Today in History – May 19th

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier set 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, was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1857 – Americans William Francis Channing and Moses G. Farmer patented the electric fire alarm.

1892 – Charles Brady King invented the pneumatic hammer.

1910 – Passage of Earth through tail of Halley’s Comet caused near-panic.

1959 – The North Vietnamese Army established Group 559, whose responsibility was to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route was the Ho Chi Minh trail.

1961 – Venera program: Venera 1 became 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).

1962 – A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy took place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight was Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

1963 – The New York Post Sunday Magazine published Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

1977 – Film “Smokey & the Bandit” starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason premiered in New York City.

1979 – “In The Navy” by Village People hit #3.

1999 – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson was released in cinemas.

2007 – “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”, directed by Gore Verbinksi, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom premiered in Anaheim, California.  It was the most expensive film ($300 million) made at the time.

2018 – The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, with an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion.

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