History is a cause of celebration and reflection. It is a source of inspiration. There have been uncountable inventions, innovations, treaties, and other significant events in the past and all of them have something to teach us, to inspire us to keep going, and not to stop even if we fail. Start your day with a positive thought. Do something great today and we might publish it in our Daily Column in the years to come. Let us read the historical milestones of May 9:
1386: Treaty of Windsor
Treaty of Windsor between Portugal and England is the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world still in force. It established a mutual pact of support between the two countries and is preserved at the Portuguese National Archives. Historian Matthew Winslett says, “This treaty has been the cornerstone of both nations’ relations with each other ever since.”
1502: Last Voyage Of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus left Spain on his final trip to the New World with a fleet of four ships. His mission was to explore uncharted areas to the west of the Caribbean. The hopes were of finding a passage to the Orient. While Columbus did explore parts of southern Central America. His ships disintegrated during the voyage, leaving Columbus and his men stranded for nearly a year.
1754: The first newspaper cartoon in America appears
On May 9, 1754, the first American newspaper cartoon appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. It showed a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, over the caption, “Join or die.” His ability to disseminate powerful messages helped reinforce his influence as a communicator.
1901: The First Australian Parliament
The Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) opened the first Commonwealth Parliament in Melbourne on 9 May 1901. Thousands of people watched the royal procession as it made its way through the streets of the city to the Exhibition Building where the ceremony was witnessed by 12,000 invited guests. So, this was the day when the First Australian Parliament opens in Melbourne, though the first working session will not be until 21 May.
1915: Battle of Artois
German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois. This was the Second Battle of Artois which took place on the Western Front during the First World War. The human cost of this great offensive battle, which resulted in no major strategic gain, was enormous. The French Army, with a loss of 102,000 casualties, double the losses suffered by the Germans during all the French and British attacks between Arras and Festubert.
1926: First Flight Over North Pole
Explorers Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett make the first flight over the North Pole. They took off from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen in an attempt to be the first to fly to the North Pole. About 16 hours later, they both returned to the island in their Fokker tri-motor airplane, the Josephine Ford, saying they had indeed accomplished the feat.
1960: First Approval of Birth Control Pill
The US became the first country to legalize the birth control pill. The Food and Drug Administration approves the world’s first commercially produced birth control pill made by the G.D. Searle Company of Chicago, Illinois; granting greater reproductive freedom to American women.
1962: A Laser Beam is Successfully Bounced off the Moon for the First Time
On May 9, 1962, a pulsed light laser beam sent by a team of scientists from MIT successfully bounced off the moon. It was the first lunar laser ranging experiment. Later similar experiments used a reflector left on the moon’s surface by the Apollo 11 mission to increase accuracy.
2001: Accra Sports Stadium Disaster
129 Ghanian football fans die in a stampede caused by the firing of teargas by police following a decision by the referee in a crucial match between arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.