11 May 1953

A tornado outbreak in Waco, Texas kills 114 people.

The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak was a series of at least 33 tornadoes occurring in 10 different U.S. states on May 9–11, 1953. Tornadoes appeared daily from Minnesota in the north to Texas in the south. The strongest and deadliest tornado of the severe weather event was a powerful F5 on the Fujita scale.[nb 1] It struck Waco, Texas, on May 11, causing 114 of the 144 deaths in the outbreak. Alongside the 1902 tornado in Goliad, it was the deadliest tornado in Texas history and is the eleventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The tornado’s winds demolished more than 600 houses, 1,000 other structures, and over 2,000 vehicles. Nearly 600 injuries occurred, and many survivors had to wait over 14 hours for rescue. The destruction dispelled a myth that the geography of the region spared Waco from tornadoes, and along with other deadly tornadoes in 1953, the Waco disaster was a catalyst for advances in understanding the link between tornadoes and radar-detected hook echoes. It also generated support for improved civil defense systems, the formation of weather radar networks, and improved communications between stakeholders such as meteorologists, local officials, and the public.

2Time from first tornado to last tornado
The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak was a series of at least 33 tornadoes occurring in 10 different U.S. states on May 9–11, 1953. Tornadoes appeared daily from Minnesota in the north to Texas in the south. The strongest and deadliest tornado of the severe weather event was a powerful F5 on the Fujita scale. It struck Waco, Texas, on May 11, causing 114 of the 144 deaths in the outbreak. Alongside the 1902 tornado in Goliad, it was the deadliest tornado in Texas history and is the eleventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The tornado’s winds demolished more than 600 houses, 1,000 other structures, and over 2,000 vehicles. Nearly 600 injuries occurred, and many survivors had to wait over 14 hours for rescue. The destruction dispelled a myth that the geography of the region spared Waco from tornadoes, and along with other deadly tornadoes in 1953, the Waco disaster was a catalyst for advances in understanding the link between tornadoes and radar-detected hook echoes. It also generated support for improved civil defense systems, the formation of weather radar networks, and improved communications between stakeholders such as meteorologists, local officials, and the public.The Waco tornado was not the only deadly and damaging tornado in the outbreak sequence. On the same day as the Waco disaster, a high-end F4 tornado struck the Texas city of San Angelo, causing catastrophic damage, killing 13 people, and injuring more than 150. The tornado swept away numerous homes and damaged a school, but students inside escaped serious injuries. On May 9, a long-tracked F3 tornado destroyed a large swath of Hebron, Nebraska, and killed five people in the area. The following day, May 10, featured numerous, often long-tracked and intense tornado families across the states of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Two families on nearly parallel paths traveled more than 100 miles  each and killed a combined total of six people, mostly in Wisconsin. At least one of the tornado families reached F4 intensity in Wisconsin. Two other F4 tornadoes also struck Iowa. Additionally, a relatively moderate tornado of F2 intensity caused significant loss of life in a shack in Minnesota, killing six people. Although 33 tornadoes were officially registered from May 9–11, others likely occurred but either went undetected or were not officially documented.

10 May 1824

The National Gallery in London opens to the public for the first time.

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

The Gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public, and entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Unlike comparable museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein, an insurance broker and patron of the arts, in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped mainly by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, and by private donations, which comprise two-thirds of the collection.

The resulting collection is small in size, compared with many European national galleries, but encyclopaedic in scope; most major developments in Western painting “from Giotto to Cézanne” are represented with important works. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case.

The present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was designed by William Wilkins from 1832 to 1838. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains essentially unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins’s building was often criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space; the latter problem led to the establishment of the Tate Gallery for British art in 1897.

The Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain. The current Director of the National Gallery is Gabriele Finaldi.

The Gallery was caught in controversy in 2018 over having some of the most expensive exhibition prices ever seen in London.

The National Gallery opened to the public on 10 May 1824, housed in Angerstein’s former townhouse at No. 100 Pall Mall. Angerstein’s paintings were joined in 1826 by those from Beaumont’s collection, and in 1831 by the Reverend William Holwell Carr’s bequest of 35 paintings. Initially the Keeper of Paintings, William Seguier, bore the burden of managing the Gallery, but in July 1824 some of this responsibility fell to the newly formed board of trustees.

The National Gallery at Pall Mall was frequently overcrowded and hot and its diminutive size in comparison with the Louvre in Paris was the cause of national embarrassment. But Agar Ellis, now a trustee of the Gallery, appraised the site for being “in the very gangway of London”; this was seen as necessary for the Gallery to fulfil its social purpose. Subsidence in No. 100 caused the Gallery to move briefly to No. 105 Pall Mall, which the novelist Anthony Trollope described as a “dingy, dull, narrow house, ill-adapted for the exhibition of the treasures it held”. This in turn had to be demolished for the opening of a road to Carlton House Terrace.

In 1832 construction began on a new building by William Wilkins on the site of the King’s Mews in Charing Cross, in an area that had been transformed over the 1820s into Trafalgar Square. The location was a significant one, between the wealthy West End and poorer areas to the east. The argument that the collection could be accessed by people of all social classes outstripped other concerns, such as the pollution of central London or the failings of Wilkins’s building, when the prospect of a move to South Kensington was mooted in the 1850s. According to the Parliamentary Commission of 1857, “The existence of the pictures is not the end purpose of the collection, but the means only to give the people an ennobling enjoyment”.

9 May 1901

Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.

The Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, May 9, 1901, more commonly known in Australia as The Big Picture, is a 1903 painting by the Australian artist Tom Roberts. The painting, measuring 304.5 by 509.2 centimetres, or roughly 10 by 17 feet, depicts the opening of the first Parliament of Australia at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne on 9 May 1901.

The painting is part of the Royal Collection but has been on permanent loan to the Parliament of Australia since 1957. The work, currently on display in Parliament House, Canberra, has been described as “undoubtedly the principal work of art recording Australia’s Parliamentary History.”

On 1 January 1901, after years of debate, the various colonies in Australia joined in a federation. While the new Constitution of Australia called for a new capital to be constructed, away from the major cities, until that time Melbourne would act as the seat of government of the new nation. Elections were held for the first Parliament of Australia and on 9 May 1901, the new parliament was sworn in at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

The opening of the new parliament was seen as a historic and momentous occasion with King Edward VII’s son, the Duke of Cornwall and York coming to Australia to officially open the new parliament on behalf of the King. To appropriately capture the occasion, the “Australian Art Association”, a consortium of private benefactors, sought to commission a painting of the event as a “gift to the nation”. Their motives were not entirely altruistic; the consortium hoped to profit by selling prints. Roberts was not the consortium’s first choice, with J. C. Waite initially preferred.

he painting was first exhibited in the Royal Academy in London before being presented to King Edward VII by the Commonwealth Government in 1904. It was then moved to St. James’s Palace where it remained on display until 1957. That year, Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister of Australia requested the permanent loan of the painting from Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen consented and the picture returned to Australia in 1958.

The picture was to be exhibited in the King’s Hall of the then Parliament House with the other historic records of events as the opening of the first Parliament in Canberra in 1927 and the Royal opening of Parliament in 1954, however it was too big for the available space. The decision was made to store the painting at the Australian War Memorial after a tour of the various state galleries. In 1969, the painting was moved to the Parliament House basement where it remained until 1980.

As a result of its travels, the picture had deteriorated considerably and required major restoration work.

The picture had long been unprotected from changes in temperature and humidity, it had been constantly rolled and unrolled and untacked from its stretcher frame. At one stage it was even folded in half for transport. All this seriously affected the canvas. It gradually sagged, undulated and malformed and was in danger of becoming completely dilapidated.

—?Katrina Rumley, quoted in Mackenzie.
The School of Materials Conservation at the Canberra College of Advanced Education started restoration work in 1980. The work included infra-red and ultra-violet photography to determine the condition of the painting followed by removal of old varnish and grime, repairs to the tacking margin and restoration of some small areas of paint. The work was completed in time for it to be taken to the new High Court of Australia building for its official opening by the Queen in 1981.

The designers of the new Parliament House were mindful of the need to provide an appropriate space to display The Big Picture in the new building. The Joint Standing Committee responsible for the new building made the decision to place the painting in the Main Committee Room Foyer. The architects worked to ensure that major design elements in the room such as the skylight and balustrade around the work allowed for the integration of the painting with the available space. Because the fragile state of the picture prevented it from being rolled, moving the painting from the High Court to Parliament House was a major logistical exercise. The move required removal of some windows at the High Court, the construction of a special carrying frame and scaffolding and a system of winches to support the picture in place. The painting remains in this specially designed location to this day.

On the occasion of the centenary of Federation in 2001, the Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks led a call for ownership of the painting to be formally transferred from the British Royal Collection to the Australian Crown. This was opposed as being both impracticable and unnecessary, as the Queen or her successors were unlikely to request its return.

8 May 1912

Paramount Pictures is founded.

Paramount Pictures Corporation also known simply as Paramount is an American film studio based in Hollywood, California, that has been a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, and the sole member of the “Big Six” film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood.

In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo. These fortunate few would become the first “movie stars.” In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only. The company’s headquarters and studios are located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California, United States.

Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world after the French studios Gaumont Film Company and Pathé, followed by the Nordisk Film company, and Universal Studios. It is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.

Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born founder Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time leading to the slogan “Famous Players in Famous Plays”. By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. Its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth, which starred Sarah Bernhardt.

That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man.

Paramount Pictures’ first logo, based on a design by its founder William Wadsworth Hodkinson, used from 1917 to 1967. Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms. Hodkinson and actor, director, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor; until this time, films were sold on a statewide or regional basis which had proved costly to film producers. Also, Famous Players and Lasky were privately owned while Paramount was a corporation.

7 May 1976

The Honda Accord officially launched.

The Honda Accord is a series of automobiles manufactured by Honda since 1976, best known for its four-door sedan variant, which has been one of the best-selling cars in the United States since 1989. The Accord nameplate has been applied to a variety of vehicles worldwide, including coupes, wagons, hatchbacks and a crossover.

The first generation Honda Accord was launched on 7 May 1976 as a three-door hatchback with 68 hp, a 93.7-inch wheelbase, and a weight of about 2,000 pounds. Japanese market cars claimed 80 PS JIS, while European and other export markets received a model without emissions control equipment; it claimed 80 PS as well but according to the stricter DIN norm. It was a platform expansion of the earlier Honda Civic at 4,125 mm long. To comply with recently enacted emission regulations enacted in Japan, the engine was fitted with Honda’s CVCC technology. The Accord sold well due to its moderate size and great fuel economy. It was one of the first Japanese sedans with features like cloth seats, a tachometer, intermittent wipers, and an AM/FM radio as standard equipment. In 1978 an LX version of the hatchback was added which came with air conditioning, a digital clock, and power steering. Until the Accord, and the closely related Prelude, power steering had not been available to cars under two litres. Japanese buyers were liable for slightly more annual road tax over the smaller Civic, which had a smaller engine.

On 14 October 1977, a four-door sedan was added to the lineup, and power went to 72 hp when the 1,599 cc EF1 engine was supplemented and in certain markets replaced by the 1,751 cc an EK-1 unit. In 1980 the optional two-speed semi-automatic transmission of previous years became a three-speed fully automatic gearbox a four-speed automatic transaxle was not used in the Accord until the 1983 model year. The North American versions had slightly redesigned bumper trim. Other changes included new grilles and taillamps and remote mirrors added on the four-door and the LX models. The CVCC badges were deleted, but the CVCC induction system remained.

In North America, the 1981 model year only brought detail changes such as new fabrics and some new color combinations. Nivorno Beige was replaced by Oslo Ivory. Dark brown was discontinued, as was the bronze metallic. A bit later in 1981 an SE model was added for the first time, with Novillo leather seats and power windows. Base model hatchbacks, along with the four-door, LX, and SE four-door, all received the same smaller black plastic remote mirror. The instrument cluster was revised with mostly pictograms which replaced worded warning lights and gauge markings. The shifter was redesigned to have a stronger spring to prevent unintentional engagement of reverse, replacing the spring-loaded shift knob of the 1976 to 1980 model year cars. By 1981 power for the 1.8 was down to a claimed 68 hp in North America.

6 May 1983

The Hitler Diaries are reported as being a hoax after being examined by experts.

On 22 April 1983 a press release from Stern announced the existence of the diaries and their forthcoming publication; a press conference was announced for 25 April. On hearing the news from Stern, Jäckel stated that he was “extremely sceptical” about the diaries, while his fellow historian, Karl Dietrich Bracher of the University of Bonn also thought their legitimacy unlikely. Irving was receiving calls from international news companies—the BBC, The Observer, Newsweek, Bild Zeitung—and he was informing them all that the diaries were fakes. The German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, also said that he could not believe the diaries were genuine, the following day The Times published the news that their Sunday sister paper had the serialisation rights for the UK; the edition also carried an extensive piece by Trevor-Roper with his opinion on the authenticity and importance of the discovery. By this stage the historian had growing doubts over the diaries, which he passed on to the editor of The Times, Charles Douglas-Home, the Times editor presumed that Trevor-Roper would also contact Giles at The Sunday Times, while Trevor-Roper thought that Douglas-Home would do so; neither did. The Sunday paper thus remained oblivious of the growing concerns that the diaries might not be genuine.

On the evening of 23 April the presses began rolling for the following day’s edition of The Sunday Times, after an evening meeting of the editorial staff, Giles phoned Trevor-Roper to ask him to write a piece rebutting the criticism of the diaries. He found that the historian had made “a 180 degree turn” regarding the diaries’ authenticity, and was now far from sure that they were real. The paper’s deputy editor, Brian MacArthur, rang Murdoch to see if they should stop the print run and re-write the affected pages. Murdoch’s reply was “Fuck Dacre. Publish”.

On the afternoon of the 24 April, in Hamburg for the press conference the following day, Trevor-Roper asked Heidemann for the name of his source: the journalist refused, and gave a different story of how the diaries had been acquired. Trevor-Roper was suspicious and questioned the reporter closely for over an hour. Heidemann accused the historian of acting “exactly like an officer of the British army” in 1945, at a subsequent dinner the historian was evasive when asked by Stern executives what he was going to say at the announcement the following day.

At the press conference both Trevor-Roper and Weinberg expressed their doubts at the authenticity, and stated that German experts needed to examine the diaries to confirm whether the works were genuine. Trevor-Roper went on to say that his doubts sprung from the lack of proof that these books were the same ones as had been on the crashed plane in 1945, he finished his statement by saying that “I regret that the normal method of historical verification has been sacrificed to the perhaps necessary requirements of a journalistic scoop.” The leading article in The Guardian described his public reversal as showing “moral courage”. Irving, who had been described in the introductory statement by Koch as a historian “with no reputation to lose”, stood at the microphone for questions, and asked how Hitler could have written his diary in the days following the 20 July plot, when his arm had been damaged, he denounced the diaries as forgeries, and held aloft the photocopied pages he had been given from Priesack. He asked if the ink in the diaries had been tested, but there was no response from the managers of Stern. Photographers and film crews jostled to get a better picture of Irving, and some punches were thrown by journalists while security guards moved in and forcibly removed Irving from the room, while he shouted “Ink! Ink!”.

With grave doubts now expressed about the authenticity of the diaries, Stern faced the possibility of legal action for disseminating Nazi propaganda. To ensure a definitive judgment on the diaries, Dr Hagen, one of the company’s lawyers, passed three complete diaries to Dr Henke at the Bundesarchiv for a more complete forensic examination. While the debate on the diaries’ authenticity continued, Stern published its special edition on 28 April, which provided Hitler’s purported views on the flight of Hess to England, Kristallnacht and the Holocaust. The following day Heidemann again met with Kujau, and bought the last four diaries from him.

On the following Sunday—1 May 1983—The Sunday Times published further stories providing the background to the diaries, linking them more closely to the plane crash in 1945, and providing a profile of Heidemann, that day, when The Daily Express rang Irving for a further comment on the diaries, he informed them that he now believed the diaries to be genuine; The Times ran the story of Irving’s U-turn the following day. Irving explained that Stern had shown him a diary from April 1945 in which the writing sloped downwards from left to right, and the script of which got smaller along the line, at a subsequent press conference Irving explained that he had been examining the diaries of Dr Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal doctor, in which Morell diagnosed the Führer as having Parkinson’s disease, a symptom of which was to write in the way the text appeared in the diaries. Harris posits that further motives may also have played a part—the lack of reference to the Holocaust in the diaries may have been perceived by Irving as supporting evidence for his thesis, put forward in his book Hitler’s War, that the Holocaust took place without Hitler’s knowledge, the same day Hagen visited the Bundesarchiv and was told of their findings: ultraviolet light had shown a fluorescent element to the paper, which should not have been present in an old document, and that the bindings of one of the diaries included polyester which had not been made before 1953. Research in the archives also showed a number of errors, the findings were partial only, and not conclusive; more volumes were provided to aid the analysis.

Genuine signature of Adolf Hitler
Forged version of Hitler’s signature, showing slight differences from the original
Kujau’s version of Hitler’s signature, which Kenneth W. Rendell described as a “terrible rendition”.
When Hagen reported back to the Stern management, an emergency meeting was called and Schulte-Hillen demanded the identity of Heidemann’s source, the journalist relented, and provided the provenance of the diaries as Kujau had given it to him. Harris describes how a bunker mentality descended on the Stern management as, instead of accepting the truth of the Bundesarchiv’s findings, they searched for alternative explanations as to how post-war whitening agents could have been used in the wartime paper. The paper then released a statement defending their position which Harris judges was “resonant with hollow bravado”.

While Koch was touring the US, giving interviews to most of the major news channels, he met Kenneth W. Rendell, a handwriting expert in the studios of CBS, and showed him one of the volumes. Rendell’s first impression was that the diaries were forged, he later reported that “everything looked wrong”, including new-looking ink, poor quality paper and signatures that were “terrible renditions” of Hitler’s. Rendell concludes the diaries were not particularly good fakes, calling them “bad forgeries but a great hoax”, he states that “with the exception of imitating Hitler’s habit of slanting his writing diagonally as he wrote across the page, the forger failed to observe or to imitate the most fundamental characteristics of his handwriting.”

On 4 May fifteen volumes of the diaries were removed from the Swiss bank vault and distributed to various forensic scientists: four went to the Bundesarchiv and eleven went to the Swiss specialists in St Gallen, the initial results were ready on 6 May, which confirmed what the forensic experts had been telling the management of Stern for the last week: the diaries were poor forgeries, with modern components and ink that was not in common use in wartime Germany. Measurements had been taken of the evaporation of chloride in the ink which showed the diaries had been written within the previous two years. There were also factual errors, including some from Domarus’s Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932–45 that Kujau had copied. Before passing the news to Stern, the Bundesarchiv had already informed the government, saying it was “a ministerial matter”, the managers at Stern tried to release the first press statement that acknowledged the forensic findings and stated that the diaries were forged, but the official government announcement was released five minutes before Stern’s.

5 May 1964

The Council of Europe announces May 5 as Europe Day.

Europe Day is the name of an annual observance by the European Union, held on 9 May. It is also known as Schuman Day, in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration. It is the EU’s “equivalent of a national day”, and its observance is strongly associated with the display of the EU’s equivalent of a national flag, the “European flag or emblem”.

Other days called “Europe Day” include a 5 May observance by the Council of Europe introduced in 1964, and a holiday introduced by Ukraine in 2003 held on the third Saturday of March.

The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949, and hence it chose that day for its celebrations when it established the holiday in 1964.

The “Europe Day” of the EU was introduced in 1985 by the European Communities the predecessor organisation of the EU. The date of commemorates the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950. The declaration proposed the pooling of French and West German coal and steel industries, leading to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the first European Community, established in 1952.

A “raft of cultural icons” was launched by the European Commission in 1985, in reaction to the report by the ad-hoc commission “for a People’s Europe” chaired by Pietro Adonnino. The aim was to facilitate European integration by fostering a Pan-European identity among the populations of the EC member states. The European Council adopted “Europe Day” along with the flag of Europe technically not called a “flag” but an “emblem” and other items on 29 September 1985 in Milan.

Following the foundation of the European Union in 1993, observance of Europe Day by national and regional authorities increased significantly. Germany in particular has gone beyond celebrating just the day, since 1995 extending the observance to an entire “Europe Week” centered on 9 May. In Poland, the Schuman Foundation, a Polish organisation advocating European integration established in 1991, first organised its Warsaw Schuman Parade on Europe Day 1999, at the time advocating the accession of Poland to the EU. Observance of 9 May as “Europe Day” was reported “across Europe” as of 2008. The EU’s choice of the date of foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community rather than that of the EU itself established a narrative in which Schuman’s speech, concerned with inducing economic growth and cementing peace between France and Germany, is presented as anticipating a “vocation of the European Union to be the main institutional framework” for the much further-reaching European integration of later decades.

The European Constitution would have legally enshrined all the European symbols in the EU treaties, however the treaty failed to be ratified in 2005, and usage would continue only in the present de facto manner. The Constitution’s replacement, the Treaty of Lisbon, contains a declaration by sixteen members supporting the symbols. The European Parliament “formally recognised” Europe Day in October 2008.

4 May 1836

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is formed.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization. Members must be Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York City in 1836. Its name was adopted by groups of Irish immigrants in the United States, its purpose to act as guards to protect Catholic churches from anti-Catholic forces in the mid-19th century, and to assist Irish Catholic immigrants, especially those who faced discrimination or harsh coal mining working conditions. Many members in the coal mining area of Pennsylvania had a background with the Molly Maguires. It became an important focus of Irish American political activity.

The order was founded in the United States on 4 May 1836, at St. James Church in New York City, near the old Five Points neighbourhood. A branch was formed the same year at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The existence and activities of the order were concealed for some years.

During the late 1860s and early 1870s many of the lodges of the order in Pennsylvania were infiltrated by the Molly Maguires. However the Molly Maguires and their criminal activities were condemned at the 1876 national convention of the AOH and the order was reorganised in the Pennsylvania coal areas.

In 1884 there was a split in the organisation. The order had previously been governed by the Board of Erin, which had governed the order in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States, but was composed of officers selected exclusively by the organisations in Ireland and Great Britain. The majority left in 1884 and became the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, while the small group called itself Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin. In 1897 the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin, had approximately 40,000 members concentrated in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, while the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America had nearly 125,000 members scattered throughout nearly every state in the union. The two groups reunited in 1898.

A female auxiliary, the Daughters of Erin, was formed in 1894, and had 20,000 members in 1897. It was attached to the larger, “American” version of the order. The AOH had 181,000 members in 1965 and 171,000 in 736 local units of “Divisions” in 1979. John F. Kennedy joined the AOH in 1947.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians raised $50,000 to build the Nuns of the Battlefield sculpture in Washington, DC, which the United States Congress authorised in 1918. The Irish-American sculptor, Jerome Connor, ended up suing the order for non-payment.

AOH shield without flags
In 1982, in a revival of Hibernianism, the Thomas Francis Meagher Division No. 1 formed in Helena, Montana, dedicated to the principles of the order and to restoring a historically accurate record of Brigadier General Meagher’s contributions to Montana. Soon after, six additional divisions formed in Montana.

The order organised the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 150 years until 1993, when control was transferred to an independent committee amid controversy over the exclusion of Irish-American gay and lesbian groups.

The Brothers of St. Patrick Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was established at Brother’s of St. Patrick in Midway City, California, in 1995.

In 2013, The Ancient Order of Hibernians raised and distributed over $200,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In 2014, the AOH called for a boycott of the retailer Spencer’s for selling products the AOH says promote anti-Irish stereotypes and irresponsible drinking.

On 10 May 2014 a memorial to Commodore John Barry, an immigrant from Wexford who was a naval hero of the American Revolution and who holds commission number one in the subsequent U.S. Navy, was dedicated on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. The memorial and associated “Barry Gate” was presented to the academy by the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Several buildings of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places or are otherwise notable.

3 May 1937

The novel, Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

In 3 May 1937, Margaret Mitchell received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Gone with the Wind and the second annual National Book Award from the American Booksellers Association. It is ranked as the second favorite book by American readers, just behind the Bible, according to a 2008 Harris Poll. The poll found the novel has its strongest following among women, those aged 44 or more, both Southerners and Midwesterners, both whites and Hispanics, and those who have not attended college. In a 2014 Harris poll, Mitchell’s novel ranked again as second, after the Bible. The novel is on the list of best-selling books. As of 2010, more than 30 million copies have been printed in the United States and abroad. More than 24 editions of Gone with the Wind have been issued in China. TIME magazine critics, Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo, included the novel on their list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present 2005. In 2003 the book was listed at number 21 on the BBC’s The Big Read poll of the UK’s “best-loved novel.”

Published in 1936, Gone with the Wind became an immediate best-seller, bringing first-time novelist Margaret Mitchell an overwhelming amount of critical and popular attention. Awarded the 1937 Pulitzer Prize, the novel was adapted as a film in 1939—an achievement that won ten Academy Awards. A historical romance set in northern Georgia during the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction years, Gone with the Wind traces the life of Scarlett O’Hara and her relationships with Rhett Butler, and Ashley and Melanie Wilkes. The novel addresses such themes as survival, romantic love, and the societal structuring of gender and class.

Early appraisals of the novel noted its memorable characters and historical accuracy as well as Mitchell’s remarkable storytelling ability, though other reviews dismissed the novel as melodramatic and trite. Mitchell drew on her extensive knowledge of Civil War history in order to establish a believable setting for Gone with the Wind, but also spent considerable time fact-checking in the Atlanta Public Library. Biographers and critics have discovered striking similarities between real people in Mitchell’s life and characters in the novel, though whether Mitchell intentionally modeled her characters after people she knew is unclear. What remains certain, however, is that her powerful, enduring story of love and survival set in the pre- and postwar South has made Gone with the Wind one of the most popular novels in American history.

Gone with the Wind Summary
Twilight of the Old South
Scarlett O’ Hara is the antiheroine of Gone with the Wind, a character who breaks the conventions of a romance novel from the first line of the book—”Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it.” A spoiled, high-tempered, and strong-willed sixteen-year-old Southern belle, Scarlett is the eldest of three O’Hara daughters who live an idyllic life on a north Georgia plantation called Tara. In the opening scenes, the O’Haras prepare to entertain their neighbors with a barbecue, and Scarlett plots to capture the man she loves—Ashley Wilkes—from her friend, Melanie. However, Ashley rejects her, and Scarlett’s nemesis, Rhett Butler, overhears her humiliation. Rhett, a wealthy outcast from high society who “looks like one of the Borgias,” is both amused by and interested in Scarlett.

The Civil War
News of the war reaches Tara, and Scarlett’s life and the lives of everyone around her are immediately and irrevocably altered. Frustrated by circumstances and rejected by Ashley, she marries Melanie’s brother, Charles, stealing him away from India Wilkes. Charles goes to war and dies, like most of the young men who attended the O’Haras’ party. Inglorious in Scarlett’s eyes, Charles dies from measles, not fighting. The widowed Scarlett grows restless at her plantation home, and relocates to Atlanta, moving in with her sister-in-law Melanie and her Aunt Pitty. Melanie feels great love and respect for Scarlett, but Scarlett is jealous of her and hates her. Scarlett scandalizes Atlanta society with her defiant refusal to mourn her husband appropriately, and in a key scene dances at a charity ball despite the breach of etiquette such an action creates. Rhett is the winning bidder in the “auction” for her next dance, and though still in love with Ashley Wilkes, Scarlett soon comes to enjoy Rhett’s… » Complete Gone with the Wind Summary