5-5-12: Today in History
Clinton excludes Howe and Harnett from amnesty offer, 1776
Driving pioneer Bertha Benz dies, 1944
Grant and Lee clash in the Wilderness forest, 1864
Allies end occupation of West Germany, 1955
Human remains found in suitcase near Virginia Beach, 2004
Hail storm surprises Dallas residents, 1995
Napoleon dies in exile, 1821
Cinco de Mayo, 1862
Six killed in Oregon by Japanese bomb, 1945
IRA militant Bobby Sands dies, 1981
Spider-Man is first movie to top $100 million in opening weekend, 2002
The Examiner publishes John Keats' first poem, 1816
Peaches and Herb top the pop charts with "Reunited", 1979
Sitting Bull leads his people into Canada, 1877
Reagan visits concentration camp and war cemetery, 1985
Cy Young throws perfect game, 1904
U.S. forces capture Snoul, Cambodia, 1970
North Vietnamese turn back South Vietnamese relief column, 1972
World War I
Italian delegates return to Paris peace conference, 1919
World War II
Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to his capital, 1941
May 5, 1961:
The first American in space
From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
NASA was established in 1958 to keep U.S. space efforts abreast of recent Soviet achievements, such as the launching of the world's first artificial satellite--Sputnik 1--in 1957. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the two superpowers raced to become the first country to put a man in space and return him to Earth. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet space program won the race when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into space, put in orbit around the planet, and safely returned to Earth. One month later, Shepard's suborbital flight restored faith in the U.S. space program.
NASA continued to trail the Soviets closely until the late 1960s and the successes of the Apollo lunar program. In July 1969, the Americans took a giant leap forward with Apollo 11, a three-stage spacecraft that took U.S. astronauts to the surface of the moon and returned them to Earth. On February 5, 1971, Alan Shepard, the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission.
1862 - At Puebla, Mexico, Mexican general Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French expeditionary forces. The event is celebrated as El Cinco de Mayo.
1898 - The first contingent of Rough Riders arrived in San Antonio to begin training during the Spanish-American War.
1939 - The telescope of the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory was dedicated. The observatory is located on Mount Locke near Fort Davis.
1983 - President Reagan traveled to San Antonio, TX, for the Cinco de Mayo celebration.
For me Sinko de Mayo is truly a day to celebrate. Few people have come to know the “true” story of the origin of Sinko de Mayo. It is my pleasure to set the record straight.
A little known fact is that back in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico but as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York.
The ship hit an iceberg and sank and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course as Sinko de Mayo. Go out on this day grab a couple of slices of Wonderbread and a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise and have a party. You know I will!