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On This Day in
American History:
 
May 11

Red River ox cart and driver in St. Paul, Minnesota c. 1858

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Cavalry Fight At Yellow Tavern, Near Richmond, Virginia on May 11, 1864 between the forces of Philip Sheridan and J.E.B. Stuart who was mortally wounded.

It’s believed that Stuart’s mortal wound was caused by a single shot from a dismounted Union private by the name of John Huff.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

WWI Veteran and American composer Irving Berlin was born on May 11, 1888 in Russia. 

He was drafted by the U.S. Army during WWI and it was during that time when he wrote his famous song “God Bless America.”

Image: Irving Berlin in 1906 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

15-year-old Alonzo Clayton became the youngest person in history to win the Kentucky Derby on May 11, 1892.  He began his horse racing career a year earlier when he was only 14.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

Charles Fairbanks who was Vice President during Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency was born on May 11, 1852 in Unionville Center, Ohio.

Image of Theodore Roosevelt seated next to Charles Fairbanks both in rocking chairs via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On May 11, 1945, off Okinawa, two Japanese airplanes bombed, then crashed into the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill. The ship’s crew suffered the loss of 393 sailors and airmen killed, 264 wounded, and 41 missing. Although damaged the Bunker Hill sailed to Bremerton, Washington and was being repaired when Japan surrendered.

Image from US Naval History & Heritage Command via Wikimedia Commons, public domain in the US

Two Buffalo soldiers, Benjamin Brown (left) and Isaiah Mays (right) were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Wham Paymaster Robbery in the Arizona Territory that occurred on May 11, 1889.

Images via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

"Friday morning, May 11, 1792, 8 a.m Captain Robert Gray, American navigator, in command of the American ship Columbia, crossed the bar of the Columbia River and came to anchor in fresh water. 

After making an examination of the lower end of the river. Captain Gray replenished the water supply of the ship by filling the casks with fresh water. Returning to the Pacific ocean, later in the season, he met Señor Quadra, Spanish Commissioner, and furnished him with maps of Gray's Harbor and the Columbia River. When Quadra met Vancouver at Nootka Sound in September, he gave Mr. Vancouver copies of Captain Gray's maps of Gray's Harbor and the Columbia River.”

From: Achievements of Captain Robert Gray by Francis E. Smith
https://archive.org/details/achievementsofca00smit/page/n11/mode/1up
Source says not in copyright

U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Willis Augustus Lee was born on May 11, 1888 in Natlee, Kentucky.

At 32, Lee became an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist (men’s shooting).
He later received the Navy Cross for his actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII.

Image: Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee, 1942 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Jackie, a friend of Amelia Earhart, was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean.  
In 1953 she became the first woman to break the sound barrier.

During WWII Jackie was director of the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASP program where she trained numerous women to be pilots. 

Jackie was born on May 11, 1906 in Escambia
County, Florida. 

Image of Jacqueline Cochran c. 1940 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

Two women with horses at Glacier National Park in 1932

On May 11, 1910, Glacier National Park was established. 
There are more than 700 miles of trails in the park (about the distance from New York City to Columbia, South Carolina.)

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

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