Let’s take look at some of the major events in history that made entry in the golden letters on this day May 20. Apart from all these are the most favored ones. Out of all these few Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives in Calicut, Ortelius maps the known world, Levi and Davis are granted a patent for pants, Aviator Amelia Earhart tries for the history books, Bloody Battle of ‘Hamburger Hill’ ends in South Vietnam, ‘Cheers’ closes up after 11 seasons, Three world powers carve up the Middle East, Lawrence dies far from Arabia, Excerpts from a landmark civil rights letter published, Amy Fisher shoots Mary Jo Buttafuoco
are the most prominent.
1. Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives in Calicut (May 20, 1498)
Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama has arrived in Calicut. This makes him the first European to reach India by sea. This has opened up trade relations and colonization of Portuguese settlements in India. Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.
2. Ortelius maps the known world (May 20, 1570)
Flemish geographer and cartographer Abraham Ortelius’ bound book of 53 maps, ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum,’ an extensive work of cartography that will be quickly reprinted in multiple languages and prove immensely popular, is issued. It will be the world’s first modern atlas. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is considered to be the first true modern atlas. Written by Abraham Ortelius, strongly encouraged by Gillis Hooftman and originally printed on May 20, 1570, in Antwerp, it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. The Ortelius atlas is sometimes referred to as the summary of sixteenth-century cartography. The publication of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is often considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography.
3. Levi and Davis are granted a patent for pants (May 20, 1873)
German immigrant Levi Strauss, a mercantile shop owner serving the booming Gold Rush trade in San Francisco, and a former customer, Russian immigrant Jacob Davis, receive a patent on Davis’ invention, a new and improved work pant made from denim jean fabric and reinforced by copper rivets. Levi Strauss & Co. is an American clothing company known worldwide for its Levi’s brand of denim jeans. It was founded in May, 1853 when German immigrant Levi Strauss moved from Buttenheim, Bavaria, to San Francisco, California to open a west coast branch of his brothers’ New York dry goods business. The company’s corporate headquarters is located in the Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco.
4. Aviator Amelia Earhart tries for the history books (May 20, 1932)
Taking to the skies from a Newfoundland starting point in her single-engine Lockheed Vega 5B, Amelia Earhart hopes to become the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. Fourteen hours and 56 minutes later she will achieve her goal, landing in Northern Ireland. Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross for this accomplishment. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. She was also a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.
5. Bloody Battle of ‘Hamburger Hill’ ends in South Vietnam (May 20, 1969)
Ten days of fierce fighting win US Airborne forces the scarred and decimated Hill 937 on Ap Bia Mountain. Hundreds were wounded or killed, almost 20,000 artillery rounds were fired, and 500 tons of ordinance dropped to secure what battle-weary GIs call ‘Hamburger Hill.’
The Battle of Hamburger Hill was a battle of the Vietnam War that was fought by U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces against People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces from 10 to 20 May 1969 during Operation Apache Snow. Although the heavily fortified Hill 937 was of little strategic value, U.S. command ordered its capture by a frontal assault, only to abandon it soon thereafter. The action caused a controversy both in the American military and public.
The battle was primarily an infantry engagement, with the U.S. Airborne troops moving up the steeply-sloped hill against well entrenched troops. Attacks were repeatedly repelled by the PAVN defenses. Bad weather also hindered operations. Nevertheless, the Airborne troops took the hill through direct assault, causing extensive casualties to the PAVN forces.
6. ‘Cheers’ closes up after 11 seasons (May 20, 1993)
The fictional bar ‘where everybody knows your name’ has its last call on TV, with an estimated 90 million viewers tuning in to make it one of the most-watched finales. The show had nearly been canceled for low ratings during its first season before becoming a mainstay of NBC’s Thursday-night lineup. Cheers is an American sitcom that ran on NBC from September 30, 1982, to May 20, 1993, with a total of 275 half-hour episodes for eleven seasons. The show was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Network Television. The show was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in a bar named Cheers in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink, relax, and socialize. The show’s main theme song, co-written and performed by Gary Portnoy, lent its refrain “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” as the show’s catchphrase.
7. Three world powers carve up the Middle East (May 20, 1916)
With expectations of an Ottoman defeat at the hands of the Triple Entente, the Sykes-Picot Agreement maps out the territories that the United Kingdom, France, and Russia plan to control in the Middle East. The secret plan will be exposed, angering Arab leaders who were promised independent rule. The Sykes–Picot Agreement / ˈ s aɪ k s p i ˈ k oʊ / was a 1916 secret treaty between the United Kingdom and France, with assent from the Russian Empire and Italy, to define their mutually agreed spheres of influence and control in an eventual partition of the Ottoman Empire.
8. Lawrence dies far from Arabia (May 20, 1935)
Having survived almost suicidal risk in the Arabian Desert fighting alongside Arabs battling Turks, a capture and torture, and a plane crash in Egypt, ex-British Army officer T.E. Lawrence, 46, finds death among the quiet hedgerows of Dorset, England, after crashing his motorcycle. Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO was a British archaeologist, army officer, diplomat, and writer. He was renowned for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia—a title used for the 1962 film based on his wartime activities.
9. Excerpts from a landmark civil rights letter published (May 20, 1963)
Jailed for civil disobedience in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr. pens a letter outlining his nonviolent civil rights struggle. Parts of the forceful ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ are published in the New York Post Sunday Magazine and will inspire both debate and devotion to King’s cause. The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an “outsider,” King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. The letter, written during the 1963 Birmingham campaign, was widely published, and became an important text for the American Civil Rights Movement.
10. Amy Fisher shoots Mary Jo Buttafuoco (May 20, 1992)
Amy Fisher, age 17, shoots Mary Jo Buttafuoco. Fisher is allegedly having an affair with Mary Jo’s husband, Joey Buttafuoco. Mary Jo is injured but survives the attack. Fisher will spend seven years in prison, and the sensational story will become the subject of multiple TV movies. Amy Elizabeth Fisher is an American woman who became known as “the Long Island Lolita” by the media in 1992, when, at the age of 17, she shot and severely wounded Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her illicit lover, Joey Buttafuoco. Initially charged with first-degree attempted murder, she eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated assault and served seven years in prison. Paroled in 1999, Fisher became a writer and a pornographic actress.