May 15, 1536: Anne Boleyn is found guilty of treason.
Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife after Catharine of Aragon and the wife for whom the king broke away from the Catholic Church, was arrested in May of 1536 and charged with adultery, incest, and treason. Her arrest took place only three years after her marriage to Henry, which had so far produced no male heirs and only one healthy child; the king had meanwhile taken Jane Seymour, who was to become his third wife just weeks after Anne Boleyn’s execution, as a mistress. Anne was, according to contemporary accounts, intelligent, witty, and anything but submissive. all traits that Henry found desirable, even exciting, in a mistress, but not in a wife; her confrontational nature combined with her failure to bear male heirs healthy enough to survive past infancy caused their marriage to crumble.
Anne Boleyn’s arrest was based on accusations of her illicit sexual relationships with a court musician, several aristocrats, and Anne’s own brother George; she was charged with both adultery (a form of treason when committed by a queen) and plotting the death of the king (another form of treason). Of her accused lovers, five were found guilty of treason, including George Boleyn, and executed by decapitation on May 17, 1536. Anne was held in the Tower of London and remained there until her own execution on May 19, 1536; her final words were reportedly a prayer:
To Jesus Christ I commend my soul; Lord Jesus receive my soul.
Anne Boleyn was survived by one child, who was the only one of her siblings to survive birth and infancy, who was declared illegitimate and deprived of her birthright not long after her mother’s execution in order to clear the way for her father’s male heirs, and who eventually became one of England’s most famous, most influential monarchs.
Whoa do you know how much this reminds me of Cersei from A Song of Ice and Fire?
I’ve always associated her with Margaery - the list of false lovers (including both court singers and noblemen), a conspiracy engineered by political rivals, confessions obtained from the accused under torture, really vaguely implied suspected incest, and charges of adultery/treason, not to mention her personality…
50 Years Ago: Gordon Cooper Becomes The First American To Spend More Than A Day In Space
May 14, 1804: The Lewis and Clark Expedition Sets Out to Explore the Louisiana Territory
On this day in 1804, the Corps of Discovery (more commonly known as the Lewis and Clark Expedition) left Camp Dubois near St. Louis, Missouri to explore the Louisiana Territory.
For $15 million, President Jefferson’s 1803 purchase of the territory had more than doubled the size of United States: 820,000 square miles for 3 cents an acre. Jefferson chose his personal secretary Meriwether Lewis to serve as commander of the expedition. Soon after, Lewis invited his former army comrade William Clark to share command. Nearly four dozen men comprised the original group.
Trace the Lewis and Clarke Expedition with Ken Burns’s timeline of the trip.
Top Image: Painting of Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia by Charles Marion Russell (1905). Middle Image: A Map of Lewis and Clark’s Track Across the Western Portion of North America from Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean”, by Samuel Lewis (1814). Bottom Image: Lewis and Clark Expedition, 200th Anniversary issue postage stamp (2004).
Texas Photographer, Recreates Iconic Women’s Portraits With Her Daughter
By: Ryan Grenoble
When Jaime Moore’s daughter, Emma, turned 5, the Texas mom and photographerset out to commemorate the occasion in pictures. Searching for inspiration online, however, she was dismayed to find the majority of girls at that age dressed up, unrealistically, as fairy-tale princesses. So Jaime decided to raise the bar.
Mom searched for better role models, and together with Emma selected five real women that a girl can actually aspire to be like. Then, they replicated iconic portraits of those figures — Susan B. Anthony, Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall.
The title of the series, “NOT just a girl,” is meant to be an inspirational message for young women seeking to realize their full potential — beyond vague dreams of Disney princesses.
Read More: http://huff.to/14hMaKg
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jaime C. Moore
May 13, 1846: The Mexican-American War Begins
On this day in 1846, U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico. The Mexican-American War was a defining event for both nations, transforming a continent and forging a new identity for its peoples. By the war’s end in 1848, Mexico had lost nearly half of its territory (the present American Southwest from Texas to California) and the United States had become a continental power.
Explore a timeline of the Mexican-American war to learn about events that preceded the war, its battles, and the aftermath.
Image: Battle of Veracruz during the Mexican-American War. 1851 Painting by Carl Nebel.
May 10, 1963: Birmingham Campaign Ends in Victory
On this day in 1963, the Birmingham Campaign ended with a victory. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth signed a truce agreement with local officials to outline a ‘limited desegregation plan,’ which promised to:
- Remove “White Only” and “Black Only” signs from restrooms and drinking fountains in downtown Birmingham
- Desegregate lunch counters
- Deploy a “Negro job improvement plan”
- Release jailed demonstrators
- Create a biracial committee to monitor the agreement
Desegregation, however, would take place slowly over the next few months. Learn more about the Birmingham Campaign with PBS Black Culture Connection.
Photo: Martin Luther King Jr. gives a press conference regarding an agreement reached on a ‘limited desegregation plan’ outside the Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama (Photo by Ernst Haas/Ernst Haas/Getty Images)
May 9, 1994: Nelson Mandela is Elected President of South Africa
On this day in 1994, South Africa’s parliament elected Nelson Mandela as the country’s next president. The next day, Mandela was inaugurated, becoming the nation’s first black president and a symbol of change in the post-apartheid era.
Nelson Mandela’s election was even more triumphant, as he had spent 27 years in prison for his involvement in the anti-apartheid and anti-colonial movement. While in prison, Mandela had been confined to a small cell with the floor his bed, a bucket for a toilet, and he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months.
Through his intelligence, charm and dignified defiance, Nelson Mandela eventually bent even the most brutal prison officials to his will, assumed leadership over his jailed comrades and became the master of his own prison. He emerged from it the mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.
Learn more about Nelson Mandela’s time in prison and his early years as a revolutionary with FRONTLINE’s The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela site.
Photo: South African National Congress (ANC) President Nelson Mandela gives a clenched fist to supporters upon his arrival for his first election rally on March 15, 1994 (WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images).
Sometimes an “S” is just an “S”
When Harry S. Truman was born on May 8, 1884, his parents decided to name him Harry, after his mother’s brother Harrison Young. But what about a middle name? Should it be Shipp, in honor of his paternal grandfather, Anderson Shipp Truman? Or should it be Solomon, in honor of his maternal grandfather, Solomon Young?
In the end, they entered his middle name as simply S, which led to a never-ending controversy about Harry S. Truman’s middle name. Read more.
Here’s President Truman behind his Oval Office desk sign - “The Buck Stops Here.”
May 7, 1915: The RMS Lusitania Sinks
On this day in 1915, The RMS Lusitania, A British ocean liner, was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Less than an hour later, over 1000 passengers had lost their lives when she sank off the coast of Ireland. Only three years had passed since the Titanic disaster.
Afterward, there was much controversy with the sinking, as the Lusitania had been carrying mostly civilians. Europe was in the midst of World War I, and the German Navy insisted that the Lusitania was a legitimate target as she had also been carrying munitions and serving as an auxiliary military ship.
As 128 Americans were among the dead, the British thought that the United States would declare war on Germany, but this would not be the case. Two years would pass until America joined World War I.
Learn more about the RMS Lusitania with our “Lost Liners” collection.
Photo: RMS Lusitania coming into port, possibly in New York, 1907-13 (Library of Congress).
May 6, 1937: The Hindenburg Crashes
On this day in 1937, the Hindenburg, a Nazi hydrogen filled airship, burst into flames as it attempted to land at New Jersey’s Lakehurt Navy Air Base. The airship had departed from Frankfurt, Germany and carried 36 passengers and sixty-one crew members.
As the airship was landing, it burst into flames and began to fall 200 feet to the ground. Thirty-five people lost their lives, while others suffered major injuries.
Many people still argue on what caused the disaster, from engine failure to sabotage. Think you know? Explore this diagram of the Hindenburg and see if you can come up with any theories.
Also, check out this episode of History Detectives to find out if someone actually managed to salvage an item from the Hindenburg disaster.
Image: A photo captures the Hindenburg as it crashes in an airfield at NAS Lakehurst, N.J., at 7:25 p.m., May 6, 1937. (U.S. Navy file photo)