[The daughter of France's King Henri IV and his second wife Marie de Medici, through her daughter Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans Charles I's queen is related to French monarchs Louis XV, Louis XVI, Louis XVII, Louis XVIII & Charles X plus such modern-day luminaries as Diana, Princess of Wales , Prince William, Prince Harry, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as well through the illegitimate children of her son, Charles II. Despite being such a pivotal figure in history - every bit as much as Queen Victoria if not more - Henrietta Maria has been written about very little, and understood even less...]
1525 - Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, openly defying the celibacy doctrine decreed by the Roman Catholic Church on priests and nuns in the most boring way imaginable.
1625 - England's King Charles I married French princess Henrietta Maria; not only would she become the mother of two kings (Charles II and James II) she would also be the grandmother of two queens (Mary II and Queen Anne) as well as William III - who, according to rumour was both a king and a queen - besides.
1777 - At the outset of the American Revolution the Marquis de Lafayette (who during the subsequent French Revolution renounced his title in a fit of Republicanism and became plain-old Gilbert de Motier) landed near Charleston in order to help the Continental Congress to train its army, which he did as an unpaid volunteer. Some idea of the closeness between the has-been Marquis and the would-be President George Washington can be gleaned from David A. Barry's book Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the Revolution, which will have to do until I decide* to take up writing slash fiction.
*Or am driven, out of sheer desperation, more like...
1798 - The Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded in what is now Oceanside, California.
1881 - The USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack and sunk under the command of George W. DeLong; owned by James Gordon Bennett, Jr., owner of the New York Herald, the Jeannette had been sent North to look for an overdue expedition aboard the Vega.
1886 - A fire devastated much of Vancouver; on the same day Bavaria's King Ludwig II was found dead in Lake Starnberg, south of Munich. Most historians feel the two events aren't related - and even a paranoid bastard such as myself can't force any connection, but I'll probably keep trying anyway...
1898 - Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital; the capital was moved to Whitehorse following World War II, to little effect.
1927 - A ticker-tape parade was held for aviator Charles Lindbergh down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue upon his return to New York City from Paris following his historic transatlantic flight on May 20th.
1935 - In one of the biggest upsets in championship boxing, the 10 to 1 underdog James J. Braddock (shown, at right) defeated Max Baer at the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Long Island City, New York, making him the heavyweight champion of the world. Braddock's life was reverently inhabited by Russell Crowe in Ron Howard's 2005 biopic Cinderella Man; he was joined by Paul Giamatti as Braddock's manager Joe Gould and for once Squinty McCokeface doesn't ruin the film by playing Braddock's long-suffering wife Mae, although the unflattering - and inaccurate - portrayal of Max Baer (otherwise well-played by Craig Bierko) nearly does.
1942 - The US government opened its Office of War Information.
1955 - Mir Mine - the Soviet Union's first diamond mine - was discovered.
1966 - The US Supreme Court ruled, in Miranda v. Arizona, that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them; Justice John Marshall Harlan II didn't agree, nor did Justice Tom C. Clark, or Justices Potter Stewart and Byron White for that matter. Oh that wacky Warren Court!
1967 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the US Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice Tom C. Clark.
1977 - Convicted Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray was recaptured after escaping from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary three days earlier.
1982 - Fahd became King of Saudi Arabia upon the death of his brother, Khalid.
1983 - Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system when it left the orbit of Neptune.
1991 - Boris Yeltsin became Russia's first popularly elected President.
1996 - The Montana Freemen surrendered after an 81-day standoff with FBI agents.
1997 - A jury sentenced Timothy McVeigh to the death penalty for his part in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
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