This Day in History— May 15

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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Today is the 135 day of 2019. There are 230 days left in the year.


1989: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Beijing declares an end to Sino-Soviet split.


1536: Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII, and her brother, Lord Rochford, are tried and found guilty in England of adultery and incest.

1918: The first experimental airmail route in the US starts between Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

1923: Britain formally recognises Transjordan as independent state under Emir Abdullah.

1924: US Congress passes Bill instituting immigrant quotas based on nationality.

1928: The Royal Flying Doctor Service, originally called the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Service, is inaugurated in Cloncurry, Queensland.

1930: Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, goes on duty aboard a United Airlines flight between San Francisco and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

1942: Gasoline rationing goes into effect in 17 US states, limiting sales to 11 litres (3 gallons) a week for non-essential vehicles.

1955: Austrian State Treaty is signed, ending 10 years of Allied occupation.

1957: Britain explodes its first thermonuclear bomb in central Pacific.

1962: President John F Kennedy orders 4,000 more US troops to be stationed in Thailand to counter threat in Laos.

1970: Phillip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green, two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi, are killed when police open fire during student protests.

1975: After a referendum, the mountain principality of Sikkim becomes the 22nd state of India.

1990: Thousands of Soviet soldiers try to break into Latvia's Parliament during anti-independence demonstration.

1991: French Prime Minister Michel Rocard resigns and President Francois Mitterrand replaces him with Edith Cresson.

1993: An overwhelming majority of Bosnian Serbs vote against a peace accord which would have forced them to surrender some of the 70 per cent of Bosnia they control.

1994: Aid officials report that the death toll may have reached 200,000 in Rwanda, where Hutus are on a campaign of genocide against minority Tutsis since April 6.

1998: To international condemnation, India declares itself a nuclear nation after five bomb tests the same week.

1999: A communist-led attempt to impeach Russian President Boris Yeltsin for the war in Chechnya fails.

2001: World Health Organization announces a plan to halt the spread of tuberculosis — which kills two million people each year — for less than half-a-billion dollars annually.

2002: A former Croatian Serb rebel leader Milan Martic and an ex-Yugoslav army officer General Mile Mrksic, turned themselves in to the UN war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands.

2005: Insisting on obedience and missionary zeal, Pope Benedict XVI gives his church new priests in an elaborate ceremony in St Peter's Basilica, where nearly half of those ordained are from Africa and Latin America.

2007: Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern becomes the first leader from Ireland to address the joint houses of the British Parliament, praising Britain and its departing leader, Tony Blair, for promoting peace in Northern Ireland.

2009: US President Barack Obama says he would reform and retain the military tribunals he once reviled for Guantanamo Bay detainees, jeopardising his timetable for closing the naval prison in Cuba by January 2010.

2010: A 16-year-old Australian, Jessica Wilson, becomes the youngest person to sail around the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted, setting foot on dry land after seven months in Sydney.

2011: Thousands of Arab protesters march on Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza in an unprecedented wave of demonstrations, sparking clashes that left at least 15 people dead in an annual Palestinian mourning ritual marking the anniversary of Israel's birth.

2012: Socialist Francois Hollande assumes France's presidency, inheriting a country fearful for its financial future.

2014: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine must pay in advance for Russian gas supplies starting next month, raising pressure on its struggling neighbour.


William Lamb, British statesman (1779-1852); Pierre Curie, French scientist (1859-1906); James Mason, British-born actor (1909-1984); Jasper Johns, US artist (1930- ); Trini Lopez, singer (1937- ); Brian Eno, British composer and producer (1948- ); Mike Oldfield, British composer (1953- )

— AP

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