Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Wednesday, May 20, the 140th day of 2009. There are 225 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1506 - Christopher Columbus dies in poverty in Spain.

* 1536 - King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour.

* 1770 - Captain James Cook sights and names Fraser Island, Queensland.

* 1867 - Prospector Ernest Henry discovers copper at Cloncurry, Queensland; In London, Queen Victoria lays foundation stone of the Royal Albert Hall.

* 1874 - Levi Strauss markets blue jeans with copper rivets.

* 1886 - Eliza Donnithorne, thought to be the model for Miss Havisham in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, dies in Australia.

* 1929 - Australia's first airmail stamp issued.

* 1932 - US aviatrix Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland for Ireland to become first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

* 1934 - First Australian comic-book published, starring Fatty Finn.

** 1943 - Japanese aircraft attack naval installations at Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia - the furthest south of such raids; United States and Britain by treaty lose right to judge their nationals in China, bringing an end to European extra-territorial rights. …

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