May 14 Today in History and the Word of the Day

Today’s Important Historical Events

1787 Delegates gather in Philadelphia to draw up US Constitution

1796 English country doctor Edward Jenner administers his revolutionary cowpox-based vaccine for smallpox, in Berkeley, Gloucestershire

1804 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark‘s expedition commissioned by Thomas Jefferson sets out from St Louis for Pacific Coast

1948 Israel declares independence from British administration

Today’s Historical Events

649 Theodore I ends his reign as Catholic Pope

1027 Robert II of France names his son Henry I as junior King of the Franks

1264 Battle of Lewes, 2nd Barons’ War: Simon de Montfort the younger, Earl of Leicester, defeats English King Henry III

1483 Coronation of Charles VIII of France (“Charles the Affable”)

1509 Battle of Agnadello, French forces under Louis XII defeat the Venetians in Northern Italy

1576 Dutch Council of State replaced by Council of Beroerten

1607 English colonists establish the 1st permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown. Unknown to them they have landed amidst the worst drought in 800 years.

1608 The Protestant Union is founded in Auhausen.

Today’s Historical Events in Film and TV

1897 Oldest continuously operating movie theater in the world, the State Theatre first opens in Washington, Iowa (Guinness World Records)

1938 “The Adventures of Robin Hood”, directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland premieres

1948 WBEN (now WIVB) TV channel 4 in Buffalo, NY (CBS) begins broadcasting

1951 Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC

1964 17th Cannes Film Festival: “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” directed by Jacques Demy wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

1972 24th Emmy Awards: “All in the Family”, Carrol O’Conner & Jean Stapleton win

1973 French film “Day for Night” written and directed by François Truffaut, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud premieres at Cannes (Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film)

1975 Cult feminist film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” written and directed by Chantal Ackerman and starring Delphine Seyrig premieres at Cannes

Today’s Historical Events in Music

1832 Felix Mendelssohn‘s concert overture “Hebrides” premieres in London

1902 Italian tenor Enrico Caruso makes his Covent Garden debut opposite Nellie Melba in Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” in London

1927 “Ain’t She Sweet?” hits #1 on the singles chart by Ben Bernie

1942 World premiere performance of Aaron Copland‘s “Lincoln Portrait” with: Andre Kostelanetz conducting the Cincinnati Symphony in Cincinnati, Ohio

1946 Paul Hindemith‘s “For Those We Love” premieres

1949 “Love Life” closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 252 performances

1951 Sammy Fain and Yip Harburg’s musical “Flahooley” opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 40 performances

1957 Bob Merrill’s musical “New Girl in Town” opens at 46th St Theater, NYC; runs for 432 performances

Today’s Historical Events in Sports

1885 11th Kentucky Derby: Babe Henderson aboard Joe Cotton wins in 2:37.25

1886 12th Kentucky Derby: Paul Duffy aboard Ben Ali wins in 2:36.50

1888 14th Kentucky Derby: George Covington aboard MacBeth II wins in 2:38.00

1890 16th Kentucky Derby: Isaac Murphy aboard Riley wins in 2:45

1906 Flagpole at the White Sox ballpark breaks during pennant-raising

1913 Washington Senator Walter Johnson ends MLB record scoreless streak at 56 innings

1918 Sunday baseball is made legal in Washington, D.C.

1919 44th Preakness: Johnny Loftus aboard Sir Barton wins in 1:53 on way to first Triple Crown

Today’s Word is


Brought to you by


Spiffy / adjective / ˈspi-fē

“Spiffy” is an adjective we use in the English language to describe a person’s clothing and outer appearance. Someone said to be looking “spiffy” is well-dressed and sharp looking in their appearance. While the word doesn’t always apply to high fashion, when we think of the word “spiffy,” we think of elegant, well-dressed partygoers or business persons who have put on their most stunning outfits.

In a Sentence

The new army recruits were looking very “spiffy” in their uniforms.

The groom was looking spiffy in his tuxedo as he awaited the arrival of his bride.

That is quite a spiffy-looking vehicle you’re driving!


Spiffy first entered the English language as an adjective. Etymologists say that “spiffy” was used to describe snappy dressers in the mid-18th century. We first see the word recorded toward the latter end of the 18th century in 1877. Other words derived from “spiffy” include ‘spiffier’ and ‘spifiest.’ All iterations of the word carry the same meaning intending to describe well-dressed people and people wearing high fashion or trending items of their time. “Spiffy” hasn’t changed its definition since its first introduction into the language.


Stylish, Chic


Unfashionable, Old Fashioned

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