On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson called for building a “Great Society” in a graduation speech at the University of Michigan.
On May 21, 1878, Glenn Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, N.Y.; he built one of the early large aviation companies.
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education; the decision ruled state laws establishing separate but equal educational institutions violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
On May 15, 1948, Edward Joseph Flanagan, the Catholic priest who founded the America’s most noted orphanage, Boys Town, in 1917, died while visiting Berlin to study child welfare issues.
On May 14, 1897, Ed Ricketts was born in Chicago. Immortalized as the character of ‘Doc’ in John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row,” he was a pioneer in ecology.
On May 13, 1934, Ehud Netzer was born in Haifa. His archeological explorations led to the discovery of Herod’s tomb and the oldest know synagogue, the Wadi Qelt Synagogue.
On May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation, America’s top cop, a position he held until he died on May 2, 1972.
On May 9, 1860, James Matthew Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland. He became a successful playwright best known for the enduring “Peter Pan.”
John Stuart Mill, the son of a Scottish philosopher, author and Chief Examiner of the East India Company, was considered the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the 19th century; he died on May 8, 1873, in Avignon, France.
On May 7, 1909, Edwin Herbert Land was born in Bridgeport, Conn. A Harvard dropout, he became one of America’s most celebrated inventors, and was co-founder of Polaroid Corporation.
On May 6, 1937, the German airship Hindenburg caught fire as it was docking to the mooring mast at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, 35 people on the airship died and one of the ground crew.
On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guardsmen, who had been called up to contain a student protest that had burned the Army ROTC building to the ground, shot and killed four student protestors and wounded nine others on the campus of Kent State University.
On May 3, 1469, Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy. A politician and official of the short-lived Florentine Republic, he turned his observations and insights into one of the Western world’s most read political treatises.
On May 2, 1903, Benjamin McLane Spock was born in New Haven, Conn. His “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care,” first published in 1946, redefined how American parents reared their children. He later became a staunch opponent of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and active protester.
After the recession-induced dip in 2008-2009, Amtrak has continued its year over increases in ridership; in fact, March was the single beset month of ridership in the history of the railroad. Ridership quickly recovered from the ravages of Sandy, and the company expects the number of passengers to exceed last ...
On April 30, 1900, Jonathan Luther “Casey” Jones was killed when his train collided with cars stuck on the main track near Vaughn, Mississippi. His actions were memorialized in a popular ballad.
On April 29, 1980, famed film director Alfred Joseph Hitchcock died in California. Though he never won an Oscar as Best Director, he remembered as one of the pioneering influences in filmmaking.
On April 27, 1759, Mary Wollstonecraft was born in London. Her “Vindication of the Rights of Women” (1792) is one of the earliest examples of feminist thought.
On April 26, 1889, Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was born in Vienna, Austria. His influence on philosophers far exceeded his meager publishing output.
On April 25, 1908, Edward R. Murrow was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and his broadcasts from London during the Blitz captured the American public’s attention.