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.
May 22 is the 142nd day of the year (143rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 223 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1843, the Great Emigration departs for Oregon
A massive wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri. Known as the “Great Emigration,” the expedition came two years after the first modest party of settlers made the long, overland journey to Oregon.
In what was dubbed “The Great Migration of 1843” or the “Wagon Train of 1843”, an estimated 700 to 1,000 emigrants left for Oregon. They were led initially by John Gantt, a former U.S. Army Captain and fur trader who was contracted to guide the train to Fort Hall for $1 per person. The winter before, Marcus Whitman had made a brutal mid-winter trip from Oregon to St. Louis to appeal a decision by his Mission backers to abandon several of the Oregon missions. He joined the wagon train at the Platte River for the return trip. When the pioneers were told at Fort Hall by agents from the Hudson’s Bay Company that they should abandon their wagons there and use pack animals the rest of the way, Whitman disagreed and volunteered to lead the wagons to Oregon. He believed the wagon trains were large enough that they could build whatever road improvements they needed to make the trip with their wagons. The biggest obstacle they faced was in the Blue Mountains of Oregon where they had to cut and clear a trail through heavy timber. The wagons were stopped at The Dalles, Oregon by the lack of a road around Mount Hood. The wagons had to be disassembled and floated down the treacherous Columbia River and the animals herded over the rough Lolo trail to get by Mt. Hood. Nearly all of the settlers in the 1843 wagon trains arrived in the Willamette Valley by early October. A passable wagon trail now existed from the Missouri River to The Dalles. In 1846, the Barlow Road was completed around Mount Hood, providing a rough but completely passable wagon trail from the Missouri river to the Willamette Valley-about 2,000 miles.
334 BC – The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.
853 – A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys undefended Damietta in Egypt
1176 – The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo.
1377 – Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.
1455 – Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1762 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
1807 – A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1809 – On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon is repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
1819 – The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20.
1826 – HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.
1840 – The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
1843 – Thousands of people and their cattle head west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory. It is part of the Great Migration. They follow what is now known as the Oregon Trail.
1848 – Slavery is abolished in Martinique.
1856 – Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas”).
1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson – Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.
1871 – The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.
1872 – Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1897 – The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened
1903 – Launch of the White Star Liner, SS Ionic.
1906 – The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.
1915 – Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century.
1915 – Three trains collide in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246; the accident is found to be the result of non-standard operating practices during a shift change at a busy junction.
1936 – Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) is founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.
1939 – World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
1942 – Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.
1942 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed.
1942 – World War II: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps as a flight instructor.
1947 – Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.
1958 – Sri Lankan riots of 1958: This riot is a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.
1960 – An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hits southern Chile. It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
1962 – Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board.
1963 – Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis, who will die five days afterwards.
1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.
1967 – The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels, Belgium, burns down.
It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
1968 – The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
1969 – Apollo 10’s lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.
1972 – Ceylon adopts a new constitution, thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
1980 – Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man.
1987 – Hashimpura massacre in Meerut city of India.
1990 – North and South Yemen are unified to create the Republic of Yemen.
1990 – Microsoft releases the Windows 3.0 operating system.
1992 – After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time.
1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations.
1997 – Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
1998 – Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton.
2002 – In Washington, D.C., the remains of the missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park.
2002 – American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
2003 – In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
2004 – The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, which kills one resident.
2008 – The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashes 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 states and one Canadian province.
2011 – An EF5 tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people, the single deadliest tornado in the United States since modern record keeping began in 1950.
2012 – Tokyo Skytree is opened to public. Its the tallest tower in world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).
2013 – British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in a London Street during a terrorist attack.
2014 – General Prayuth Chan-ocha of the Royal Thai Armed Forces announces a military coup d’état, following six months of political turmoil.
2014 – An explosion occurs in the city of Ürümqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries.
* Abolition Day (Martinique)
* Christian Feast Day:
Castus and Emilius
Julia of Corsica
Rita of Cascia
Romanus of Subiaco
May 22 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Harvey Milk Day (California)
* International Day for Biological Diversity (International)
* National Maritime Day (United States)
* National Sovereignty Day (Haiti)
* Republic Day (Sri Lanka)
* Unity Day or National Day, celebrate the unification of North and South Yemen into the Republic of Yemen in 1990.