Today in history: Friday, May 9, the 129th day of 2014

Today is Friday, May 9, the 129th day of 2014. There are 236 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1754: A political cartoon in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette depicts a snake cut into eight pieces, each section representing a part of the American colonies; the caption reads, “JOIN, or DIE.”

1814: The Jane Austen novel “Mansfield Park” is first published in London.

1864: Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick is killed by a Confederate sniper during the Civil War Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia.

1914: President Woodrow Wilson, acting on a joint congressional resolution, signs a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

1914: Country music star Hank Snow is born in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, Canada.

1926: Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett supposedly become the first men to fly over the North Pole. (However, U.S. scholars announced in 1996 that their examination of Byrd’s recently discovered flight diary suggested he had turned back 150 miles short of his goal.)

1945: U.S. officials announce that a midnight entertainment curfew is being lifted immediately.

1851: The U.S. conducts its first thermonuclear experiment as part of Operation Greenhouse by detonating a 225-kiloton device on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific nicknamed “George.”

1961: In a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton N. Minow decries the majority of television programming as a “vast wasteland.”


1989: The Mahoning Valley Sanitary District is seeking an increase in water rates of 9.75 percent, which board member Edward Flask says is needed to offset higher costs due to a drought and anticipated higher costs in the future.

A Cardinal Mooney High School honor student is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his stepfather, James Winphrie, 43, at their Rosedale Avenue home. The youth told police he shot his stepfather with a rifle after the stepfather wounded the boy’s mother with a pistol.

1974: Roland Alexander, president of the Youngstown branch of NAACP, says that Atty. Nathaniel R. Jones, NAACP national counsel and former Youngstown attorney, intends to file suit in federal court seeking to force the desegregation of Youngstown schools. Alexander is seeking financial support for the effort.

Ohio State Auditor Joseph Ferguson, an 81-year-old Democrat and a devout Catholic, refuses to release payments for abortions performed on welfare recipients. Welfare departments began providing abortions in August after the Supreme Court overruled an Ohio law prohibiting them and since then hundreds of vouchers have been bottled up in Ferguson’s office.

1964: “Reservists of the Year” are honored during Armed Forces Day on Youngstown’s Central Square. Honored were Cpl. Michael G. Court, USMCR; M.Sgt. William V. Hegedusich, USAFR; ROTC Capt. Paul J. Heyer; Lt. Donald E. Rasile, ONG; Sp. 4.C. Lawrence R. Springer, USAR, and Chief William J. List, USNR.

Mayor Anthony B. Flask sends letters to owners of vacant storerooms in the central business district asking them to cooperate in dressing up downtown.

Surgeons at South Side Hospital begin skin grafts for 5-year-old Jimmy Slattery of Woodmere Avenue, Austintown, who has remained hospitalized since he was dragged for more than a mile under the car of a neighbor on April 13.

1939: While fining seven gamblers $50 and one, $100, Youngstown Municipal Judge Harry Hoffman remarks that, “Sometimes I think the police arrange it so that only old slips are found, because if there were new ones, the bug couldn’t pay off.”

Youngstown raises $265,855 for the Community Chest Campaign, $13,293 more than in 1938, but $9,145 short of the 1939 goal.

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