History, (Washington Insider Magazine) Remarkably, the American Red Cross was founded on this day – May 21, 1881. Founders of the Red Cross were Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons – both humanitarian and both living in Washington, D.C.
Clara Barton was the “Angel of the Battlefield” during her time in 1865’s in the American Civil War. She was a tireless worker on the fields. Even President Abraham Lincoln asked her to travel the fields in search of lost prisoners of war.
It was during this day, also, in 1927 that Charles Lindbergh completed his first solo flight – and nonstop – across the Atlantic. What a day it must have been as Lindbergh saw all the floodlights in his honor and – because of lack of sleep – had no idea what was happening at first. He left from New York in rain, mud, and fog on a single-engine monoplane – The Spirit of St. Louis – and flew for 33 ½ hours to Paris’ Le Bourget Field.
And speaking of flying, it was Amelia Earhart who also made a solo, nonstop transatlantic flight on May 21, 1932. Earhart became the first flyer from Newfoundland to Ireland in 15 hours.
Spanish conquistador, Hernando de Soto, died in the American wilderness on May 21, 1542. It was in present-day Louisiana and on the banks of the Mississippi River that de Soto died. This was the end of a “three-year journey for gold that took him halfway across what is now the United States.”
It was on May 21, 1942, that 4,300 Jews were taken from Chelm – a Polish camp – to Sobibor – a Nazi extermination camp. Upon arrival, they were all gassed to death.
And last of all, May 21, 1901, is the day that the state of Connecticut passed a law limiting the speed of cars. They were allowed to drive no faster than 12 miles per hour in the city and no more than 15 miles per hour in the country.