Friday, May 20, 2011

On this day in history-- 5/20/2011

There's a ridiculously long list of what's happened on the 20th of May in history, so let's go with two major facts and a small history post for each. I think it'd be more interesting than a list of briefly mentioned things that happened on this day.

1961 -- astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America's first space traveler. He made a 15-minute suborbital ballistic flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The space craft was called Freedom 7, launched by a Redstone vehicle. He went 116 statute miles into the air and landed 302 statute miles down the Atlantic Missile Range.

1985 -- President Ronald Reagan attended a wreath-laying ceremony at a military cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany. The visit drew worldwide condemnation because 49 members of the Waffen SS were buried there. For those of you who don't know, the Waffen SS was the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel, or Protective Squadron. They were one of the largest sections of the Nazi forces.

Another little fact that's interesting, is that Karl Marx was born in Prussia in 1818, and Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena in 1821.


  1. hmm, honestly wondering if there should be some much ire towards Reagan for that...and its ironic that this is the anniversary of the first day that someone got shot shot into space, because didnt NASA launch their final shuttle mission a few days ago?

  2. This is cool stuff. Trivial facts are always fun! :D

  3. Shepard! Like from Call of Duty? ;p ok that was stupid, but sincerely, couple of interesting facts i had no idea about :) Im waiting to see what happened on my birthday :D

  4. I like this, they do it on the radio sometimes.
    Nice way to learn some history.

  5. I remember when stuff like this used to be on TV. Always interesting to hear what happened on that day years ago.

  6. @StaerdUst: I know. I mean, it's understandable, but it's not like the SS were the only ones buried there. Also, yeah, I believe you're right! That's incredibly ironic.

    @Mot: Indeed! :D

    @PA: Lol! :P Glad you enjoyed. Is your birthday coming up? Any particular interests you have in history? I'll include something just for you.

    @Tomgh: Thanks. I actually got the idea for this from a history professor I had a few years back. He would do it every day for our History of Rock and Roll course.

    @Anonwadi: Indeed.

    @caries: Thanks! Glad you liked it.