May 22- 1843: The first wagon train of settlers bound for Oregon sets out from Independence, MO. 1939: Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler sign the “Pact of Steel” agreement, formalizing the “Rome-Berlin Axis.” 1992: After nearly 30 years as the “king of late-night television,” Johnny Carson hosts his final Tonight Show. 2004: An F4 tornado, measuring a record 2.5 miles wide, destroys the town of Hallam, NE, killing only one person.

May 23- 1785: The multi-talented and much-accomplished Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocal glasses! 1873: The first Preakness Stakes is run at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, MD; Survivor was the winner, defeating the other six horses by more than 10 lengths. 1934: Infamous outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (aka Bonnie & Clyde) are shot and killed in a police ambush in Sailes, LA. 1960: Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announces the capture of notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. He would stand trial and be found guilty of numerous war crimes by a panel of judges. He was hanged near Tel Aviv, Israel in 1962

May 24- 1844: Samuel Morse taps out the first telegraph message in his eponymous code. “What hath God wrought?” travels from the US Capitol to the Baltimore train station and back. 1883: The Brooklyn Bridge is officially opened, with President Chester A. Arthur and NY Governor Grover Cleveland in attendance. 1935: The first Major League Baseball game to be played at night takes place at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, OH, with the hometown Reds defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt flipped the ceremonial light switch from the White House. 1978: Management consultant Marilyn Loden first coins the term “glass ceiling,” referring to invisible career barriers for American women.

May 25- 1935: Ohio State track and field star Jesse Owens equals or breaks four world records at a Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, MI, within a span of 45 minutes. 1961: President John F. Kennedy pledged to land a man on the moon and return him to Earth before the end of the decade, in a speech before a Joint Session of Congress. 1977: The first “Star Wars” movie premieres at US theaters: “Episode IV: A New Hope.” 2020: George Floyd, an African American man, is arrested and killed by police outside a store in Minneapolis, MN. Video showing officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck and back for over nine minutes sparked numerous protests across the United States.

May 26- 1896: The Dow Jones index was inaugurated on Wall Street, tracking the performance of 12 industrial stocks. It closed the first day at 40.94. 1897: Bram Stoker’s horror novel “Dracula” is published in London. 1927: The 15 millionth and final Model T rolls off a Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Dearborn, MI. The final “Tin Lizzie” was driven off the line by Henry Ford and his son Edsel. 1977: Daredevil George Willig scales the South Tower of the World Trade Center from the ground to the top. He paid a fine of $1.10, one penny for each of the building’s 110 stories.

May 27- 1679: Habeas Corpus is adopted by the British Parliament, strengthening the ability of citizens to challenge unlawful arrest and imprisonment. 1930: The Chrysler Building opens in New York City, reigning as the world’s tallest structure until the Empire State Building opens 11 months later! 1937: The Golden Gate Bridge spanning the San Francisco Bay, opens to traffic, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, measuring 4,200 feet. 2022: “Top Gun Maverick” opens in movie theaters 36 years after the original film, both starring actor Tom Cruise!

May 28- 1830: President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act into law, leading to the Cherokee “Trail of Tears” soon after.

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. National Park Service 2024

1916: Racecar driver Barney Oldfield sets a new speed record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with a qualifying lap clocked at 102.6 miles per hour! 1934: The Dionne quintuplets are born in Callander, Ontario, Canada. The five identical girls would be the first quintuplets to survive infancy. 1972: Members of the so-called White House “plumbers” break into the Democratic Party’s National Headquarters at the Watergate complex to plant listening devices. They would be arrested on a subsequent visit three weeks later, which would lead to all manner of difficulties for many, many people!