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July 7, 1928: The Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri, began the first commercial use of bread slicing machine machine developed by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, as it marketed its "Kleen Maid Sliced Bread." The bread was advertised as "the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped."
July 8, 1497: Vasco da Gama set sail on the first direct European voyage to India.Th expedition paved the way for the Portuguese to establish a long-lasting colonial empire in Asia. The route meant that the Portuguese would no longer need to cross the highly disputed Mediterranean nor the dangerous Arabia Peninsula, as the whole voyage could be made by sea.
July 9, 1896: William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech advocating bimetallism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Bryan's address helped catapult him to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination; it is considered one of the greatest political speeches in American history.
July 10, 1925: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
July 11, 1801: French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, he would discover another thirty-seven comets, more than any other person in history.
July 12, 927: Æthelstan, King of England, secured a pledge from Constantine II of Scotland that the latter would not ally with Viking kings, beginning the process of unifying Great Britain. This is considered the closest thing that England has to a foundation date.
July 13, 1985: The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in London, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sydney, and Moscow. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.
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May 26, 1897: Dracula, a novel by the Irish author Bram Stoker, was first published in London, England. Famous for introducing the vampire, Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. The novel continues to inspire numerous adaptations and Dracula remains an iconic literary figure.
May 27, 1930: The 1,046 feet Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opened to the public. Designed by architect William Van Alen, the the ground breaking occurred on September 19, 1928, in the midst of an intense competition in New York City to build the world's tallest skyscraper.
May 28, 1830: The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830. The act authorized him to negotiate with the Indians in the Southern United States for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their homelands and paved the way for the tragic event widely known as the "Trail of Tears."
May 29, 1660: After the death of Oliver Cromwell and the political unrest that followed, Charles II was restored to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles agreed to give up feudal dues that had been revived by his father; in return, the English Parliament granted him an annual income to run the government of £1.2 million, generated largely from customs and excise duties.
May 30, 1989: Near the end of the student-led demonstrations against the Communist hardliners in China, the 33-foot high "Goddess of Democracy" statue was unveiled in Tiananmen Square by the demonstrators.The statue was constructed in only four days out of foam and papier-mâché over a metal armature.
May 31, 1902: The Treaty of Vereeniging was signed thereby ending the Second Boer War. This settlement provided for the end of hostilities and eventual self-government to the Transvaal (South African Republic) and the Orange Free State as colonies of the British Empire.
June 1, 1921: The black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, located in the Greenwood District, also known as "the Black Wall Street," was burned to the ground by white vigilantes. An estimated 10,000 black residents of the wealthiest black community in the United States were left homeless, as 35 city blocks were destroyed by fire.
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May 12, 1926: The Italian-built airship Norge became the first vessel to fly over the North Pole. The expedition was the brainchild of polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen, the airship's designer and pilot Umberto Nobile and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, who along with the Aero Club of Norway financed the trip.
May 13, 1846: The United States declared war on Mexico, following the April 25th, Thornton Affair in which a 2,000-strong Mexican cavalry detachment attacked a U.S. patrol in the contested territory north of the Rio Grande and south of the Nueces River. The attack resulted in the death of 16 American soldiers
May 14, 1607: Jamestown became the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Established by the Virginia Company of London as “James Fort,” it followed several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Jamestown served as the capital of the Colony of Virginia for 83 years, from 1616 until 1699.
May 15, 1886: The American poet, Emily Dickinson, died at the age of 55. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1890, but was heavily edited. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955. She is considered to be one of the most important American poets.
May 16, 1770: 14-year old Marie Antoinette married 15-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later became the king of France. The ceremonial wedding of the Dauphin and Dauphine took place in the Palace of Versailles.
May 17, 1939: The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers played in the United States' first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
May 18, 1953: Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier at Rogers Dry Lake, California. Encouraged by her lifelong friend Chuck Yeager, Cochran flew a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet borrowed from the Royal Canadian Air Force at an average speed of 652.337 mph.
Folks need to find some time to get over to the History Museum on the Square. A delightful new exhibit dedicated to the famed Route 66 will be premiering this Sunday, April 28th and will run throughout the summer. Titled "Woodruff's Dream: The Mother Road through Springfield," this look back at the iconic road focuses on the central role Springfield played in the planning. Admission is just $5 for adults and $3 for children, and museum members enter for free! The museum is located at 155 Park Central Square ~ Springfield, MO 65806. Call 417.832.1200 or visit their web site at http://historymuseumonthesquare.org/ for more information.
There are some exciting things in the works down at the museum, including a major renovation project that should greatly impact the square as a cultural hub for the region. Show your support by becoming a member of this fine organization!
October 7, 1949: Following the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in Western Germany, the soviet-occupied zone in East Germany is reorganized as the Democratic Republic of Germany. The nation's first president was Wilhelm Pieck.
October 8, 1871: The Great Chicago Fire began. The fire lasted two days and killed between 200 and 300 people. Over 17,000 buildings were destroyed, costing $200 million dollars in damage, an equivalent of $3 billion today.
October 9, 1934: The Gashouse Gang wone the World Series. This St. Louis Cardinals team, led by Ozark native Dizzy Dean, defeated the Detroit Tigers in the seventh game of the series.
October 10, 1935: Porgy and Bess premiered on Broadway. George Gershwin, partnered with novelist DuBose Heyward, created what many people consider to be the first great American opera.
October 11, 1968: Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, launched on an 11-day orbit of earth. Astronauts Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walter Cunningham were aboard.
October 12, 1870: Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, died at the age of 63. Following the war, Lee served as president of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, where his body was interred.
October 13, 1775: The Continental Congress authorized the construction and administration of the first American Naval force.