MAY 15, 1963
GORDON COOPER BLASTS OFF ON “FAITH 7”
US astronaut Gordon Cooper was launched into orbit today on the “Faith 7” in what is hoped to be the longest space venture for NASA to date.
Leroy Gordon Cooper was born in 1927 in Shawnee, Oklahoma.*
JFK with Gordon Cooper & Gus Grissom
*Cooper’s flight will include 22 earth orbits with 34+ hours of space time, more than the total of all US astronauts before him combined.
Gordon Cooper died at the age of 77 in 2004.
Astronaut Leroy Gordon Cooper
NASA photograph (1963)
May 15, 1970
STUDENTS KILLED IN PROTEST AT JACKSON STATE
A group of student protesters were fired upon today by city & state police at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
Two of the students have been killed in the gunfire.
They are Philip Lafayette Gibbs (21) & James Earl Green (17).*
*The President’s Commission on Campus Unrest concluded “the 28 second fusillade from police officers was an….overreaction.”
Kent State-Jackson State Memorial
May 15, 1972
GOVERNOR WALLACE SHOT IN MARYLAND
Democratic presidential candidate & Governor of Alabama George C. Wallace was shot today during a rally in Laurel, Maryland.
The Governor was shot 4 times at point blank range by 21 year old Arthur Bremer. The shooter’s motive is not yet known.
Governor Wallace was in the process of his 3rd presidential campaign after polling more than 10 million votes as an independent in 1968.*
*Wallace recovered only to be confined to a wheelchair the rest of his life. In 1983, after having asked forgiveness for his segregationist politics, he was elected Alabama’s governor once more. He died in 1998.
The shooter, Arthur Bremer, served 35 years in prison & was released in 2007. In his diary, Bremer wrote that he shot Wallace to become “infamous” & to “gain notoriety”.
George C. Wallace
Photo by Marion S. Trikosko (1968)
May 15, 1973
ANGELS’ NOLAN RYAN PITCHES NO-HITTER
Nolan Ryan of the Los Angeles Angels pitched the 1st no-hitter of his career today at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Ryan, known for his blazing fastball & regimented work ethic, struck out 12 Royals batters in the process.
Nolan Ryan was born in Refugio, Texas. He joined the New York Mets in 1968 only to be traded to the LA Angels.*
*Ryan finished out his brilliant career with the Astros & Rangers. He had an “impossible” 5,714 career strikeouts & was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999.
Nolan Ryan, Houston Astros (1983)
May 15, 1988
SOVIETS BEGIN WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN
After 8 years of occupation, Soviet troops began to withdraw from Afghanistan today.
The USSR sent forces there in December 1979 to boost the pro-Soviet communist government which was facing internal revolts.
During the occupation, thousands of Soviet soldiers were killed & the financial costs to the Soviet government were huge.
May 15, 1940
McDONALDS BROTHERS OPEN NEW RESTAURANT IN SAN BERNARDINO
Richard & Maurice McDonald opened a new restaurant today in San Bernardino, California.*
*In 1948, the brothers introduce their “Speedy Service System” & the fast food industry is born.
1st McDonald’s Restaurant
San Bernardino, California
Photo by Cogart Strangehill (2005)
May 15, 1928
“MICKEY MOUSE” CARTOON DOES NOT IMPRESS AUDIENCE
Walt Disney’s 1st cartoon, “Plane Crazy”, starring a mouse character named “Mickey”, was shown to an audience for the 1st time today.
Apparently, the audience was unimpressed with the cartoon.
Sources say Mr. Disney is also having problems getting a distributor for his cartoon.*
*Neither “Plane Crazy” nor Disney’s 2nd effort “The Gallopin’ Gaucho” were released.
Disney’s 1st successful cartoon, “Steamboat Willie”, was released on November 18, 1928.
*Sorry, as you might have guessed, I am a charter member of the “Mickey Mouse Club”
May 15, 1864
VMI CADETS HELP DRIVE YANKEES OUT OF SHENANDOAH VALLEY
247 cadets of the Virginia Military Institute were called to action today by the Confederate army to help drive invading Yankees out of the Shenandoah Valley.
The cadets joined with both regular & militia Confederate units to defeat Union General Franz Sigel & force his retreat from the valley.
Some of the cadets were as young as 15 years old. 9 of their numbers were killed & 48 were wounded in “The Battle of New Market”.
Cadet Waving VMI Flag at New Market
May 15, 1800
PRESIDENT ADAMS ORDERS GOVERNMENT OUT OF PHILADELPHIA
President John Adams gave the order today for the government of the United States to leave Philadelphia.
The reason, the new federal capital city, Washington, D.C., is ready to be occupied.
125 federal employees have been instructed to “pack their belongings” & move south.
The government will travel by ships using inland water routes to the new capital.*
*Philadelphia ceases to serve as the US Capital city on June 11, 1800 but President Adams will not be able to move into the President’s mansion, with his wife Abigail, until November 1800.
2nd US President