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On This Day in
American History:
 
May 19

On May 19, 1883 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show debuted in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Image of Buffalo Bill c. 1890 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

"Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow.”

- Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1860

Image of Nathaniel Hawthorne taken on May 19, 1860 via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions

Born May 19, 1897, WW 1 pilot and ace Frank Luke, Jr. of the US Army Air Service was called the “Arizona Balloon Buster” for his daring attacks on enemy observation balloons.  Forced to land after being wounded, Luke was killed in a gun battle with German infantry and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Fellow pilot Captain Eddie Rickenbacker wrote of Luke “He was the most daring aviator and the greatest fighter pilot of the entire war. His life is one of the brightest glories of our Air Service. He went on a rampage and shot down fourteen enemy aircraft including ten balloons, in eight days. No other ace, including the dreaded Richthofen, had ever come close to that.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons, copyright expired, public domain in the US.

Philanthropist Johns Hopkins who supported the Union cause and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War was born on May 19, 1795 in Gambrills, Maryland.

Before becoming a very wealthy railroads investor, Hopkins started a wholesale business with his brothers and sold items such corn whiskey and Conestoga wagons.

In his will he designated seven million dollars for the establishment of a hospital, medical college and orphanage in Baltimore.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

“The most noted event in the history of Denver 
was the great flood in Cherry Creek, May 19, 1864. In order to fully understand the devastation wrought by this rush of waters, one must first picture to himself the status of affairs at that time, which was essentially different from that of the present day. There being but a little water
in the creek at any time, it came to be looked upon as a dry stream, and little attention was paid to it 
as a water-course, while many buildings were 
planted on piles in the very bed of the creek itself! The bridges of the period were low wooden 
structures, also raised on piles, a little above the sands, just high enough to obstruct the passage 
of the torrent which came down, and to spread it far and wide and high, in its devastating 
course. 

Old residents affirm that the flood of 1864 was 
by far the heaviest ever seen in Cherry Creek, 
since the settlement of Denver.”

From: History of the city of Denver, Arapahoe County, and Colorado: containing a history of the state of Colorado ... a condensed sketch of Arapahoe County ... a history of the city of Denver ... biographical sketches ..
by O.L. Baskin & Co. cn; W. B. Vickers 
https://archive.org/details/historyofcityofd00inolba/page/n251
Source says not in copyright 

Image: The Great Flood, Denver, Colorado Territory, May 19, 1864
via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 

Born May 19, 1949, Dusty Hill's career as a bass player lasted over 50 years, most of them with ZZ Top. Hill explained his half-century in music by
saying "By the time I was 13 I was already playing in local bars so school kinda got in the way of that.”

Image from Ralph Arvesen Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Calaveras County California’s first frog jumping contest was held on May 19, 1928.

It was inspired by Mark Twain’s short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” that was written 63 years prior. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

American artist Walter Russell was born on May 19, 1871 in Boston, MA. 

In his late 70’s, Russell and his second wife (more than 30 years younger than him) found an abandoned mansion, Swannanoa, in Virginia during a cross-country auto trip. 
They ended up signing a 50 year lease with the intention of using the estate as a museum and university. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

It won't be long now! Washington, D.C., May 19. Early adjournment of the Senate was forseen today by the number of bills being rapidly passed. Senate pages are pictured tearing from calender, bills that were passed yesterday, 5/19/38

Image via LOC, no known restrictions 

Herman Stallings, Ship's Cook, 2c, U.S.N.R.F.; Accidentally drowned while in swimming, May 19, 1918.”

Image: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library, no known restrictions 

"As long as we have faith in our cause, and an unconquerable willpower, salvation will not be denied us.”

Winston Churchill on May 19, 1943 during his second address to U.S. Congress. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

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