May 18 | Today In History

May 18 - Today in History

Today is a very special date to me , so I decided to take a look back at interesting events that occurred on this day. There are quite a number of things that have happened on May 18 since man started recording events (duh!) but i have settled for the events that i found either noteworthy or very juicy. Enjoy.

1593

Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.

Thomas Kyd (author of the Spanish Tragedy) was arrested on May 15, 1593, and tortured on suspicion of treason and possession of heretical documents alleged to have been found in his room. Kyd  wrote a letter saying the documents actually belonged to his former room-mate and fellow playwright, Christopher Marlowe.

Marlowe was arrested on May 20, made bail but was killed in a bar brawl on May 30. There are theories that he might have faked his death to avoid execution, and that he is actually, wait for it…, William Shakespeare.

1852

Massachusetts rules all school age children must attend school.

Today in History.

This was one of the first general laws attempting to control the conditions of children. The law included mandatory attendance for children between the ages of 8 and 14 for at least 3 months out of each year, and 6 out of these 12 weeks had to be consecutive.

1860

The Republican Party nominates Abraham Lincoln for presidency.

Abraham Lincoln 1860 Campaign 1

1897

‘Dracula’ by Irish author Bram Stoker is published by Archibald Constable & Co in London.

200px-Dracula1st

The novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

1912

First Indian Film, Shree Pundalik  by Dadasaheb Torne is released in Mumbai.

Dadasaheb Torne

1926

Evangelist Aimee Semple Mcpherson (Founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church) vanishes while visiting Venice Beach, California.

Aimee Mcpherson

Growing up in a ‘Foursquare Family’, I thought I knew all about our founder, Aimee Semple Mcpherson. I mean I memorized her doctrines, read her autobiography etc, but somehow somebody forgot to mention this particular bit of news. Maybe they thought it wasn’t important or too scandalous?

Aimee Semple Mcpherson, was no ordinary evangelist, she apparently was a major celebrity in the 1920’s. She had gained popularity due to her use to the media to pass her message and the entertaining nature of her services. It might be commonplace now, but I imagine back then this would have made her unique.

Aimee Mcpherson2So, on May 18, 1926, when this celebrity evangelist went to the beach for a swim and to work on her sermon and didn’t come back, there was a massive brouhaha, the police dispatched planes and ships to find her, thousands of people flocked the beach to watch the hunt for her body (she was presumed to have drowned), her church members held vigils by the sea. One of whom drowned while searching for the body and a diver died from exposure (see commotion!!).  The press refused to be left out, the Los Angeles Times even chartered a plane to scan the ocean for her body and hired a parachutist. Her mother received a ransom note demanding half a million dollars or else Aimee would be sold into slavery, a note she claims she threw out because she believed her daughter was already dead.

A month later, on June 23, Aimee suddenly turned up in New Mexico claiming to have been drugged, kidnapped and held for ransom by a man and a woman. She said she had escaped and walked 13 hours through the desert to freedom. At least 50,000 people showed up to welcome her home (Rock star!!), there was a parade with roses falling from the skies and everything.

However, on close inspection, her story did not seem to add up and by that I mean her shoes told a different story, and there was no evidence of dehydration (the FBI does not believe in miracles??). The police decided that investigating the “kidnapping” was not important and instead chose to focus on Aimee’s personal life (what else is new?), particularly on Kenneth Ormiston (the married engineer of her radio station) who also mysteriously disappeared around the same time (dun! dun!! dun!!!). Two and two became four and some people came up with the story that the two of them were having an affair, while others believed the whole thing was a publicity stunt (publicity for what though? It’s not like she has an album to sell). Anyways, she  faced a grand jury investigation into her ‘kidnapping’ story which was adjourned due to lack of evidence.

To this day, there is still debate about what happened exactly and this incident has inspired books, stage plays, and movies. For serious.

I can tell you what happened though – God did it!!.

 1953

 Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran is the first woman to break the sound barrier.

Jackie Cochran.jpg

Cochran, a racing pilot, broke the sound barrier flying a Royal Canadian Air Force F-86 Sabrejet over Rogers Dry Lake, California. In moving from subsonic to supersonic speed, Cochran averaged 652 mph. She was the first woman inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame.

1974

Nigeria announces 55% government participation in all oil concessions.

Nigeria Oil.jpg

Was this when the longer throat syndrome started in Nigeria? Hmmn…

1986

South African army occupies Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia

South African Army.jpg

1992

The Queen of this face was born

IMG_20160518_001106.jpg
I am SO bored right now

It was a Monday, under the sign of Taurus; Nigeria was under the rule of General Ibrahim Babangida. That week, Jewels by Danielle Steel was the no 1 best-selling book, Nigerian people were listening to Jump by Kris Kross and some other Nigerian song that I don’t know. Do you know any Nigerian songs that rocked in 1992?

 

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