Moments in Time

This Week in History

A man stands in front of a tank during the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989.
May 2017

On May 12, 1932, more than two months after he was kidnapped, the body of aviation hero Charles Lindbergh's baby is found less than a mile from his family's home in Hopewell, New Jersey. Although Lindbergh received two ransom notes, his son had been killed the night of the kidnapping.

On May 13, 1972, a fire at the Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan, kills 118 people. An electrician three floors below in a department store inadvertently set off a fire that reached some oil-soaked rags in a nearby storage room and climbed the elevator shafts.

On May 14, 1913, in Sportsman Park, Illinois, Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson throws his 54th consecutive scoreless inning. Johnson's record stood for 55 years until Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched 58-2/3 innings without allowing a run.

On May 15, 1942, gasoline rationing begins in 17 states to aid the U.S. war effort. Rationing soon took effect in all 50 states, and coupons became a hot commodity on the black market.

On May 16, 1960, following the downing of an American U-2 spy plane by the Soviet Union, Russian leader Khrushchev lashes out at the U.S. during a Paris summit meeting with President Dwight Eisenhower. The outburst angered Eisenhower and doomed any chances for successful talks.

On May 17, 1954, in a major civil-rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional.

On May 18, 1989, in Beijing, 1 million protesters take to the streets calling for a more democratic political system. On June 3, Chinese armed forces stormed Tiananmen Square, killing thousands and arresting over 10,000 protestors in what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.


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