Did you know that in the month of May…?

Did you know that in the month of May…?

May 4, 1494 During his second journey of exploration in the New World, Christopher Columbus discovered Jamaica.

May 1, 1960 An American U-2 spy plane flying at 60,000 feet was shot down over Sverdlovsk in central Russia on the eve of a summit meeting between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet Russia’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The sensational incident caused a cancellation of the meeting and heightened existing Cold War tensions.

May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard became the first American in space. He piloted the spacecraft Freedom 7 during a 15-minute 28-second suborbital flight that reached an altitude of 116 miles (186 kilometers) above the earth.

May 1, 2004 Eight former Communist nations and two Mediterranean countries joined the European Union (EU) marking its largest-ever expansion. The new members included Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, along with the island of Malta and the Greek portion of the island of Cyprus.

Would you like to know more? Go to History Place.

Zapping through History…

Zapping through History…

Memorial Day

United States of America

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. At first it was known as Decoration Day and its origins date back to the years following the Civil War. It became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Would you like to know more? Go to Memorial Day History.

May Day

Great Britain

During the month of May, England observe an important ancient tradition: MAY DAY, a public holiday usually celebrated on May 1st. The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia or festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. Similar traditions were the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries and the Gaelic god Beltane. Traditional English May Day rites and celebrations include crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole.

Would you like to know more? Go to May Day facts and times.