May 8


1912: Paramount Pictures was founded in Hollywood, Calif.

1953: Born on this day: U.S. singer/songwriter Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac) and rock musician Alex Van Halen (Van Halen).

1976: The rollercoaster ‘Revolution,’ the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif.

1990: NBC’s Saturday Night Live was broadcast with a seven-second delay for the second (and so far last) time because producers wanted to bleep out anticipated profanity by guest host Andrew Dice Clay.

May 9


1887: Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opened in London, England.

1961: Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player in baseball history to hit grand slams in consecutive innings. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow gave his famous speech to the convention of the National Association of Broadcasters in which he said television was a “vast wasteland.”


May 10


1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah, with a golden spike.

1872: Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for president of the United States.

1908: Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.

1954: Bill Haley & His Comets released “Rock Around the Clock,” the first rock-and-roll record to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts.


.May 11


1846: President James K. Polk asked for and received a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican-American War.

1858: Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.

1987: The first heart-lung transplant took place, in Baltimore, Md. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz of the Stanford University School of Medicine.


May 12

1551: National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, was founded in Lima, Peru.

1978: The Commerce Department announced that hurricanes would no longer be given only female names.


May 13

1865: The Battle of Palmito Ranch took place in far south Texas, more than a month after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender. It was the last land battle of the Civil War and ended with a Confederate victory.

1880: In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performed the first test of his electric railway.

1888: Brazil abolished slavery.

1994: Johnny Carson made his last television appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.

1995: British mother Alison Hargreaves, 33, became the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.


May 14

1944: Born this day: George Lucas, U.S. director, producer, and screenwriter (Star Wars), and Gene Cornish, Canadian-American guitarist (The Rascals).

1973: Skylab, the United States’ first space station, was launched.

2009: The U.S. Mint issued the second of four new Lincoln pennies. This design features a young Lincoln reading while taking a break from rail splitting in Indiana. It was designed and sculpted by Charles Vickers.