On May 24, 1775, John Hancock was elected president of the Second Continental Congress. Hancock’s involvement with Samuel Adams and his radical group, the Sons of Liberty, won the wealthy merchant the dubious distinction of being one of only two Patriots (the other being Sam Adams) that the Redcoats marching
On May 23, 1788, South Carolina became the 8th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Other May 23 events include: 1813: South American independence leader Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, where he was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”), leading the invasion of Venezuela. 1900: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first
On May 22, 1995, in the case U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Arkansas’s congressional term limits law, 5-4, overturning the congressional term limits then the law in 23 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
On May 21, 1851, slavery was abolished in Colombia, South America.
French economist and co-winner of the first (1901) Nobel Prize for Peace, Frédéric Passy (pictured above), was born on May 20, 1822. English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill was born exactly 16 years earlier.
On May 19, 1897, Irish author, playwright, and poet Oscar Wilde (October 16, 1854 – November 30, 1900) was released from Reading Prison, where he had finished, in ill health, his hard labor sentence for “gross indecency.” His “Ballad of Reading Gaol,” first published pseudonymously in a periodical with wide
On May 18, 1593, playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy led to an arrest warrant for fellow playwright Christopher (“Kit”) Marlowe. Kyd was the famed author of The Spanish Tragedy, and Kit Marlowe [pictured] was known for a number of plays, including The Jew of Malta and The Tragicall History
On May 17, 1973, televised hearings regarding the Watergate scandal began in the United States Senate. Sen. Sam Ervin chaired. Little did participants know that the name of the hotel in which the White House-arranged break-ins occurred would provide a template for most future political scandals: “-gate” would be suffixed
On May 16, 1843, one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri, set off for the Pacific Northwest, blazing what became known as the “Oregon Trail.”
On May 15, 1776, the Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States’ Declaration of Independence.
On May 14, 1787, delegates convened a Constitutional Convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presided over the convention. On the same day a century later, Lysander Spooner — author of an infamous pamphlet titled “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority”
On May 13, 1888, Brazil abolished slavery with the passage of the Lei Áurea (“Golden Law”).