killing 9 people.
2015 The Refugio oil spill deposited 142,800 U.S. gallons (3,400 barrels) of crude oil onto an area in California considered one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the west coast.
2016 EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea en route from Paris to Cairo. There were no survivors.
1795 Johns Hopkins, American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland.
His bequests founded numerous institutions bearing his name, most notably Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins University (including its academic divisions such as Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).
A biography entitled Johns Hopkins: A Silhouette written by his cousin, Helen Hopkins Thom, was published in 1929 by the Johns Hopkins University Press. (d. 1873)
1805 Joshua V. Himes, best known for promoting William Miller's Second Advent movement, (d. 1895). Miller predicted the Second Coming between 1843 and 1844. When this did not happen, many followers deserted; others reorganized themselves as Seventh-Day Adventists.
1808 Samuel Jameson Gholson Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1883
1812 Felix Kirk Zollicoffer Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1862
1815 John Gross Barnard career engineering officer in the U.S. Army, serving in the Mexican-American War, as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy and as a Brevet Major General in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He served as Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, 1861 to 1862, Chief Engineer of the Department of Washington from 1861 to 1864, and as Chief Engineer of the armies in the field from 1864 to 1865. He also was a distinguished scientist, engineer, mathematician, historian and author (d 1882)
1828 Adin Ballou Underwood Brevet Major General (Union volunteers)
1834 Catharine Furbish, died 6 Dec 1931, 97. American botanist who spent sixty years meticulously collecting, classifying and drawing the flora of Maine increased the scientific knowledge of the state, and contributed to a number of botanical collections. She began this work in 1870, and extensively traveled the state for 38 years. She enthusiastically explored the depths of wilderness areas to discover new specimens. The exquisite, accurately detailed watercolor drawings she made of the collected specimens were highly regarded by academic botanists. In 1895, she helped found the Josselyn Botanical Society of Maine. She described her fieldwork in American Naturalist in 1881, 1882 and 1901. Her watercolor drawings have been preserved in the 16 folio volumes she gave to Bowdoin College Library in 1908.
1857 John Jacob Abel, died 26 May 1938, 81. American biochemist and pharmacologist who made important contributions to a modern understanding of the ductless, or endocrine, glands. In 1893, he became the first full-time professor of pharmacology in the U.S. at John Hopkins University. Abel encouraged his students to conduct experiments and become active participants in his laboratory research. In 1897 he reported the isolation of a derivative of epinephrine (adrenaline). In 1926, he isolated and crystallized insulin. Abel also investigated the functions of the kidney and devised a vividiffusion apparatus for removing toxins from the blood of living animals, an apparatus that is widely regarded as a forerunner of the artificial kidney.
1864 Carl E. Akeley, died 17 Nov 1926, 62. American naturalist and explorer who developed the taxidermic method for mounting museum displays to show animals in their natural surroundings. His method of applying skin on a finely molded replica of the body of the animal gave results of unprecedented realism and elevated taxidermy from a craft to an art. He mounted the skeleton of the famous African elephant Jumbo. He invented the Akeley cement gun (1911) to use while mounting animals, and the Akeley camera which was used to capture the first movies of gorillas. In the 1920s Akeley made a large specimen collection, part of the American Museum's famous African mammal hall. From 1919, using the skills he had acquired making clay models of animals to design taxidermy exhibits, Akeley also created a series of bronze animal casts.
1868 John Fillmore Hayford, (d 10 Mar 1925, 56). American civil engineer and geodesist who established the modern science of geodesy, and made a precise determination of the ellipsoidal shape and size of the earth (1909). The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics adopted Hayford's calculations in 1924. This International ellipsoid has a flattening of exactly 1 part in 297. The Earth's equatorial radius is 6,378,388 m. The radius along the polar axis is then 1/297 less than that or 6,356,912 m. (Surprisingly, the U.S. did not adopt this datum.) Hayford's theory of isostasy gave that the pressure exerted by the earth's crust is approximately the same over the entire globe, regardless of the nature of the surface (for example, lowlands or mountains). With modification, this theory is now used to explain phenomena within the crust. At the time of his death he was investigating the problems connected with evaporation and the water level of the Great Lakes.
1870 Albert Fish, American serial killer (d. 1936)
1871 Walter Russell, impressionist American painter (of the Boston School), sculptor, natural philosopher, musician, author, and builder. The New York Herald Tribune called him "the modern Leonardo", a Renaissance man for the twentieth century. Although considered by some a polymath, Russell was not an academician.
He has left a legacy that centers around his unique Cosmogony, or concept of the universe, having spent many years writing about the nature of humankind's relationship to the Universal One and the degrees of consciousness. (d. 1963)
1871 Reginald Aldworth Daly, (d 19 Sep 1957, 86). Canadian-American geologist who independently developed the theory of magmatic stoping, a process in which magma moves up through the Earth's crust the earth by shattering (but not melting) the overlying rock. Resulting broken blocks of denser rock sink, leaving space for the rise of the magma. This explained the structure of many igneous rock formations. Daly believed in the importance of field studies to investigate geologic processes. He based his theory of the origin of igneous rocks on an extensive study of hundreds of miles of landforms along the 49th parallel. From another project exploring the geology of the Samoan Islands, he developed theories relating glacial effects on sea level to the formation of coral atolls. His book Igneous Rocks and Their Origin (1914) was a popular instructional text for many years.
1876 William King Gregory, (d 29 Dec 1970, 94). American palaeontologist who specialized in anatomy and particularly in dentition (the development of teeth), in fish and mammals. In 1899, he was invited by Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn and joined the staff of the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Over the years Dr. Gregory planned and supervised a number of exhibitions for the museum. These included one on men of the Stone Age, completing the Hall of Fishes of the World, and one on anatomy that illustrated the evidence of man's origin from lower members of the order of primates. He published extensively during five decades. His books include Our Face From Fish to Man (1929) and Evolution Emerging (1951).
1879 Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-English politician, first female Member of Parliament to take her seat. (d. 1964)
1884 David Munson, American runner (d. 1953)
1886 Francis Biddle, American lawyer and judge, 58th United States Attorney General (d. 1968)
1889 Henry B. Richardson, American archer (d. 1963)
1897 Frank Luke, American lieutenant and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1918)
1906 Bruce Bennett, American shot putter and actor (d. 2007)
1908 Merriam Modell, American author (d. 1994)
1909 Sir Nicholas George Winton MBE (born Nicholas George Wertheim); (d 1 July 2015) British humanitarian who organized the rescue of 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport (German for "children transportation"). Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. The world found out about his work over 40 years later, in 1988. The British press dubbed him the "British Schindler". On 28 October 2014, he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion (1st class), by Czech President Miloš Zeman
1914 John Vachon, American photographer (d. 1975)
1918 Abraham Pais, (d 28 Jul 2000, 82). Dutch-American physicist and science historian whose research became the building blocks of the theory of elemental particles. He wrote Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein, which is considered the definitive Einstein biography. In Holland, his Ph.D. in physics was awarded on 9 Jul 1941, five days before a Nazi deadline banning Jews from receiving degrees. Later, during WW II, while in hiding to evade the Gestapo, he worked out ideas in quantum electrodynamics that he later shared when working with Niels Bohr (Jan - Aug 1946). In Sep 1946, he went to the U.S. to work with Robert Oppenheimer at Princeton, where Pais contributed to the foundations of the modern theory of particle physics
Taking a Chance on Love
1919 Georgie Auld, Canadian-American saxophonist, clarinet player, and bandleader (d. 1990)
1921 Harry W. Brown, American colonel and pilot, Army Air Corps second lieutenant assigned to the 47th Pursuit Squadron at Wheeler Field on the island of Oahu during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. He was one of the five American pilots to score victories that day. Brown was awarded a Silver Star for his actions, and was the first Texan decorated for valor in the war. By the war's end, he was a flying ace. (d. 1991)
1921 Yuri Kochiyama, American activist. Influenced by her Japanese American family's internment and her association with Malcolm X, she advocated for many causes, including Black separatism, the anti-war movement, Maoist revolution, reparations for Japanese-American internees, and the rights of people imprisoned by the U.S. government for violent offenses whom she considered to be "political prisoners". On May 19, 2016, which would have been her 95th birthday, she was featured on the U.S. Google Doodle, sparking controversy over her past statements expressing admiration for figures such as Osama bin Laden. (d. 2014)
1925 Malcolm X [Little] Omaha NE, assassinated leader of Black Muslims
1926 Kriyananda, Romanian-American spiritual leader and author (d. 2013)
1928 Gil McDougald, American baseball player and coach (d. 2010)
1928 Dolph Schayes, American basketball player and coach
1929 Helmut Braunlich, German-American violinist and composer (d. 2013)
1929 Harvey Cox US theologist, author (Secular City)
1929 John Stroger, Jr., American politician who served from 1994 until 2006 as the first African-American president of the Cook County, Illinois Board of Commissioners. Stroger was a member of the Democratic Party. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and from 1992 to 1993 served as president of the National Association of Counties. Cook County's Stroger Hospital was renamed in his honor. (d. 2008)
1930 Eugene Genovese, American historian of the American South and American slavery. He was noted for bringing a Marxist perspective to the study of power, class and relations between planters and slaves in the South. His book Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made won the Bancroft Prize. He later abandoned the left and Marxism and embraced traditionalist conservatism. He wrote during the Cold War and his political beliefs, at the time, were considered highly controversia (d. 2012)
1930 Lorraine Vivian Hansberry (dJanuary 12, 1965) was an American playwright and writer. Hansberry inspired Nina Simone's song "To Be Young, Gifted and Black".She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway. Her best known work, the play "A Raisin in the Sun," highlights the lives of Black Americans living under racial segregation in Chicago
1932 Paul Erdman, American economist and banker who became known for writing novels based on monetary trends and international finance. (d. 2007)
1934 Bill Fitch, American former National Basketball Association (NBA) coach who had been successful in developing a number of teams into playoff contenders. Before entering the professional ranks, he coached college basketball at the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green State University, the University of North Dakota, and his alma mater, Coe College. Fitch's teams twice qualified for the NCAA tournament. He won the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award for the 2012–13 NBA season. Fitch was a U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor, a fact that Larry Bird credited in his book Drive: The Story of My Life as an important reason for Bird's own strong work ethic. Bill Fitch was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
1934 Jim Lehrer, American journalist and a novelist. Lehrer is the former Executive Editor and a former News Anchor for the PBS NewsHour on PBS, and is known for his role as a Debate Moderator in U.S. Presidential Election campaigns. He is an author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books that draw upon his experience as a newsman, along with his interests in history and politics.
1935 David Hartman, American journalist and actor
1939 Dick Scobee, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1986)
1940 Mickey Newbury, American singer-songwriter (d. 2002)
1941 Bobby Burgess, American singer and dancer
1941 Nora Ephron, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012)
1942 Gary Kildall, American computer scientist, founded Digital Research Inc. (d. 1994)
1943 Shirrel Rhoades, American author
1946 André the Giant, French-American wrestler and actor (d. 1993)
1948 Grace Jones, Jamaican-American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress
1949 Dusty Hill, American singer-songwriter and bass player (ZZ Top and American Blues)
1949 Archie Manning, American football player and sportscaster
1951 Joey Ramone, American singer-songwriter (Ramones and Sniper) (d. 2001)
1951 Dick Slater, American wrestler
1953 Shavarsh Karapetyan, Armenian swimmer
1953 Dawud M. Mu'Min, American murderer (d. 1997)
1953 Jimmy Thackery, American singer and guitarist (The Nighthawks)
1954 Rick Cerone, American baseball player and sportscaster
1955 James Gosling, Canadian-American computer scientist, created Java
1956 Steven Ford, American actor
1957 Bill Laimbeer, American basketball player and coach
1959 Nicole Brown Simpson, German-American murder victim (d. 1994)
1961 Gregory Poirier, American director, producer, and screenwriter
1964 John Lee, South Korean-American football player
1964 Sean Whalen, American actor
1965 Maile Flanagan, American actress, producer, and screenwriter
1966 Jodi Picoult, American author
1968 Kyle Eastwood, American actor, singer, and bass player
1971 Ross Katz, American director, producer, and screenwriter
1975 London Fletcher, American football player
1975 Josh Paul, American baseball player and manager
1976 Ed Cota, American basketball player
1976 Kevin Garnett, American basketball player
1977 Brandon Inge, American baseball player
1978 Kim Zolciak, American singer
1980 Drew Fuller, American actor and model
1981 Yo Gotti, American rapper
1983 Michael Che, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter
1984 Marcedes Lewis, American football player
1986 Mario Chalmers, American basketball player
1986 Eric Lloyd, American actor
1991 Jordan Pruitt, American singer-songwriter
Carolingian Manuscript, c. 831, Rabanus Maurus (left), with Alcuin (middle), dedicating his work to Archbishop Odgar of Mainz (right)
804 Alcuin, English monk and scholar who became advisor to Charlemagne (b. 735) England lost her greatest teacher and Western Europe gained one of the finest scholars it would see for centuries, when Alcuin of York in England, met Charlemagne in Parma in 781. The noble-born Englishman had risen to the leadership of the school at York, earning himself an international reputation. Charles convinced him to share his talents with his empire and bestowed on him the abbeys of Ferrières and St. Loup. Steeped in the pedagogical tradition of Bede, Alcuin stirred the Franks to acquire the little learning they were to possess in the so called "Dark Ages."
From 782 to 790 he transplanted Anglo-Saxon learning to the continent. In addition to preparing elementary textbooks in dialog form and brain teasers which called for the shrewd use of geometry and algebra, he reformed Frankish laws and advised the emperor. It was Alcuin who urged Charlemagne to delay answering Pope Leo III, forcing the prelate to come to the emperor. Unfortunately, the emperor did not listen when Alcuin urged him not to force conversion on the heathen Saxons, who eventually retaliated with war and slaughter.
Alcuin founded the Carolignian palace library and developed a script of small characters called Carolignian Minuscule which allowed more letters than before to be written on a single expensive page of parchment. Of great beauty, this script was later employed by the earliest printers. Manuscripts copied under Alcuin's headship were renowned for their calligraphy.
In 790 Alcuin returned to England but was recalled to the continent by Charlemagne within a few years. The teacher-priest was given the additional abbey of St. Martin in Tours. Immediately it became a Mecca for the scholars of Europe, eager to learn from the master. One of his most notable students was the encyclopedist Rhabanus Maurus. Alcuin summed up his own contribution, saying, " dispensed the honey of the scripture, intoxicated my students with the wine of ancient learning, fed them the apples of grammatical refinement, and adorned them with the knowledge of astronomy."
Actually, Alcuin cared for astronomy only to the extent it was useful to calculate the Christians' all important date: Easter. Neither his astronomy nor his other writings were very original. His letters, however, open a window onto the age. 312 survive, addressed to recipients by some personal characteristic or by their latinized names. All were written in Latin, as were his sermons, poems, theology, epistles, and history.
Alcuin was strictly orthodox, a purveyor of the gospel and virtue. He raised the level of knowledge of churchmen and stimulated the mind of an age besieged by barbarian invasions. In doing so, he molded the tenor of Europe's subsequent thought and left a legacy of trained minds to keep alive the embers of religion, culture, and science in Europe. He died on this day, May 19, 804.
988 Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 909) As Dunstan left court, several men jumped him and beat him severely. Then they tied him up and threw him into filthy pit. It was all because of jealousy.
Dunstan, a noble-born lad, had been trained at the school of Glastonbury with its fine library. Afterwards, when he was summoned to take his place in the Anglo-Saxon court, he won so much influence over king Athelstan that the other courtiers hated him. They accused Dunstan of studying paganism and magic and convinced Athelstan to send Dunstan away.
Somehow Dunstan managed to free himself from the deadly hole his enemies dumped him in. He escaped to the home of a friend. One of Dunstan's uncles, a bishop, urged the young man to become a monk. But Dunstan, who had his eyes on a girl, felt he couldn't lead the single life. However, he broke out with hideous sores that he thought were leprosy (probably infection from the sewage he had wallowed in when thrown into the pit). Marriage was out of the question. He decided to enter the church after all.
In his new status, he lived at first as a hermit near Glastonbury. There he played the harp, made crafts and refined the process of casting church bells. Throughout his entire life, he showed himself clever at all manual skills. At least one illuminated manuscript that he created survives. He also spoke or read not only his own Anglo-Saxon tongue, but also Latin, Hebrew and Greek.
While still a hermit, Dunstan became an advisor to Ethelfled, the king's neice. When she died, she left all her money to his care. About the same time his father died. Dunstan now had two fortunes to manage. His influence multiplied. He set out to restore the monasteries destroyed in the Viking raids of the previous century.
In the following years, Dunstan advised England's kings. But when he took the young and headstrong king Edwig to task for improper behavior, Edwig confiscated all his money and Dunstan had to flee, probably to Flanders (Belgium), to save himself and his friends. Edwig soon made enemies of his own people, who threw him out of North England. With England under new leadership, Dunstan went back.
Dunstan became Archbishop of Canterbury. There he pursued a far-sighted policy of converting the Danes, who had conquered much of England, and drawing them into the life of the English church and nation. During the reign of King Edward, rebels tried to crush monasticism. Peace talks were held. During one negotiation, the second floor of the hall collapsed. Dunstan's chair was over a beam and this saved his life. He was the only one who did not plunge to the floor below. Several people died. Enemies said he rigged the collapse.
Some time later, allegedly forseeing his own death in a vision, Dunstan announced it to his congregation. He preached sermons the day before he died, which was on this day, May 19, 988. His last words were, "He hath made a remembrance of his wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: He hath given food to them that fear Him."
1296 Pope Celestine V (b. 1215)
1536 Anne Boleyn, English wife of Henry VIII of England (b. 1501)
1777 Button Gwinnet British-born American political leader who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress, was the second of the signatories (first signature on the left) on the United States Declaration of Independence. He was also, briefly, the provisional president of Georgia in 1777, and Gwinnett County (now a major suburb of metropolitan Atlanta) was named for him. Gwinnett was killed in a duel by a rival, Lachlan McIntosh, following a dispute after a failed invasion of East Florida.
1795 Josiah Bartlett, American physician and politician, 4th Governor of New Hampshire (b. 1729)
1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author (b. 1804)
1935 T.E. Lawrence, the legendary war hero, author, and archaeological scholar, known as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. He succumbed to injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident six days before.
1939 Howard B. Grose (b. 5 September 1851), American Baptist leader and author of the hymn "Give of Your Best to the Master,"
1945 Philipp Bouhler, German politician (b. 1889)
1946 Booth Tarkington, American author and playwright (b. 1869)
1954 Charles Ives, American composer (b. 1874)
1963 Walter Russell, American painter, sculptor, and author (b. 1871)
1965 Tu'i Malila, Malagasy turtle (b. 1777)
1969 Coleman Hawkins, American saxophonist (b. 1901)
1971 Ogden Nash, American poet and author (b. 1902)
1984 Michael Silka, American spree killer (b. 1958)
1986 Jimmy Lyons, American saxophonist (b. 1931)
1987 James Tiptree, Jr., American psychologist and author (b. 1915)
1994 Jacques Ellul, (b January 6, 1912 ) French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. A prolific writer, he authored 58 books and more than a thousand articles over his lifetime, many of which discussed propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics. The dominant theme of his work proved to be the threat to human freedom and religion created by modern technology. Among his most influential books are The Technological Society and Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes.
1994 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American journalist, 37th First Lady of the United States (b. 1929)
1995 Robert Sinclair Dietz 80 (born 14 Sep 1914). American geophysicist and oceanographer who set forth a theory (1961) of seafloor spreading (a term he coined), in which new crustal material continually upwells from the Earth's depths along the mid-ocean ridges and spreads outward at a rate of several inches per year. While a student Dietz identified the Kentland structure in Indiana as a meteoric impact site. His professors steered him toward marine geology. He became the founder and director of the Sea Floor Studies Section at the Naval Electronics Laboratory (1946-1963). He also achieved prominence by studying meteorite craters, both on Earth and on the moon and arguing that these impact craters were common. He died of a heart attack.
1996 John Beradino, American baseball player and actor (b. 1917)
1999 Candy Candido, American actor and singer (b. 1913)
2001 Susannah McCorkle, American singer (b. 1946)
2002 Walter Lord, American historian and author (b. 1917)
2003 Camoflauge, American rapper (b. 1981)
2005 Henry Corden, Canadian-American actor and singer (b. 1920)
2009 Robert Francis Furchgott, 92 (born 4 Jun 1916), American pharmacologist who shared (with Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad) the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that nitric oxide (NO) acts as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Their combined work uncovered an entirely new mechanism by which blood vessels in the body relax and widen. Nitric oxide (NO), produced by one cell, acts by penetrating membranes and regulating the function of another cell. Nerves and hormones are well known as signal carriers, but this discovery was a totally new signaling principle in a biological system.
2009 Herbert Frank York, 87 (b 24 Nov 1921). American nuclear physicist whose scientific research in support of national defense began in 1943 when he began work at Oak Ridge, Tenn., on the electromagnetic separation of uranium 235 as part of the Manhattan Project during WW II. In 1952, he became the first director of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. He left in Mar 1958 to join the Department of Defense as chief scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency, and shortly became the Department of Defense's director of research and engineering (Dec 1958). He returned to the University of California in 1961 as chancellor and professor of physics. He was chief negotiator for the comprehensive test ban during the Carter administration.)
2012 Bob Boozer, American basketball player (b. 1937)
2012 Tamara Brooks, American conductor and educator (b. 1941)
2013 G. Sarsfield Ford, American jurist (b. 1933)
2014 Terry W. Gee, American businessman and politician (b. 1940)
2014 Sam Greenlee, American author (b. 1930)
2014 Vincent Harding, American historian and scholar (b. 1931)
2014 Sante Kimes, American murderer (b. 1934)
2014 Gabriel Kolko, American historian and author (b. 1932)
2015 Bruce Lundvall, American businessman (b. 1935)
2015 Happy Rockefeller, American philanthropist, 31st Second Lady of the United States (b. 1926)
2016 Morley Safer, longtime CBS newsman Morley Safer of "60 Minutes" and Vietnam War reporting fame. (b Nov. 8, 1931 )
Holidays and observances
Christian feast day:
Calocerus (Eastern Orthodox Church)
Crispin of Viterbo
Dunstan (commemoration, Anglicanism)
Ivo of Kermartin
Joaquina Vedruna de Mas
Maria Bernarda Bütler
Pudentiana (Roman Catholic Church)
May 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
Martyrs Calocerus and Parthenius, brothers (250)
Martyr Philoterus of Nicomedia (303)
Martyr Acoluthus of the Thebaid (303)
Martyr Cyriaca (Kyriake) and the six holy virgin-martyrs in Nicomedia (307)
Martyr Theotima of Nicomedia (c. 311)
Hieromartyrs Patricius of Prussa, Bishop, and with him the Presbyters Acacius, Menander, and Polyainos (362)
Saint John, Bishop of the Goths in Crimea (787)
Pre-Schism Western Saints
Martyr Pudens, the senator (c. 160)
Virgin-Martyr Pudentiana (Potentiana), daughter of Saint Pudens the senator (160)
Saint Cyril of Trier, Bishop of Trier, (5th century)
Saint Adolphus (Hadulf), ascetic of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Vaast, in Arras, and later Bishop of Arras Cambrai in the north of France (728)
Saint Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (988)
Post-Schism Orthodox Saints
Monk-martyrs and Confessors of the Monastery of Panagia of Kantara, on Cyprus, who suffered under the Latins (1231):
Barnabas, Gennadius, Gerasimus, Germanus (Herman), Theognostus, Theoctistus, Jeremiah, John, Joseph, Conon, Cyril, Maximus and Mark.
Right-Believing Great Prince Dmitry Donskoy, Great Prince of Moscow (1389)
Venerable Sinaites of Serbia (from Ravanica) (14th century):
Romulus, Romanus, Nestor, Sisoes, Zosimas, Gregory, Nicodemus, and Cyril, the Sinaites. - disciples of Gregory of Sinai (Mount Athos).
Saint Cornelius of Paleostrov, Abbot (1420)
Saint John (Ignatius), Prince of Uglich, tonsured as Ignatius in Vologda (1522)
Venerable Cornelius of Komel (Vologda), Abbot and Wonderworker (1537)
Saint Sergius of Shukhtov (Shukhtom), monk (1609)
New Martyrs and Confessors
Hieromartyr Matthew Voznesensky (1919)
Hieromartyr Innocent (Letayev), Archbishop of Kharkiv (1937)
Hieromartyr Victor Karakulin (1937)
Hieromartyr Onuphrius (Gagaliuk), Archbishop of Kursk and Oboyansk (1938), (see also June 1) and:
Hieromartyr: Anthony, Bishop of Belgorod;
Hieromartyrs: Mitrophanes Vilgelmsky, Alexander Yeroshov, Michael Deineka, Hippolytus Krasnovsky, Nicholas Kulakov, Basil Ivanov, Nicholas Sadovsky, Maximus Bogdanov, Alexander Saulsky, Paul Bryantsev, and Paul Popov - Priests;
Martyrs: Michael (Voznesensky) and Gregory (Bogoyavlensky) (1938)
New Hieromartyr Valentine Lukyanov (1940)
All New Hieromartyrs of Slobozhanschyna (Slobodskaya) Ukraine (1937,1938,1940,1941)
Entrance into Georgia (323) of Saint Nina (Nino), Equal-to-the-Apostles (335)
Translation of the sacred relics of Saints Julius the Presbyter (401) and Julianus (Giuliano) the Deacon (391)
Repose of Schemamonk Cyriacus of Valaam (1798)
Repose of Righteous Nicholas Rynin of Vologda (1837)
Commemoration of the ascetics of St. Anthony of Syadem Monastery: Elias (also of Valaam), Theophanes, and Dionysius.
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Kharkov.
Slaying of Priest John Karastamatis of Santa Cruz, martyred by Satanists (1985) (see also: May 6)