May 10th in History

This day in history

May 10 is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 235 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 28 BCE,  A sunspot is observed by Han Dynasty astronomers during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, one of the earliest dated sunspot observations in China.

In 70, Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city’s Third Wall to the northwest.

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Edward I Longshanks

In 1291, Edward I, King of England, invites the Scots clergy and nobility to meet with him at Norham, to discuss who shall be King of Scots. Scottish nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England.

In 1497, Amerigo Vespucci sailed for the New World for the first time. Christopher Columbus got there first, but Vespucci wrote about his voyages. A Swiss publisher put out an atlas after learning of Vespucci’s adventures but before learning about Columbus’s. He suggested naming the New World after Vespucci…and so put America on the map.

In 1503, Columbus found the Tortugas Islands

In 1534, French navigator Jacques Cartier reaches Newfoundland.

In 1550, John Knox’s sermon launches Scottish Reformation.

In 1635, It was a preview of the Civil War when Virginians and Marylanders engaged in a naval fight. By the way, France declared war on Spain the same day.

In 1635, Anthony Johnson, a free black granted land in Northampton Va. He was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th-century Colony of Virginia after serving his term of indenture. He became one of the first property owners and slaveholders of African birth there. Held as an indentured servant in 1621, he earned his freedom after several years, and was granted land by the colony.

He later became a successful tobacco farmer in Maryland. Notably, he is recognized for attaining great wealth after having been an indentured servant and has been referred to as “’the black patriarch’ of the first community of Negro property owners in America”.

In 1655, Jamaica captured by English.

In 1676, Bacon’s Rebellion, frontiersmen vs Virginia govt begins.

In 1775, Fort Ticonderoga was captured by Ethan Allen the “Green Mountain Boys” militia unit.

In 1775, Second Continental Congress convened in Pennsylvania and issued paper currency for first time.

In 1796, Napoleon defeats Austria in Battle of Lodi Bridge.

In 1797, The “United States”, the first ship of the U.S. Navy, is launched.

In 1823, The first steamboat to ascent the Mississippi River arrived at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

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Stonewall Jackson by Routzahn, 1862

In 1863, The South suffers a huge blow as Stonewall Jackson dies from his wounds, his last words, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” “I have lost my right arm,” Lee laments. Jackson was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and the best-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. The general survived but lost an arm to amputation; he died of complications from pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general public. Jackson in death became an icon of Southern heroism and commitment, and became a mainstay in the pantheon of the “Lost Cause“.

Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history. His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army‘s right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide, even today, as examples of innovative and bold leadership. He excelled as well in other battles: the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), where he received his famous nickname “Stonewall”; the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas); and the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. Jackson was not universally successful as a commander, however, as displayed by his late arrival and confused efforts during the Seven Days Battles around Richmond, in 1862.

In 1864, The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, sometimes simply referred to as the Battle of Spotsylvania (or the 19th century spelling Spottsylvania), was the second major battle in Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign of the American Civil War. Following the bloody but inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness, Grant’s army disengaged from Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army and moved to the southeast, attempting to lure Lee into battle under more favorable conditions.

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Jefferson Davis

In 1865, Union forces captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwinville, Georgia. He spent the next two years in prison.

In 1869, a golden spike was driven by California Governor Stanford at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

In 1872, Victoria Claflin Woodhull became the first woman nominated for the U.S. Presidency. She was nominated by the National Equal Rights Party.

In 1908, the first Mother’s Day was observed during church services in Grafton, West Virginia, and Philadelphia. Anna May Jarvis organized the first official Mother’s Day service at St. Andrew Methodist Church in Grafton, W.Va. in honor of her mother who had passed away two years earlier on the second Sunday in May.

In 1919, Brig. General Douglas MacArthur is named to head West Point.

In 1924, The Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone appoints J. Edgar Hoover as director, a post Hoover will retain until his death in 1972.

In 1933Censorship: In Germany, the Nazis stage massive public book burnings.

In 1934, dust storms sweep away three hundred million tons of topsoil in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. Hundreds of farmers subsequently abandon their land.

In 1940,  World War II: German fighters accidentally bomb the German city of Freiburg.

In 1940,  World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin.

In 1940,  World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. They were taken without a fight. France had fortifications called the Maginot (mah-zhih-NOH’) Line. It was supposed to be impregnable. The Nazis simply went around it…with 89 divisions. A few weeks later they took Paris. Ironically, it was on this day in 1871 that German ceded Alsace and Lorraine to France. These two regions have changed hands so many times that a language is spoken there that is a sort of a mix of French and German.

In 1940,  World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

In 1940,  World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.

In 1940, Dutch torpedo boat Johan van Galen sinks.

In 1941, England’s House of Commons and Holborn Theater damaged  in a blitz. On that same day, Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claimed was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide).

In 1944, Chinese offensive in West-Yunnan.

In 1945, Allies capture Rangoon from the Japanese.

In 1946,  First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.

In 1948,  The Republic of China implements “temporary provisions” granting President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers to deal with the Communist uprising; they will remain in effect until 1991

In 1967, Stockholm Vietnam-Tribunal declares US aggression in Vietnam/Cambodia.

In 1968, Preliminary Vietnam peace talks began in Paris between the U.S. and North Vietnam.

In 1973, A federal grand jury investigating the Watergate scandal indicted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans on perjury charges. The burglary at Democratic party offices in the Watergate office complex eventually led to President Nixon’s most trusted aides…and attempts to cover up their involvement let to Nixon himself.

In 1995, Former President Bush’s office released his letter of resignation from the National Rifle Association in which Bush expressed outrage over its reference to federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs.”

In 2004, Turkey begins construction of a tunnel under the Bosporus. (Moscow Times)

In 2005,  A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutyunian lands about 65 feet (20 meters) from U.S. President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctions and does not detonate.

In 2008,  An EF4 tornado strikes the OklahomaKansas state line, killing 21 people and injuring over 100.

In 2012,  The Damascus bombings are carried out using a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside of a military intelligence complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 55 people and injuring 400 others

In 2013,  One World Trade Center becomes the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

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