Looking Back: On May 15…

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Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It was renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.

In1864, during the Battle of New Market in the Civil War, students from the Virginia Military Institute fought alongside the Confederate Army to force Union Gen. Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.

In 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.

In 1891, Pope Leo XIII defended workers’ rights and property rights in the encyclical Rerum Novarum, the beginning of modern Catholic social teaching.

In 1911, in Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and ordered the company to be broken up.

In 1928, the Walt Disney Co. unveiled Mickey Mouse in the cartoon Plane Crazy.

In 1940, after fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrendered to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation during World War II.

In 1940, McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif.

In 1942, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.

In 1953, Cub master Don Murphy organized the first pinewood derby in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

In 1957, at Malden Island in the Pacific Ocean, Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb in Operation  Grapple.

In 1963, the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper on board, was launched. He became the first American to spend more than a day in space.

In 1969, then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan had an impromptu student park owned by University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, which sparked a riot called Bloody Thursday.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army generals.

In 1972, in Laurel, Md.Arthur Bremer shot and paralyzed Alabama Gov. George Wallace while he is campaigning to become president.

In 1991, Edith Cresson became France’s first female premier.

In 2010, Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail nonstop and unassisted around the world solo.

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