ON THIS DAY in the History | Facts You Can’t Live Without | May 22nd

We thought this would be a fun little topic to cover in what really happened on each day.


Wars of the Roses: At the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.


1st atlas ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ (Theatre of the World), published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp with 70 maps.


In Philladelphia, PA, issued the first life insurance policy in the U.S.


U S authorities arrest former vice president Aaron Burr February 19 in Alabama and bring him to trial May 22 at Richmond, Va , in a circuit court presided over by Chief Justice John Marshall of the Supreme Court Burr has apparently schemed to establish an independent nation comprised of Mexico and parts of the Louisiana Territory, but the court acquits him for lack of evidence.

Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr is tried and acquitted for treason.


The steamship Savannah  was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean.


Australia:  Six farm labourers from Tolpuddle, Dorset, England are sentenced to be transported to Australia for forming a trade union.


August 30th – Melbourne, Sydney founded.


July 27th – Adelaide, South Australia, founded.


Thomas Morris of Australia skips rope 22,806 times.


Myall Creek Massacre in Australia: 28 Aboriginal Australians are murdered.


The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.


Henry Kennedy received his patent for the first reclining chair.


A massive wagon train, made up of 1,000 settlers and 1,000 head of cattle, sets off down the Oregon Trail in the United States 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.


Abraham Lincoln received a patent for the invention of the floating dock.


Scottish explorer Edward Eyre reaches Albany, W-Australia


Gold fields discovered in Australia.


Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.


Senator Charles Sumner [MA] beaten with a cane by Rep Preston SBrooks on US Senate Floor.


The creator of “Sherlock Holmes,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born.


The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.

First revolving restaurant of its kind dedicated. [Seattle’s Space Needle]


The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.

US Civil War ended.


Near Marshfield, IN, The “Great Train Robbery” took place. The robbery was worth $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds to the seven members of the Reno gang.


The Amnesty Act restored civil rights to Southerners [US].


The SS Gothenburg hits the Great Barrier Reef and sinks off the Australian east coast, killing approximately 100, including a number of high profile civil servants and dignitaries.


Baldwin steam motors tram 1st tried in Sydney Australia.


The U.S.  formally recognized Korea.


Victoria Street Cable Tram route begins in Melbourne, Australia.


Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city. [AUS]


Louisville, Ky, becomes 1st government in US to adopt Australian ballot (i.e. secret ballot on standard voting forms).

Leroy Buffington patents a system to build skyscrapers. [US]


128°F (53°C), Cloncurry, Queensland (Australian record).


The first public motion picture was given in Thomas Edison’s lab.


Dr. Washington Sheffield invented the toothpaste tube. [US]

The Limelight Department, one of the world’s first film studios, is officially established in Melbourne, Australia.


Leaders of six Australian colonies meet in Melbourne to discuss confederation.

The Australian Premiers’ Conference held in Melbourne decides to locate Australia’s capital (Canberra) between Sydney and Melbourne.


The Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative in New York.

A. DeVilbiss, Jr. patented his pendulum-type computing scale

Edwin S. Votey received a patent for the pianola (a pneumatic piano player). It could be attached to any piano.


Australia declares independence from federation of UK colonies.

The first Australian Parliament opens in Melbourne, though the first working session will not be until 21 May.


Australian parliament agrees to female suffrage.

Mine accident in Wollongong, Australia (100 die).

n Australia, the whole nation observes a ‘day of humiliation’ and prays for rain, as a terrible drought kills livestock and threatens crops; rain begins to appear on 10 September.


The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.


The Wright brothers received a patent their flying machine. [US]

British New Guinea placed under Australian administration [AUS]


South Australia transfers Northern Territory to federal government.

King George V crowned king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and all his realms and territories beyond the sea.


World War I: Australian and New Zealand troops arrive in Cairo, Egypt.


In Gretna, Scotland, 227 people died when two passenger trains and a troop train collided.

Australian Survey Corps becomes part of Military Forces.

Assault against Russell’s Top at Gallipolis, 232 Australians die.


Alick Wickham dives 200′ into Australia’s Yarra River.

The Australian steamer Wimmera is sunk by a mine laid north of Cape Maria van Diemen in 1917 by the German raider Wolf; 26 of its 151 passengers and crew were killed.

WW I: The Battle of Amiens begins – Canada/Australian/British breakthrough with 600 tanks.


1st air flight over a major body of water in Australia (Harry Butler).


Near Xining, China, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake killed about 200,000 people.


1st solo flight from England to Australia  takes off (Bert Hinkler).

1st solo England to Australia flight lands (Bert Hinkler) 5-day trip.


Telephone connection Britain-Australia goes into service.

Amy Johnson takes off – first woman to fly solo from England to Australia.


Guy Menzies flies the first solo non-stop trans-Tasman flight (from Australia to New Zealand) in 11 hours and 45 minutes, crash-landing on New Zealand’s west coast.

Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland (Free State), and Newfoundland (which was not at that time part of Canada).


First reported sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.

World Trade Day/National Maritime Day first celebrated.


Australian Antarctic Territory created.


Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a military alliance between Germany and Italy known as the “Pact of Steel.”

Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.

The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometres of land in Australia, claiming the lives of 71 people.

WWII: Britain declares war on Germany after invasion of Poland. France follows 6 hours later quickly joined by Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Canada.

Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service.


American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command forms.

About 150 Japanese warplanes attack the Australian city of Darwin.

Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.

World War II: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps as a flight instructor.


Sinking of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur off the coast of Queensland, by a Japanese submarine.


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.

The first US ballistic missile fired.


1st British nuclear test at Monte Bello Island in Australia.


A scheduled dance to be headlined by Fats Domino was canceled by police in Bridgeport, Connecticut because “rock and roll dances might be featured.”

Jack Benny did his last live network radio broadcast after a run of 23 years. He devoted his time fully to TV.


Television is first broadcast in Australia.


Australian swimmer Jon Konrads sets 6 world records in 2 days.


In Chile, a 9.5 magnitude earthquake hit near the coast. More than 2,000 were killed and 3,000 were wounded.

Virtually all coastal towns between 37th & 44th parallels severely damaged by tsunami that strikes Hilo HI at 01:04 AM.


Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode. [US]

Netherlands telephone net becomes completely automated.

“Robert A Rushworth, USAF major, takes X-15 to 30,600 meters”. [US]


Beatles hold top 6 spots on Sydney Australia record charts.


“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” premiered on PBS.

The final “To Tell the Truth” program was seen on CBS-TV.

In Brussels, Belgium, 322 people were killed in a fire at L’Innovation department store.


A 6.8 earthquake wrecked the Australian town of Meckering, and also ruptured all major roads and railways nearby.


A lunar module of Apollo 10 flew within nine miles of the moon’s surface. The event was a rehearsal for the first lunar landing.


In Puntarenas, Coasta Rica, a Linea Aeropostal Venezolana flight crashed. All six people onboard were killed.

Arab terrorists kill 9 children & 3 adults on a school bus.


“Norwegian cruise vessel Meteor catches fire in Strait of Georgia; 70 passengers saved, 32 crew members killed.”


 United States President Richard Nixon became the first U.S. President to visit Russia. He met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

The island Ceylon adopted a new constitution and became the republic of Sri Lanka.

“National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was established. This is a program to involve Nigerian graduates in the development of their country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later Polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program of their service year.- Nigeria”


President Nixon confesses his role in Watergate cover-up. [US]


Colour television transmissions begin in Australia.


 Janet Guthrie set the fastest time of the second weekend of qualifying, becoming the first woman to earn a starting spot in the Indianapolis 500 since its inception in 1911.


Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.

Tornado hits Saratoga, TX, kills 29, injuries 121 out of 185 persons.


US Skylab enters atmosphere over Australia & disintegrates.


The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 75 people in Australia’s worst ever fires.


Homosexuality is declared legal in the state of New South Wales, Australia.


Pete Rose passed Hank Aaron as National League run scoring leader with 2,108. [US]

Advance Australia Fair is proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.


Sylvester Stallone agreed to a 10-picture, six-year deal with United Artists. He signed for a reported $15 million for each film.


2 hot-air balloons crash at Alice Springs, Australia, 13 killed.

Earthquake at Newcastle Australia, 11 die. [AUS]

In Central Bolivia a 6.6 earthquake at least 105 people killed and 150 injured in the Aiquile-Totora area.


In the Middle East, North and South Yemen merged to become a single state known as the Republic of Yemen.

In Victoria, Australia, helmetless bike riding becomes illegal.

Microsoft released Windows 3.0 [US]


Johnny Carson hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for the last time. He had been host for 30 years.


Kelly Flinn, the United States Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge. She thereby avoided court-martial on charges of adultery, lying and disobeying an order.

Tasmania becomes the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality. [AUS]

Susie Maroney, 22, of Australia, is 1st to swim from Cuba to Florida.

Eighteen lives are lost in the Thredbo Landslide in New South Wales, Australia.


Bolivia was hit with a series of powerful earthquakes. At least 18 were killed. The quakes ranged in magnitude from 5.9 to 6.8.

New information came to light about the June 1996 bombing that killed 19 American airmen. The information indicated that Saudi citizens had been responsible and not Iranians as once believed.

A federal judge said that Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury in Monica Lewinsky investigation concerning U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland turned out to cast ballots giving approval to a Northern Ireland peace accord.


Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons are burned alive by radical Hindus while sleeping in their car in Eastern India.

A severe hailstorm strikes Sydney, Australia causing A$1.7 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history.

Australians vote to keep the British monarch as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.


Chandra Levy’s remains were found in Washington, DC’s Rock Creek Park. She was last seen on April 30, 2001. California Congressman Gary Condit was questioned in the case due to his relationship with Levy.

In Birmingham, AL, a jury convicted former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry of murder in the 1963 church bombing that killed four girls.

Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) hit his 583rd career home run. He tied Mark McGwire for fifth on the all-time list.


At the Colonial in Fort Worth, TX, Annika Sorenstam became the first woman to play on the PGA tour in 58 years. She ended the day at 1-over par.

A bushfire kills 4 people and destroys more than 500 homes in Canberra, Australia.

The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia.

Fort Worth, Texas’ Annika Srenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.


2004 A bomb explodes outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, killing 10 people.

The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. It also killed one local resident.


Cronulla riots: thousands of white Australians demonstrate against ethnic violence, resulting in a riot against anyone thought to be Lebanese (and many who were not) in Cronulla Sydney. These are followed by ethnic attacks on Cronulla. [AUS]


Sydney, Australia swelters through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometre peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.

Cyclone Larry makes landfall in eastern Australia, destroying most of the country’s banana crop.


Burnley Tunnel catastrophe occurs in Melbourne, Australia.

Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia is hit by the State’s worst storms and flooding in 30 years resulting in the death of nine people and the grounding of trade ship, the MV Pasha Bulker.

Smoking in England is banned in all public indoor spaces: with the ban already in force in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, this means it is illegal to smoke in indoor public places anywhere in the UK. Australia implements a similar ban.


Bushfires in Victoria left 173 dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history.

Australia formally adopts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


In India, a jet overshot a hilltop runway and plunged over a cliff. There were 8 survivors and 158 people were killed.

American boy, 13, breaks Everest record. Jordan Romero, a 13-year-old American became the youngest climber to ever summit Mount Everest.


The Royal Australian Navy announces that they discovered the wreck of a World War II submarine in Simpson Harbour, Papua New Guinea during Operation RENDER SAFE – it is likely to be Japanese. [AUS]

Joplin, MO: A catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado struck the town, killing 158 people. This was the 3rd tornado that struck the town since 1971.


Tens of thousands of people are stranded by floods in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland.

9,000 residents are evacuated from Wagga Wagga, Australia, as the Murrimbidgee River threatens to overflow.

A boat of 200 asylum seekers headed to Australia capsizes and 110 survivors are rescued.


130 wildfires across Australia’s east coast force thousands to evacuate their homes.

Tropical cyclone Oswald makes landfall in Queensland, Australia, causing mass flooding.


Australian National University scientists discover the oldest known star at 13.6 billion years old.

[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog