This Month In History: May

May 8, 2020

May brings a sense of excitement … It’s almost the end of the school year, summer is just around the corner, and you already feel a grade older! May marks some other exciting things around the world as well. Take a look!

Battle Of Puebla
By Mike Manning -CC BY-SA 3.0,

Cinco De Mayo
This popular celebration in the United States is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day. But Cinco De Mayo (May 5th in Spanish) is, in fact, the day the Mexican army conquered the French army in the Battle of Pueblo in 1862. Did you know that the festival is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico?

Anna Jarvis
By Olairian – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26708917

Mother’s Day
Hooray for you if you remember that Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May (in the US and many other countries around the world)! But did you know that Mother’s Day was the work of Anna Jarvis, who, in 1908, wished to commemorate her mother who had died three years earlier? Jarvis wanted to honor the sacrifices that all mothers make for their children, so she worked hard to make the day an official holiday on the US calendar, which President Woodrow Wilson eventually did in 1914.
Fun Fact: Jarvis eventually denounced the commercialization of Mother’s Day and asked people to stop buying flowers, cards, and candies.

Amelia Earheart
By Underwood & Underwood (active 1880 – c. 1950)[1] – Public Domain,
Amelia Earhart
This well-known aviator inspires many young travel enthusiasts around the world year after year. May marks a special milestone in Amelia Earhart’s life—it was on May 20th, 1932, that Earhart flew from Newfoundland, a Canadian island, to Northern Ireland in just under fifteen hours on a solo flight. And it wasn’t just any solo flight; it was the first solo flight by a woman! Did you know that only two people witnessed her landing in Ireland? It wasn’t until much later that Earhart became a celebrity in her own right and eventually embarked on a trans-world flight in 1937, when people crowded to get a glimpse of the famous adventurer. Earhart went on to fly many other memorable routes and is considered a true pioneer in aviation history.

Spam Mail
Did you know that ninety percent of all emails are considered spam or junk emails? That’s right. And have you ever wondered who sent the first known spam email? It was Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager, who sent an email about his company’s new computer in 1978. No surprises that it was hugely unpopular! Today, email providers and software tools help filter spam out, but every so often, you probably still see a pesky little spam email that’s made its way to your inbox!

By Louis Daguerre – Scanned from The Photography Book, Phaidon Press, London, 1997., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5005681

Boulevard Du Temple
This is the name of the first known photograph of a person. If you squint your eyes, you might be able to make out the two people in the corner of the picture. Taken in 1838 by Louis Daguerre, the photo shows a boulevard in Paris. Don’t be fooled into thinking the streets were empty, though. You see, because the camera’s flash exposure lasted for several minutes, the photo didn’t capture elements like cars and trams that moved fast, but it did manage to capture a shoeshiner and his customer because they were mostly still.