This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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May 27 is the 147th day of the year (148th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 218 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1813, former President Thomas Jefferson writes former President John Adams to let him know that their mutual friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, has died.
Rush’s passing caused Jefferson to meditate upon the departure of the Revolutionary generation. He wrote, We too must go; and that ere long. I believe we are under half a dozen at present; I mean the signers of the Declaration.
Despite their close friendship, Jefferson wrote that he and Adams were often separated by “different conclusions we had drawn from our political reading.” The two maintained their friendship despite their political differences until 1801, the year that Jefferson became president. As Jefferson wrote Mrs. Adams: “I can say with truth that one act of Mr. Adams’s life, and one only, ever gave me a moment’s personal displeasure.” By this, Jefferson was referring to last-minute political appointments made by Adams just before Jefferson succeeded him as president. Jefferson wrote that the appointments “were [selected] from among my most ardent political enemies” who could be counted on to work against his executive authority. Jefferson admitted to “brooding over it for some little time,” and during this period, they ceased writing one another.
When Jefferson retired from the presidency in 1809, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration that Adams and Jefferson worked to create, took it upon himself to renew their suspended friendship. He had no success until 1811, when one of Jefferson’s neighbors visited Adams in Massachusetts. The neighbor returned to Virginia with the report that he had heard Adams say, “I always loved Jefferson, and still love him.” In response to these words, Jefferson wrote Dr. Rush: “This is enough for me. I only needed this knowledge to revive towards him all of the affections of the most cordial moments of our lives.” He asked Rush to persuade Adams to renew their correspondence. A letter from Adams was forthcoming, and they continued to write until their deaths.
This reconciliation began a rich correspondence that touched on myriad topics, from reminiscences about their contributions to the young nation’s history, to opinions on current political issues, to matters of philosophy and religion, to issues of aging. Their letters were also lighthearted and filled with affection. Jefferson wrote, “I have compared notes with Mr. Adams on the score of progeny, and find I am ahead of him, and think I am in a fair way to keep so. I have 10 1/2 grandchildren, and 2 3/4 great-grand-children; and these fractions will ere long become units.”
A Lasting Legacy
After fifteen years of resumed friendship, on July 4, 1826, Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other. Their deaths occurred — perhaps appropriately — on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Unaware that his friend had died hours earlier, Adams’ last spoken words were “Jefferson still survives.”
927 – Battle of the Bosnian Highlands: the Croatian army, led by King Tomislav, defeats the Bulgarian Army.
1120 – Richard III of Capua is anointed as Prince two weeks before his untimely death.
1153 – Malcolm IV becomes King of Scotland.
1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
1798 – The Battle of Oulart Hill takes place in Wexford, Ireland.
1799 – War of the Second Coalition: Austrian forces defeats the French at Winterthur, Switzerland, securing control of the northeastern Swiss Plateau because of the town’s loaction at the junction of seven cross-roads.
1812 – Bolivian War of Independence: In Bolivia, the Battle of La Coronilla, in which the women from Cochabamba fight against the Spanish army.
1813 – War of 1812: In Canada, American forces capture Fort George.
1849 – The Great Hall of Euston station in London is opened.
1860 – Giuseppe Garibaldi begins his attack on Palermo, Sicily, as part of the Italian Unification.
1863 – American Civil War: First Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson.
1883 – Alexander III is crowned Tsar of Russia.
1896 – The F4-strength St. Louis-East St. Louis Tornado hits in St. Louis, Missouri and East Saint Louis, Illinois, killing at least 255 people and causing $2.9 billion in damage (1997 USD).
1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima begins.
1907 – Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco, California.
1919 – The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.
1927 – The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the Ford Model T and begins to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.
1930 – The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.
1933 – New Deal: The U.S. Federal Securities Act is signed into law requiring the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.
1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”
1933 – The Century of Progress World’s Fair opens in Chicago, Illinois.
1935 – New Deal: The Supreme Court of the United States declares the National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, (295 U.S. 495).
1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
1940 – World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 99 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops. Two survive.
1941 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims an “unlimited national emergency”.
1941 – World War II: The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic killing almost 2,100 men.
1942 – World War II: In Operation Anthropoid, Reinhard Heydrich is assassinated in Prague.
1957 – Toronto’s CHUM-AM, (1050 kHz) becomes Canada’s first radio station to broadcast only top 40 Rock n’ Roll music format.
1958 – The F-4 Phantom II makes its first flight.
1960 – In Turkey, a military coup removes President Celal Bayar and the rest of the democratic government from office.
1962 – The Centralia, Pennsylvania mine fire starts.
1965 – Vietnam War: American warships begin the first bombardment of National Liberation Front targets within South Vietnam.
1967 – Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.
1967 – The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy is launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline.
1968 – The meeting of the Union Nationale des Étudiants de France (National Union of the Students of France) takes place. 30,000 to 50,000 people gather in the Stade Sebastien Charlety.
1971 – The Dahlerau train disaster, the worst railway accident in West Germany, kills 46 people and injures 25 near Wuppertal.
1975 – The Dibble’s Bridge coach crash near Grassington, North Yorkshire, England kills 32 – the highest ever death toll in a road accident in the United Kingdom.
1980 – The Gwangju Massacre: Airborne and army troops of South Korea retake the city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207 and possibly many more.
1987 – Saint Paul, Minnesota’s mayor George Latimer names May 27 “August Wilson Day” in honor of the only person to win a Pulitzer Prize hailing from the state.
1995 – In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition.
1996 – First Chechnya War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire.
1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Paula Jones can pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton while he is in office.
1998 – Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
1999 – The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.
2005 – Australian Schapelle Corby is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Kerobokan Prison for drug smuggling by a court in Indonesia.
2006 – The May 2006 Java earthquake strikes at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta killing over 6,600 people.
* Armed Forces Day (Nicaragua)
* Children’s Day (Nigeria)
* Christian Feast Day:
* Augustine of Canterbury
* Bruno of Würzburg
* Eutropius of Orange
* Julius the Veteran
* May 27 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Mother’s Day or Día de la Madre (Bolivia)
* Slavery Abolition Day (Guadeloupe, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin)