George Washington presides over the Constitutional Convention
On this day in 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention begin to assemble in Philadelphia to confront a daunting task: the peaceful overthrow of the new American government as defined by the Article of Confederation. Although the convention was originally supposed to begin on May 14, James Madison reported that a small number only had assembled. Meetings had to be pushed back until May 25, when a sufficient quorum of the participating states—Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia—had arrived.
As the new United States descended into economic crisis and inter-state quarrels, the new nation’s leaders had become increasingly frustrated with their limited power. When in 1785, Maryland and Virginia could not agree on their rights to the Potomac River, George Washington called a conference to settle the matter at Mt. Vernon. James Madison then convinced the Virginia legislature to call a convention of all the states to discuss such sticky trade-related issues at Annapolis, Maryland. The Annapolis Convention of September 1786 in turn called the Philadelphia Convention, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.
Between Madison’s initial call for the states to send delegates to Annapolis and the presentation of Madison’s Virginia plan for a new government to the convention in Philadelphia, a fundamental shift in the aims of the convention process had taken place. No longer were the delegates gathered with the aim of tweaking trade agreements. A significant number of the men present were now determined to overhaul the new American government as a whole, without a single ballot being cast by the voting public.
resource: history.com britannica.com
585 BC – The first known prediction of a solar eclipse was made in Greece.
1085 – Alfonso VI took Toledo, Spain from the Moslems.
1787 – The Constitutional convention opened in Philadelphia with George Washington presiding.
1810 – Argentina declared independence from Napoleonic Spain.
1844 – The gasoline engine was patented by Stuart Perry.
1895 – Oscar Wilde, a playwright, poet and novelist, was convicted of a morals charge and sentenced to prison in London.
1895 – James P. Lee first published “Gold in America — A Practical Manual.”
1911 – President of Mexico, Porfolio Diaz, resigned his office.
1925 – John Scopes was indicted for teaching the Darwinian theory in school.
1927 – Ford Motor Company announced that the Model A would replace the Model T.
1927 – The “Movietone News” was shown for the first time at the Sam Harris Theatre in New York City.
1935 – Babe Ruth hit his final homerun, his 714th, and set a record that would stand for 39 years.
1935 – Jesse Owens tied the world record for the 100-yard dash. He ran it in 9.4 seconds. He also broke three other world track records.
1946 – Jordan gained independence from Britain.
1953 – In Nevada, the first atomic cannon was fired.
1961 – America was asked by U.S. President Kennedy to work toward putting a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
1963 – The Organization of African Unity was founded, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
1968 – The Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO, was dedicated.
1970 – Boeing Computer Services was founded.
1977 – “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” opened and became the largest grossing film to date.
Today in Star Wars History
1977 – An opinion piece by Vietnam verteran Jan Scruggs appeared in “The Washington Post.” The article called for a national memorial to “remind an ungrateful nation of what it has done to its sons” that had served in the Vietnam War.
1979 – An American Airlines DC-10 crashed during takeoff at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. 275 people were killed.
1981 – Daredevil Daniel Goodwin scaled Chicago’s Sears Tower, while wearing a “Spiderman” costume, in 7 1/2 hours.
1983 – “The Return of the Jedi” opened nationwide. It set a new record in opening day box office sales. The gross was $6,219,629.
1985 – Bangladesh was hit with a hurricane and tidal wave that killed more than 11,000 people.
1986 – Approximately 7 million Americans participated in “Hands Across America.”
1989 – The Calgary Flames won their first NHL Stanley Cup by defeating the Montreal Canadiens.
1992 – Jay Leno debuted as the new permanent host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”
1996 – In Nimes, France, Christina Sanchez became the first woman to achieve the rank of matadore in Europe.
1997 – In Sierra Leone a military coup overthrew the popularly elected President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. He was replaced with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.
1997 – Poland adopted a constitution that removed all traces of communism.
1999 – A report by the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on U.S. National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China concluded that China had “stolen design information on the U.S. most-advanced thermonuclear weapons” and that China’s penetration of U.S. weapons laboratories “spans at least the past several decades and almost certainly continues today.”
2000 – The Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. signed a long-term deal that ended a dispute over the airing policies of Time Warner. Time Warner had blacked out Disney programs for a 39 hour period the previous month due to the lack of an agreement.
2001 – Erik Weihenmayer, 32, of Golden, CO, became the first blind climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
2001 – Sherman Bull, 64, of New Canaan, CT, became the oldest climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
2006 – In Houston, former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skillinng were convicted of conspiracy and fraud for the downfall of Enron.
2008 – NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed in the arctic plains of Mars.
2009 – North Korea announced that it had conducted a second successful nuclear test in the province of North Hamgyong. The United Nations Security Council condemned the reported test.
review by the late great Roger Ebert
Here is just one small moment in “Return of Jedi,” a moment you could miss if you looked away from the screen, but a moment that helps explain the special magic of the Star Wars movies. Luke Skywalker is engaged in a ferocious battle in the dungeons beneath the throne room of the loathsome, Jabba the Hutt. His adversary is a slimy, gruesome, reptilian monster made of warts and teeth. Things are looking bad when suddenly the monster is crushed beneath a falling door. And then (here is the small moment) there’s a shot of the monster’s keeper, a muscle-bound jailer, who rushes forward in tears. He is brokenhearted at the destruction of his pet. Everybody loves somebody.
for the complete review: rogerebert.com
image from the internet