This Day in History - May 9

May 9

328 – Athanasius is elected Patriarch bishop of Alexandria

1092 – Lincoln Cathedral is consecrated

1386 – The Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England is signed. This is the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force

1460 – Courtyard of the episcopal palace in Atrecht has witch burnings

1502 – Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his final trip to the New World

1671 – Thomas Blood aka Captain Blood, is captured attempting to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Blood, a Parliamentarian during the English Civil War, was deprived of his estate in Ireland with the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660. Determined to steal from the King, he disguised as a priest and convinced the Jewel House keeper to hand over his pistols as he and three accomplices headed into the Jewel House. However the Tower guards arrested all four men in the act-one man with the Royal Orb in his pants, and Blood, with the Crown, and brought the men before King Charles. Charles was so impressed with Blood’s audacity, rather than punishing him, he restored his estates in Ireland and made him a member of his court with an annual pension. Blood became a kingdom celebrity, and when he died in 1680, his body had to be exhumed in order to persuade the public that he was actually dead

1707 – Organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude dies

1754 – The first newspaper cartoon in America appears

1791 – Signer of the Declaration of Independence and the first American secular composer, Francis Hopkinson, dies

1800 – Abolitionist John Brown is born

1805 – Poet, playwright, and historian, Friedrich Schiller dies

1813 – US troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops

1837 – German engineer who founded the Opel Company, Adam Opel, is born

1844 – Confederate spy Belle Boyd is born

1859 – Threatened by the advancing French army, the Austrian army retreats across the River Sesia in Italy

1860 – Writer James Mathew Barrie is born

1864 – Union General John Sedwick is shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during fighting at Spotsylvania

1864 – Union troops take Snake Creep Gap, Georgia

1873 – British archaeologist Howard Carter is born

1882 – Shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser is born

1887 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opens in London and is viewed by Queen Victoria twice. Buffalo Bill, aka Bill Cody, and his dynamic show, offered a fantasized view of the Old West and defined it in the minds of both Americans and Europeans for all time. The show eventually collapsed from financial pressure, mostly due to competing rodeos, who borrowed his ideas, yet his gravesite on Lookout Mountain above Denver still draws thousands of visitors per year

1906 – Children’s author Eleanor Estes is born

1914 – President Woodrow Wilson issues a presidential proclamation that officially establishes the first national Mother’s Day holiday

1915 – German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois

1921 – American poet laureate Mona Van Duyn is born

1921 – German student and activist Sophie Scholl is born

1926 – Explorers Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett make the first flight over the North Pole

1934 – British playwright and screenwriter, Alan Bennett is born

1936 – British actor Albert Finney is born

1936 – Fascist Italy captures the city of Addis Abba, Ethiopia and annexes the country

1941 – The German submarine U-110 is captured at sea along with its Enigma machine by the Royal Navy

1945 – Herman Goering, commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, president of the Reichstag, head of the Gestapo, prime minister of Prussia and Hitler’s designated successor, is taken prisoner by the US Seventh Army in Bavaria. He was tried for various crimes against humanity and sentenced to hang to death, but before he could be executed, he committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide tablet he had hidden from his guards

1946 – King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicates his throne and is replaced by Umberto I

1949 – Singer, songwriter, and pianist, Billy Joel is born

1950 – Lafayette Ronald Hubbard publishes Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, which over time will morph into the religion Scientology

1955 – West Germany formally joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

1960 – The FDA approves the world’s first commercially produced birth-control pill-Enovid-10, made by the GD Searle Company

1962 – A laser beam is successfully bounced off the moon for the first time

1969 – William Beecher, a military correspondent for the New York Times, publishes a front-page dispatch breaking the news of the secret bombing raids in Cambodia, leading to a number of National Security Council staffers and reporters having their phones wiretapped by the FBI. Henry Kissinger, the presidential assistant for national security affairs, contacted J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, wanting to know how Beecher received the information

1969 – Carlos Lamarca, member of the communist organization Vanguardia Popular Revolucionaria, begins his guerilla fight against Brazil’s military dictatorship, which will kill him in 1971

1970 – Between 75,000 and 100,000 young people demonstrate in Washington, DC against the Vietnam War

1971 – The last episode of The Honeymooners, starring Jackie Gleason, airs

1973 – Cincinnati Reds’ All-Star catcher, Johnny Bench, hits three home runs in one game off All-Star pitcher Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies

1974 – The House Judiciary Committee begins formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment

1976 – Journalist and activist Ulrike Meinhof dies

1978 – The body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro is found in the back of a car in the center of historic Rome, riddled with bullets. Moro had been kidnapped by The Red Brigade, a left-wing extremist group who demanded ransom-a ransom that Italy refused to pay

1979 – Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian is executed by an Islamic tribunal for “contacts with Israel and Zionism,” and “friendship with the enemies of God”

1986 – Mountaineer Tenzing Norgay dies

1997 – The body of William Reese is found. He had been shot in the head by Andrew Cunanan, a man already wanted for several other murders. It appeared that Cunanan had killed Reese while in the process of stealing his truck. Cunanan had spent most of his adult life as a kept companion for wealthy, older men. While the speculation is that he suffered from HIV, and the murders were a result of his “getting revenge” for his illness, the only thing known as fact is that Cunanan murdered several men, including the famous fashion designer Gianni Versace, in several states with several different killing methods. He shot himself in the head on a houseboat in Miami as police were closing in

1997 – Former Florida Representative, Douglas “Pete” Peterson, becomes the first ambassador to Vietnam since Graham Martin in 1975

2001 – During a soccer match at Accra Stadium in Ghana, an encounter between police and fans results in a stampede that kills 126. When the home team begins winning, the fans of the opposing team begin tearing out stadium seats and throwing them onto the field. Police respond by firing tear gas into the crowd. The crowd tried to rush the exits, but the gates were locked, resulting in over a hundred people being crushed to death

2012 – The brand-new Sukhoi Superjet 100 plane, the first airliner produced in Russia since the end of the USSR, crashes due to pilot error, killing all 45 on board

2012 – Hairdresser Vidal Sassoon dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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