May 15th in history:
Some famous storytellers were born on May 15th. They include twins Anthony and Peter Shaffer (1926). Anthony wrote the play “Sleuth,” while Peter is famous for “Equus” and “Amadeus.” It’s also the birthday of L. Frank Baum (1856), who took readers to the Emerald City down the road of yellow brick in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
It may not have a yellow-brick road, but it does have a Golden Nugget (casino). The city of Las Vegas was founded on May 15th, 1905, when 110 acres of railroad property were auctioned off.
And the home of the Golden Arches and Chicken McNuggets was established on May 15th, 1940, when the McDonalds – brothers Dick and Mac – opened a restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
October 24 in history:
Here’s a holiday experiment that didn’t work: moving Veterans’ Day away from the traditional date of November 11th. The holiday, originally called Armistice Day, observed the date on which World War I ended in 1918. But starting in 1971, Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Presidents’ Day all became Monday holidays for federal government employees. Veterans’ Day was switched to the fourth Monday in October…and was observed that way for the last time on October 24th, 1977, before being returned to November 11th.
October 24th of 1951 was designated the last day of World War II by President Truman. Germany and Japan both surrendered to the Allies in 1945, but the European war never officially ended with a peace treaty. Truman apparently got tired of waiting to reach an agreement with a divided Germany, so he declared the war to be over.
Over the falls in a barrel…that where Annie Edson Taylor went on her 46th birthday, October 24th, 1901. She became famous as the first woman to ride over Niagara Falls inside a barrel.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford went over a cliff in a famous scene from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which opened around the U.S. on this date in 1969. Both Redford and Newman won Oscars in the 1980s, as did two actors who were born on October 24th: F. Murray Abraham (1939), who starred in “Amadeus,” and Kevin Kline (1947), a winner for “A Fish Called Wanda.”