Tuesday, May 10, 2005
1497: Amerigo Vespucci, chief agent of the Seville banking house of Giannetto di Lorenzo Berardo Berardi, sets sail from Cádiz for the New World.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier finds Newfoundland, which had already been found by the Portuguese and the Vikings. This time, though, it stays found.
1801: When President Jefferson refuses a $225,000 tribute payment to the Pasha of Tripoli, the Barbary States declare war on the United States.
1818: Industrialist Paul Revere, who made a fortune manufacturing everything from silverware to church bells to copper spikes for naval vessels, dies at Boston, Massachusetts.
1835: The city of Melbourne, Australia, is founded by a group of free settlers.
1837: Banks in New York City suspend payment in specie, triggering the Panic of 1837. It is said that of the nation’s 850 banks, 343 closed as a result.
1869: At Promontory Summit, Utah, President Leland Stanford of the Central Pacific Railroad drives the Golden Spike that finishes the first transcontinental railroad. The event marks the junction of the CPRR with the Union Pacific.
1876: Richard Wagner’s Centennial Inaugural March premieres at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wagner earns $5,000 for the piece.
1898: Omaha, Nebraska, becomes the first American city to protect its imperiled citizens by regulating vending machines.
1902: Film impresario David Oliver Selznick is born at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1930 he will marry Louis B. ("Metro-Goldwyn") Mayer’s daughter, which doesn’t hurt his career any.
1954: Decca Records’ Rock Around the Clock, by Bill Haley and the Comets, becomes the first "rock and roll" record to hit Number 1 on the charts.
1958: Pennsylvania Senator Richard John Santorum (Penn State Law 1986) is born at Winchester, Virginia.
1963: An obscure British band called the Rolling Stones records its first two songs, Come On and I Wanna Be Loved.
1969: The National Football League and the American Football League announce their merger.