May Factoids


May 1-31

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


May Observances (Month):

May is Jewish American Heritage Month.

View the Holocaust Remembrance Collection

  • Holocaust OverviewThere are seven overview sections. Each provides a short summary of a topic related to the Holocaust.
  • Seared Souls: South Carolina Voices of the Holocaust: Trace the events of the Holocaust through the testimony of survivors who settled in South Carolina. Interviews are combined with dramatic archival footage for a powerful and moving record of the inhumanity that was experienced during the Holocaust.
  • S.C. Voices: Lessons from the HolocaustFull interviews with South Carolinians who survived the Holocaust and those who liberated the concentration camps or witnessed the atrocities that took place. 



May Observances (Day):


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)



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)



May 5 - 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.

May 5 - 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 - National Teacher's Day - A day for appreciating teachers for their special contributions to education. View our videos that feature different teachers:

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)

May 5, 1961: Astronaut Alan Bartlett Shepard became the first American to fly in space on board Freedom 7, during Project Mercury. Shepard's 15 minute suborbital flight was America's first step in the Space Race. Learn more about Project Mercury with The Space Race, Part 1! (History In A Nutshell)



National Nurses Day

Maude Callen (1898 - 1990), a Nurse-Midwife, who singlehandedly brought health care to rural Pineville, S.C. and the surrounding area of Berkeley County in the early 1920s, continuing to the 1970s. Maude was orphaned at six and raised in the home of her uncle, the first black doctor in Tallahassee, Florida. Maude studied nursing at Florida A & M, and Tuskegee Institute. Upon graduating, she answered the call to become a medical missionary in Pineville, S.C. in 1923. She delivered some 800 babies, and trained some 400 women as midwives in depressing, treacherous conditions. Many share their memories of Maude Callen and the invaluable medical service she provided as nurse and doctor to thousands in this low income area of South Carolina for generations.

Neonatal nursing is a specialty in the health care profession where nurses provide direct patient care to high-risk newborn babies. They access the patients' health problems and needs, and use mathematics to calculate medication and nutrition based on the patient's very low weight. Knowledge of the sciences is required to understand the function of the human body. Neonatal nurses operate high tech equipment in the neonatal intensive care unit such as ventilators and incubators. Nurses must also keep precise medical records on each infant patient to help the physician provide proper medical care.

In 1917 South Carolinian women saw more opportunity. There were more women in men dominated occupations like doctors, realtors and lawyers. During wartime women not only participated in more jobs so men could go fight; but they also enlisted! They served as nurses and 143 women from South Carolina enlisted to aid the war effort. 1000 uniforms were sent from Charleston and Red Cross Women drove ambulances that transferred supplies and the wounded.



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)

May 8-9Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation Day for Those Who Lost Their Lives in WWII

Visit our Memorial Day Collection and hear the stories of those who served.



Mother’s Day 

As we honor the women who have played such an important part in both their family’s lives and in their work, we also honor the outstanding women featured in our Women’s History and Women in Leadership Collections.

In a dynamic and growing Southern career landscape, Palmetto Voices looks to female leaders in South Carolina to share the experiences, skills and decisions that have brought them success. These voices of the Palmetto State offer advice and suggestions for excellence in various career clusters and fields of study.

From Middle School to High School, teenage girls face unique pressures every day. Between issues with bullying, body image, boys, friends and “frenemies,” life during that awkward transitional period can feel like it’s filled with challenges. It’s important our girls have role models, people to look up to, think about, and speak with, to help to navigate those land mines. Project Lead South Carolina is a video series for young women, that follows notable women in South Carolina to gather advice for what makes a successful leader. 

A series that focuses on issues affecting women throughout the state and the nation, and a new generation of young people pursuing public service for their communities and the state at large. The program is produced and hosted by former South Carolina ETV president Linda O’Bryon.

When you visit the Women in Leadership Collection, take a moment to scroll down to view the Topics:



Bike to Work Day

Endangered Species Day

The largest living cat is the Amur, or Siberian, tiger. These cats are known for their orange and white fur with its black stripes. This pattern camouflages them in the tall grasses or forest undergrowth. Amur tigers are found through eastern Russia, Manchuria and Korea. These cats are listed as endangered due to poaching and habitat destruction. 

The Black Rhinoceros is an endangered species. Overhunting, poachers, and poor legal protection are to blame for this species of rhinoceros going into near extinction in African countries.

Hedyotis procumbens; member of coffee family; also called Trailing Bluet or Innocence; perennial herb with shallow roots; low-growing loose tufts 10 - 15 cm tall; white flowers bloom from July to early August; flower produces many-seeded capsules; high elevation habitats include cliffs, outcrops, and steep slopes; threatened by residential and recreational developments; endangered species, Federal Register April 5, 1990

The Carolina Marsh Tacky is a small horse brought to SC by Spanish explorers. It's an endangered breed.

In 2008, the Catawba River was named the most endangered river in the United States by the advocacy group American Rivers. In this program, The Big Picture looks at the preservation of this river and the citizens that depends on it.

Cheraw Recreation State Park was the first state park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC worked up until 1942-43 until World War II forced many to join the military. The park has wildlife that includes the federally endangered Woodpecker. These birds live in pine trees that are over 60 years old. The woodpeckers like to peck the resin wells. Sap flows from these wells to protect the cavity for any predator that wants to climb the tree.

Located in the Lowcountry of SC. Wildlife that live around the plantation include wild boar, black bear, and the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species. The largest population of these birds are in the Francis Marion National Forest which is adjacent to the plantation.

Jones Gap State Park is located in the Blue Mountain region. Jones Gap had South Carolina's first cold-water hatchery from 1931 until 1963. It currently has several nationally endangered species, such as the green salamander. The greatest diversity of salamanders in the world are right here in the southern Appalachians. There is also an environmental marine center that is used only for education and research. 

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on the property of Kennedy Space Center. Over 300 kinds of birds live permanently or seasonally in the refuge. The Refuge has the highest concentration of threatened and endangered species of any facility of its kind in the United States, including manatees. When the Kennedy Space Center acquired the property, they set up a restricted area that prohibited boats.  During the time the manatees have been monitored, the population in those areas that are boat-free has increased dramatically.

Harold O'Connor, director of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge discusses the 100,000 acres that exist on the Refuge at this time, and says that another 40,000 acres will be added soon. There are six endangered species on the refuge, including the alligator, the bald eagle, and the dusty seaside sparrow. There about 23 species of ducks that migrate through and about 275 species of birds, plus a variety of mammals and snakes. There are about 4,000 to 5,000 alligators on the Refuge at this time. A bald eagle is shown flying and returning to its nest.

 The zoo actively participates in the Species Survival Plan, a program that breeds and manages captive endangered species. Species such as the red wolf have been brought back from near extinction, and are currently being reintroduced into the wild. Captive breeding allows the zoo to access, via computer, the medical records and breeding histories of many zoos in the country. Cameroon, West Africa, is a site that North Carolina Zoo supports for its work with wild elephants. Because elephants can cause a great deal of damage to agriculturally supported villages, humans threaten the populations of the animals in West Africa. The Elephant in Ecology Project, conducted through the World Wildlife Fund, educates villages, protects the elephants, and reduces the damage done during migration.

A number of rare species occur in cove forests, including the endangered persistent trillium, Trillium persistens. The species is found in deeply incised coves and gorges (acidic coves) in South Carolina along Battle Creek. This species is officially considered endangered by the federal government. The main threat to most rare species is loss of habitat due to humans altering the landscape.

More on endangered species may be found here.


International Day of Families

Find something new to learn on and share it with your family! Ask them to do the same and make this a time to enjoy being together and learning more about the interests of your family members!

May 15, 1943: The Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" named the Memphis Belle became one of the first B-17s to complete its tour of duty in World War II. The B-17, along with the Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" played a crucial role in the Allied victory in Europe. Learn more about these legendary warbirds, and the brave men who crewed them! (South Carolinians In World War II)



Armed Forces Day *

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.

Be sure to scroll down to the area below the Series to view the entire collection!



World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Explore the rich content available on! Search our Series and our Collections to find resources that interest you!

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 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)




National Rescue Dog Day

Tips for keeping safe with dogs, including getting to know a new dog, allowing the dog to smell your hand, and not petting a dog you don’t know.

Many view Border-Collie dogs as ideal family pets, but they are also reliable, and very hard working sheep-herding dogs.

Rusty, the Davis family dog, suffered a farming accident which took his two left legs. Miraculously, Rusty survived the accident, and was able to recover and continue riding in Bill Davis’ truck. Rusty’s dedication to his family is a testament to overcoming hardships.


World Bee Day

Ancel Goolsbey leads a “sweet” life as a beekeeper, maintaining bee-hives for the harvesting of honey.



International Day for Biodiversity


Animal Lovers Collection

Habitats Collection | Explore South Carolina


SERIES and Programs

Congaree Swamp Stories

Destination: SC Parks

Dolphin Conservation | ETV Shorts

Environmental Ed

Expeditions Shorts

Natural State

Nature Notes with Rudy Mancke


Parks Adventures Minutes

Pee Dee Explorer

Project Discovery

Riverbanks Roundup

Riverbanks Roundup Bits


SC Life

Short Takes with Naturalist Rudy Mancke

This is Brookgreen Gardens

Web of Water

Zoo Minutes



World Turtle Day

·Congaree Swamp (S.C.) Stop 3 - Eastern Mud Turtle | NatureScene

·Edisto Beach State Park | Destination: SC Parks

·Exhibit Allows Visitors to Care for Sea Turtles |Palmetto Scene

·Lee State Park (S.C.) Stop 3 | NatureScene

·Loggerhead Sea Turtle | Short Takes with Naturalist Rudy Mancke

· “L” is for Loggerhead Turtle - State Reptile | SC from A to Z

·Santee National Wildlife Refuge (S.C.) Stop 2 - The Trail

·Pritchard's Island - Nature Reserve | 27:Fifty

·SC Aquarium, Part 2 | Project Discovery

·Sea Turtle Rescue Manager | Original SC

Kelly Thorvalson of the South Carolina Aquarium has one of the most unique jobs in the world, to nurse sick and injured sea turtles back to health. The video includes suggestions about what human beings can do to keep sea turtles safe from risks that are preventable, including the accidental ingestion of plastics that are found in the ocean or on the beach, boat strikes, and being entangled in fishing gear and fishing line. 




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.



World Otter Day *



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)


International Day of UN Peacekeepers

King Hagler was the leader of the Catawba Indian Nation. He had a reputation as peacekeeper with other tribes and colonists. In 1751, Hagler signed a treaty with the Six Nations. In 1756, Catawba Indians fought alongside George Washington during the French and Indian War. King Hagler signed the Treaty of Pine Tree Hill in 1760, which provided a reservation for the Catawba.



World No Tobacco Day


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)


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