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This Day in U.S. History: May 19


1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).

1749 – King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: A Continental Army garrison surrenders in the Battle of The Cedars

1780 – New England's Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M.

 1848 – Mexican–American War: Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US$15 million.

1921 – The United States Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.

1942 – World War II: In the aftermath of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Task Force 16 heads to Pearl Harbor.

1943 – World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the Normandy landings ("D-Day"). It would later be delayed over a month due to bad weather.

1963 – The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

1984 – Michael Larson, a contestant on the television game show Press Your Luck exploits a bug in the prize board, and wins over US$110,000.

1986 – The Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

2015 – The Refugio oil spill deposited 142,800 U.S. gallons (3,400 barrels) of crude oil onto an area in California considered one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the west coast.



1795 – Johns Hopkins, American businessman and philanthropist (d. 1873)

1870 – Albert Fish, American serial killer (d. 1936)

1871 – Walter Russell, American painter, sculptor, and author (d. 1963)

1879 – Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-English politician (d. 1964)

1886 – Francis Biddle, American lawyer and judge, 58th United States Attorney General (d. 1968)

1921 – Yuri Kochiyama, American activist (d. 2014)

1925 – Malcolm X, American minister and activist (d. 1965)

1939 – Dick Scobee, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1986)

1941 – Bobby Burgess, American singer and dancer

1941 – Nora Ephron, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2012)

1945 – Pete Townshend, English singer-songwriter and guitarist

1946 – André the Giant, French-American wrestler and actor (d. 1993)

1949 – Archie Manning, American football player

1951 – Joey Ramone, American singer-songwriter (d. 2001)

1956 – Steven Ford, American actor and son of President Gerald Ford

1957 – Bill Laimbeer, American basketball player and coach

1959 – Nicole Brown Simpson, German-American murder victim (d. 1994)

1976 – Kevin Garnett, American basketball player

1981 – Yo Gotti, American rapper



1795 – Josiah Bartlett, American physician and politician, 4th Governor of New Hampshire (b. 1729)

1864 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author and diplomat (b. 1804)

1946 – Booth Tarkington, American author and playwright (b. 1869)

1954 – Charles Ives, American composer and educator (b. 1874)

1969 – Coleman Hawkins, American saxophonist and clarinet player (b. 1901)

1971 – Ogden Nash, American poet and author (b. 1902)

1994 – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American journalist, 37th First Lady of the United States (b. 1929)

1996 – John Beradino, American baseball player and actor (b. 1917)

2015 – Happy Rockefeller, American philanthropist, 31st Second Lady of the United States (b. 1926)