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News, Events, Birthdays, History - May 21 - May 27

Birthdays

Al Franken - May 21, 1951
Franken is a comedian, writer and actor - but in recent months is most widely recognized for his campaign to win a U.S. Senate seat representing the State of Minnesota. Franken, running as a Democrat, has been locked in a virtual tie with his Republican opponent. The election is still being disputed in the courts, but it does appear that Franken may emerge as the victor by an narrow margin.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes May 22, 1859
Doyle was a British author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - May 25, 1803
Emerson was an American essayist, philosopher and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the early 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid 1800s, while he was seen as a champion of individualism and prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society.

Events

May 21, 1881 - American Red Cross Founded
The American Red Cross was established on May 21, 1881 by Clara Barton, in Washington, D.C. who became the first president of the organization. The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States.

Johnny CarsonMay 22, 1992 - Johnny Carson's Final Show
Carson was an American television host and comedian, known as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years. Carson received six Emmy Awards including the Governor Award and a 1975 Peabody Award; he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992, and received Kennedy Center Honors in 1993.

 
May 23, 1934 - Bonnie and Clyde Exploits Come to an End
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed on May 23, 1934, on a desolate road near their Bienville Parish, Louisiana hideout. They were shot by a posse of four Texas officers and two Louisiana officers. The pair were well known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who, with their gang, traveled the Central United States during the Great Depression. They captured the attention of the American press and its readership during what is sometimes referred to as the "public enemy era" between 1931 and 1934. Though their gang was notorious for their bank robberies, Barrow preferred to rob small stores or gas stations. The gang was believed to have killed at least nine police officers, among several other murders.

May 24, 1935 - Baseball First Played Under Lights
The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 2-1, as more than 20,000 fans enjoyed the first night baseball game in the major leagues. The game was played at Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OH.

May 24, 1844 - First U.S. Telegraph Line
In 1844, instant messaging was defined a bit differently than it is today. On this day in that year, the first U.S. telegraph line was opened, and the first message sent by inventor Samuel Morse was ... "What Hath God Wrought?". In earlier testing of the telegraph line, a message was sent from Baltimore to Washington advising that Henry Clay had been nominated as president by the Whig Party. This telegraph reached Washing only one hour prior to a train that was carrying the same news.

May 25, 1787 - Anniversary of the Constitutional Convention Constitution
Before the Constitution was drafted, the thirteen colonies operated under the Articles of Confederation, created by the Second Continental Congress. The Articles eventually caused deep divides between the states that the national government could not resolve. On this date in 1767, all representatives from all states met in Philadelphia for this "Grand Convention", the result of which was the Constitution under which we still operate to this day.

May 25, 1977 - Star Wars Released
At George Lucas's space epic, starring Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, featured stunning special effects and was a smash hit worldwide.   The film went on to win six Academy Awards out of ten nominations.