May 16 Today in History and the Word of the Day

Today’s Important Historical Events

1920 Joan of Arc (Jeanne D’arc) canonized a saint

1943 Operation Chastise: No. 617 Squadron RAF begins the famous Dambusters Raid, bombing the Möhne and Eder dams in the Ruhr valley with bouncing bombs

1944 1st of 180,000+ Hungarian Jews reach Auschwitz

1989 Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping meet in Beijing and formally end a 30-year rift

2013 Human stem cells are successfully cloned

Today’s Historical Events

955 Octavian, son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, elected Pope John XII

1165 Ramjbam & his family reach Acre Palestine

1204 Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, is crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople

1220 English King Henry III lays the foundation stone for a new Lady Chapel, start of the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey, in London

1527 Florence becomes a republic

1532 Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England

1547 Protestant German monarch surrenders to Karel in Wittenberg

1568 Mary Queen of Scots flees to England

Today’s Historical Events in Film and TV

1929 1st Academy Awards: “Wings”, Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor win

1941 Nazis forbid Dutch Organization of Actors (NOT)

1948 CBS news correspondent George Polk’s body is found in Greece

1954 WGAN (now WGME) TV channel 13 in Portland, ME (CBS) 1st broadcast

1959 WTOM TV channel 4 in Cheboygan, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting

1961 13th Emmy Awards: Jack Benny Show, Raymond Burr & Barbara Stanwyck win

1965 WNJU TV channel 47 in NY-Linden, NY (TEL) begins broadcasting

1965 18th Cannes Film Festival: “The Knack…and How to Get It” directed by Richard Lester wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

Today’s Historical Events in Music

1868 Bedřich Smetana’s opera “Dalibor” premieres at the New Town Theatre in Prague

1941 1st US radio performance of Robert Russell Bennett”s “Symphony in D for the Dodgers”

1946 Irving Berlin, Dorothy and Herbert Fields’ musical “Annie Get Your Gun” starring Ethel Merman and featuring “There’s No Business Like Show Business” opens at Imperial Theater, NYC

1947 Billie Holiday is arrested in her New York apartment for possession of narcotics

1952 “New Faces of 1952” opens at Royale Theater, NYC; runs for 365 performances

1963 “Beast in Me” opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 4 performances

1965 “Roar of the Greasepaint” opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 232 performances

1966 The Beach Boys release their groundbreaking album “Pet Sounds”, containing hit singles “Sloop John B” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, and “God Only Knows”

Today’s Historical Events in Sports

1882 8th Kentucky Derby: Babe Hurd aboard Apollo wins in 2:40.00

1884 10th Kentucky Derby: Isaac Murphy aboard Buchanan wins in 2:40.25

1894 Fire in Boston destroys the South End Grounds baseball stadium and 200 other buildings

1914 American Horseshoe Pitchers Association organizes in Kansas City

1914 Ewing Field baseball park opens near Masonic Street, San Francisco. Relocated a year later.

1916 41st Preakness: Linus McAtee aboard Damrosch wins in 1:54.8

1921 46th Preakness: F Coltiletti aboard Broomspun wins in 1:54.2

1925 51st Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande aboard Flying Ebony wins in 2:07.6

Today’s Word is


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Debonair / adjective / deh·buh·nehr

We use the word “debonair” in the English language as an adjective to describe a person who embodies the characteristics of superior and sophisticated charm. A “debonair” person has a laid-back, relaxed, and carefree attitude that makes others feel comfortable around them and want to be in their presence. Since its inception, the word “debonair” has changed its meaning at least twice.

In a Sentence

The debonair gentleman commanded the attention of everyone in the room when he walked in.

Most true gentlemen will dress in “debonair” suits and ties that attract lots of female attention.

She became enraptured by his confident demeanor and “debonair” style of dress.


Before the 13th-century, the word “debonair” entered language as Middle English with a definition that meant ‘meek or courteous. Around the same time, there was another definition of “debonair,” Old French meaning ‘to have a pleasant disposition.’ English speakers adopted the word “debonair” in the early 13th-century. They used the word to represent people raised in a genteel fashion and those that ‘came from good homes.’ We use the word in English to represent dynamic people with outstanding people skills that can mesmerize everyone around them with their charm.


Suave, Refined


Unsophisticated, Uncharming