Throwback Thursday 5/25!

Here's what happened on May 25th!

  • 1787: The Constitutional Convention took place in Philadelphia. The purpose of the convention was to create a Constitution that would unite the states, speak to the needs of the people, and provide protection for the liberty and freedom the colonists had just won. There were 55 delegates from 12 states. 
    (Biography for Beginners, Defining Moments)
  • 1803: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is regarded as one of America’s greatest intellectuals and literary figures. He influenced generations of writers and thinkers, including Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman.
    (Shapers of Society, World Biography, American History)
  • 1878: African-American dancer and entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was born in Richmond, Virginia. Beginning at the age of 6, Robinson was dancing and singing for money. He performed in minstrel shows, a Vaudeville act, movies, and more. He is considered one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century.
    (Biography for Beginners)
  • 1889: Russian born engineer and inventor Igor Sikorsky was born in Kiev, Russia. He designed and flew the first multi-motor airplane in 1913. He built the plane for the Russian Army, just as the country entered WWI. In 1939 Sikorsky succeeded in his dream of building a helicopter when his first model, the VS-300, made its first flight. He is one of the most important inventors in aviation.
    (Biography for Beginners)
  • 1919: Madam C.J. Walker died of kidney failure. She was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. Walker’s life was an inspiration to many people. She started a successful business (and became the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S.) at a time when business careers were not yet open to African-Americans or women. She has been inducted into the National Business Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
    (Biography for Beginners)
  • 1925: John T. Raulston convened a special grand jury to hear the Scopes case, which dealt with the teaching of the theory of evolution. Raulston opened the proceedings by reading the first chapter of Genesis from the Bible and then a passage on evolution from the textbook teacher John Scopes used. After a short deliberation, the grand jury indicted Scopes for violating the Butler Act by teaching evolution.
    (Defining Moments)
  • 1926: African-American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis was born in Alton, Illinois. Davis is considered one of the most important jazz musicians in history. He took jazz music into a more complex, serious era.
    (Biography for Beginners)
  • 1926: Professional basketball player William Sharman was born in Abilene, Texas. During his playing career he was named to the All-NBA team seven times and was recognized as the greatest shooting guard of his day. After his retirement, he went on to be a successful coach. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1976 and again in 2004 for his time as a coach.
    (Sports Champions)
  • 1935: Jesse Owens broke three world records competing at the Big Ten championship (Owens attended The Ohio State University). He broke the world record for the 220-yard dash, 220-yard hurdles, and the long jump. He also tied the world record time for the 100-yard dash on the same day. His May 25 performance is considered one of the finest by a college athlete, ever.
  • (Biography for Beginners, Sports Champions)
  • 1961: President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress in regards to the space race and the need for the United States to land a man on the moon. Read an excerpt from his address here!
    (Shapers of Society, American History)
  • 1965: Muhammad Ali defended his heavyweight title against Sonny Liston (whom he had taken the title from a year earlier). The knockout that ended the fight is one of the most disputed knockouts. The fight was also one of the shortest championship fights on record.
    (Biography for Beginners)