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On May 15th...
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1602 Cape Cod was discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold.
1701 The War of the Spanish Succession began.
1718 James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world's first machine gun.
1788 American statesman James Gadsden was born.
1817 The first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital), opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1845 Biologist Élie Metchnikoff was born.
1852 Louisa Adams, wife of U.S. President John Quincy Adams, died.
1855 Walt Whitman published the first edition of his Leaves of Grass.
1856 Author L. Frank Baum was born.
1859 Chemist Pierre Curie was born.
1862 The United States Department of Agriculture was created by act of Congress.
1869 The National Woman Suffrage Association was formed.
1873 Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the first Prince of Romania, died.
1886 Poet Emily Dickinson died.
1891 The British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) was formed.
1902 Lyman Gilmore
became the first person to fly a powered craft.
1904 Étienne-Jules Marey, pioneer in motion-picture technology, died.
1905 Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded.
1911 The U.S. Supreme Court dissolved Standard Oil.
1914 Tenzing Norgay, Edmund Hillary's guide/assistant during the first known ascent of Mount Everest, was born.
United States began regular air-mail service.
1928 Mickey Mouse made his first ever appearance in the silent film Plane Crazy.
1937 American diplomat Madeleine Albright was born.
1947 The U.S. Congress approved the Truman Doctrine.
1948 Music producer Brian Eno was born.
Baseball player George Brett was born.
1957 Billy Graham began a 100-day series of revival meetings in New York City, New York.
1963 The last Project Mercury flight, L. Gordon Cooper in Faith 7, was launched.
1967 Painter Edward Hopper died.
1970 Elizabeth Hoisington and Anna Mae Mays were named as the first female U.S. Generals.
1971 Baseball player Goose Goslin died.
1972 Governor George Wallace of Alabama was shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland.
1978 Robert Gordon Menzies, former Prime Minister of Australia, died.
2003 Singer June Carter Cash died.
2007 Televangelist Jerry Falwell died.
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This page was last updated on May 15, 2017.