May 1 (A Quadruple of Sports Events)
'The Mick' was the greatest of the many 'mythological' athletes of my childhood...It's too bad his knees failed him - and he failed himself as an alcoholic - because it's almost impossible to imagine how good he could have been.
1983 - Nolan Ryan became the all time strike out king with his 3,508th strike out.
'The Ryan Express' was a legend in his own right, but part of what makes this record so special is he took it from 'The Big Train': Walter Johnson.
Ryan went on to crush the record, with 5,714 career strikeouts. To put this number in perspective, only three other pitchers have ever had 4,000 strikeouts.
1991 - Ricky Henderson broke the Major League record for stolen bases with his 939th steal.
Another great baseball event! To put Henderson's stolen base record into perspective, no other player has even 1,000 stolen bases...Rick 'The Quick' had over 1,400.
Ricky Henderson was one of the truly great players in history, even though he is often overlooked: The all time leader in unintentional-walks, stolen bases and runs scored - records Ty Cobb held when he retired...In other words he was the perfect lead-off hitter. If he wanted to he probably could have been a perfect hitter in any part of the lineup.
A truly amazing athlete. With his speed, power and instincts, I bet he would have been a devastating running back in the NFL.
1991 - Nolan Ryan threw his seventh no hitter.
Sandy Koufax is the only other pitcher with four, and only three others have even three no-hitters...Oh by the way, Ryan threw this seventh no-hitter at the age of 44. WOW!
1045 - Pope Benedict IX sold the papacy to John Gratianus - Gregory VI.
This was an extremely ugly event in the History of the Papacy, but not unlike many others during the Dark/Middle Ages.
1328 - The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton: Ended the Scottish wars of independence.
The Scots put up a mighty fight against the English, and with this treaty they were recognized as an independent state.
1654 - "Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman, or child, was to let himself, herself, itself be found east of the River Shannon."...An Order from the English Parliament.
The Irish were generally treated like crap by the English, and given little respect as a people.
"The Irish were often referred to as 'Negroes turned inside out and Negroes as smoked Irish.'" - Art McDonald
1707 – The Act of Union: Scotland and England were joined together under the name of Great Britain.
After a thousand years of battle, the final unification was rather peacefully accomplished.
The two nations had been ruled by the same king for over a hundred years, but maintained separate Parliaments, and a semblance of independence from one another...This act ended the two parliaments, creating one for the entire country, and firmly established the permanency of the united rule of the two lands.
Maybe permanent isn't the best word to use.
1898 - Commodore George Dewey gave the command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay: Spanish-American War.
This battle marks the birth of the modern American Navy...It also marks a final humiliation for the once proud Spanish Navy.
Amazingly, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt sent Dewey to the East with this very intention long before the Spanish-American War began...Many have called him a war monger, but 'prophet of America's overseas manifest destiny' would be more appropriate.
1945 - Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels committed suicide in his Berlin bunker: WWII.
I wonder if Dan Rather and his 'Old Media' buddies cry on this day?...Oh well. Good riddance to dead propagandameisters.
1948 - North Korea proclaimed itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
It's almost humorous when commie countries put either of the words 'Democratic' or 'People's' in their names...The Koreans had the gall to put both.
1960 - The Soviet Union shot down an American U2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers, who was captured.
The Soviet’s had been complaining about U.S. spying for years. With this event they had proof…Plus they showed the ability to shoot down one of our most advanced, high-flying planes.
A great day for the Ruskies; definitely not for the U.S.
1961 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared the country a socialist nation and abolished elections.
Sounds like a 'People’s Democratic' Republic to me.
1990 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and other Kremlin leaders were jeered by thousands of people during the annual May Day parade in Red Square.
The end of the Hell-State was coming sooner than anyone could imagine.
1995 - President Bill Clinton defended his choice for Surgeon General, Henry Foster, as a "pro-life, pro-choice doctor."
I don’t know how Bubba did it, but no one should ever get away with the amount of BS-speak he did.
2003 - President G.W. Bush made a speech aboard an aircraft carrier proclaiming “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”
As it turns out, Bush would have been better off skipping this stunt and his statement.