#105 May Factoids

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May 1-31

Visit the Knowitall blog for helpful information on using Knowitall all through the month!



Spring and Summer are around the corner. Now is a great time to consider small steps we can all take toward being more physically fit and eating healthier foods! View the Knowitall Healthy Collection.

May 1, 1896: General Mark W. Clark was born in Madison Barracks, New York. In WWII, he commanded the Fifth Army which invaded Italy in September 1943, and later served as president of The Citadel. Learn more about Gen. Clark, and Operation Shingle here. (South Carolinians In WW II)

May 1-2              Yom HaShoah – View the HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE COLLECTION



United Nations - World Press Freedom Day. Today, governments world-wide emphasize the importance of freedom of the press.

Pulitzer Prize Winners in South Carolina: Commentary

Two Washington Post columnists who have South Carolina connections discuss writing for their columns.

Pulitzer Prize Winners in South Carolina: Reporting

Journalists Natalie Caula-Hauff, Jennifer Berry Hawes, and Glenn Smith of the Charleston Post and Courier discuss the series, Till Death Do Us Part, published in August 2014. The series won the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service Journalism in 2015.

Visit the Journalism, Broadcasting & Communications Collection under the Libraries, Literature & Learning Collection for these resources!



May 4 - May 8, 1942: In the Pacific theater of World War II, the Battle of Coral Sea began, which would become the first major defeat for the Japanese during the war. It would also be the first time in history where the entire battle was fought using only aircraft, and the opposing ships never sighting each other. Hear some South Carolinian veterans recall their experiences of the battle. (South Carolinians In WW II)



Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican Army’s victory over France during the Franco-Mexican war, but it also celebrates the heritage of the Mexican people. View our Hispanic Heritage Collection.

Hand Hygiene Day, established by the World Health Organization, is held on May 5 every year. Check out our Flu PSAs - Illness Prevention Tips & Wash Hands Song in English and Spanish. These videos provide important reminders for everyone, all through the year. Four key illness prevention tips are highlighted in English and with Spanish subtitles, along with the Wash Hands Song with Danielle Howle.

May 5-21, 1864: During the American Civil War, two major battles occurred, back to back. May 5-7 was the Battle of the Wilderness, and right after that began the Battle of Spotsylvania (May 8-21). Union General Ulysses S. Grant squared off against Confederate General Robert E. Lee, during the bloody "Overland Campaign." The results of both battles are inconclusive, but with around 32,000 casualties on both sides, Spotsylvania will be the costliest battle of the Overland Campaign. (Walter Edgar's Journal)



National Teacher Appreciation Day: May 6-10 is NationalTeacher Appreciation Week. Let your favorite teacher know how special he or she is and how much you appreciate his or her decision to go into education! Say thank you! And learn something new on Knowitall.org TODAY!



May 8, 1945: V.E. Day - During World War II, May 8, 1945 is the day where Nazi Germany officially surrendered to the Allies. Learn more about the Allied victory in Europe with our SCETV special: South Carolinians In WW II! (SCETV Series And Specials)



Mother’s Day. As we honor the women who play such an important part in their family’s lives, we also honor women who are leaders in the workplace. Learn about women in leadership from Palmetto Voices and Project Lead SC



May 17, 1954: In the famous court case, Brown vs. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that "separate" educational facilities are inherently unequal. Segregation of public schools was no longer legal, and signified the overturning of the "separate but equal" policy, marking a crucial victory in the fight for civil rights in the U.S.  (Road Trip)
Learn more about Brown vs. Board of Education with The Education of Harvey Ganttand Desegregation in SC. (Carolina Stories) and (Conversations on SC History)



May 18, 1863: During the American Civil War, the Siege of Vicksburg began. Vicksburg was the last major Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, and Major General Ulysses S. Grant besieged Confederate forces under Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton. The siege lasted until July 4, 1863, and was a success for Union forces. The capture of Vicksburg dealt a crucial blow to the Confederacy's ability to wage war in any long term capacity. (Walter Edgar's Journal)

May 18, 1980: Mount St. Helens volcano erupted in Washington State, spewing steam and ash over 11 miles up into the sky. This was its first major eruption since 1857. Learn more about Mt. St. Helens, and volcanoes here. (Eye Wonder)

May 18: On Armed Forces Day, we honor and thank those who serve in all five branches of the United States Armed Forces including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.



May 19, 1925: Civil rights leader Malcolm X was born in Omaha, Nebraska. While serving time in prison he converted to Islam, and became an outspoken advocate for civil rights in the U.S. He was assassinated while giving a speech in the Audubon Ballroom, in Harlem, on February 21, 1965. Learn more about Malcolm X here. (Road Trip)



May 24, 1844: Telegraph inventor Samuel Morse sent the first official telegraph message, from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, saying "What hath God wrought?" Click here to learn more about the telegraph, and its eventual successor, the telephone. (Kids Work!)



On Memorial Day, we’ll pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, for our country, and for all of us.



May 29, 1780: On this date, during the American Revolution, the Battle of the Waxhaws took place, in present day Lancaster County, S.C. The Continental Army, under command of Abraham Buford, faced off against British loyalist forces, commanded by Banastre Tarleton. The battle was a British victory, with little to no quarter given to surrendering patriot rebels, hence the saying "Tarleton's Quarter." The battle was known as the "Waxhaws Massacre", and Banastre Tarleton earned the nickname "Bloody Ban", due to his brutal tactics. (Southern Campaign)



May 31, 1819: American poet Walt Whitman was born in Long Island, New York. His poetry celebrated modern life, and took on subjects considered "taboo" at the time. (Poetry All-Stars)

May 31, 1864: In the American Civil War, the Battle of Cold Harbor began. The fight lasted until June 12, and ended with a Confederate victory. General Ulysses S. Grant's Union army suffered numerous casualties with the futile frontal assaults against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's heavily fortified defenses. (Walter Edgar's Journal)