May 19 Today in History and the Word of the Day

Today’s Important Historical Events

1536 Anne Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason

1643 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England

1649 England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Rump Parliament making England a republic for the next 11 years

1885 German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck takes possession of Cameroon and Togoland

1898 US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards, had to be labelled “Private Mailing Cards” until 1901, known as “souvenir cards”

1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Black Sea coast, beginning the Turkish War of Independence

Today’s Historical Events

715 St Gregory II begins his reign as Catholic Pope

1182 The high altar of Paris cathedral Notre Dame is consecrated by Cardinal Henri de Château-Marçay and Maurice de Sully

1506 Christopher Columbus selects his son Diego Columbus as sole heir

1515 George van Saksen-Meissen sells Friesland for 100,000 gold guilders to arch duke Charles

1517 Philip van Bourgondie installed as bishop of Utrecht

1518 Public unveiling of Titian’s masterpiece “Assumption of the Virgin” a painted altarpiece in the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

1536 Anne Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII, is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason

1547 Monarch Johan Frederik surrenders to Karel

Today’s Historical Events in Film and TV

1968 20th Emmy Awards: “Get Smart”, “Mission Impossible” & Barbara Bain win

1972 WMAV TV channel 18 in Oxford, MS (PBS) begins broadcasting

1972 25th Cannes Film Festival: “The Working Class Goes to Heaven” directed by Elio Petri and “The Mattei Affair” directed by Francesco Rosi jointly awarded the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

1975 27th Emmy Awards: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, Robert Blake & Jean Marsh win

1977 Film “Smokey & the Bandit” starring Burt ReynoldsSally Field and Jackie Gleason premieres in NYC

1980 Ringo & Barbara Bach are involved in a car crash

1982 Sophia Loren jailed in Naples, Italy for tax evasion

1983 Weird Al Yankovic gives live performance at Wax Museum in Washington, D.C.

Today’s Historical Events in Music

1886 Camille Saint-Saëns’ 3rd Symphony in C premieres at St. James Hall, London, with the composer conducting

1911 Maurice Ravel‘s opera “L’Heure Espagnole” premieres at the Opéra-Comique, Paris, France

1958 “South Pacific” soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks

1962 “Bravo, Giovanni” opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 76 performances

1962 “John Birch Society” by Chad Mitchell Trio hits #99

1973 “Daisy A Day” by Jud Strunk hits #14

1973 “Smith” opens at Eden Theater, NYC: runs for 17 performances

1976 Columbia Records releases “Turnstiles”, singer-songwriter Billy Joel‘s fourth studio album

Today’s Historical Events in Sports

1905 Tom Jenkins beats Frank Gotcha for heavyweight wrestling champ

1909 In his first title defence Jack Johnson fights “Philadelphia” Jack O’Brien to a no decision in 6 rounds in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to retain his world heavyweight crown

1912 AL President Ban Johnson tells Tigers if they continue protest of Ty Cobb‘s suspension, they will be banned from baseball

1923 49th Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande wins aboard Zev for his first Derby success

1928 54th Kentucky Derby: Chick Lang aboard Reigh Count wins in 2:10.4

1929 Cloudburst causes stampede in Yankee Stadium, crushes 2 people to death

1935 NFL adopts an annual college draft to begin in 1936

1941 Germany occupiers in Holland forbid bicycle taxis

Today’s Word is

Merry Andrew

Brought to you by

Merry Andrew / noun / mer·ry an·drew

“Merry Andrew” is an archaic definition we use to describe people who behave in a clownish or buffoonish fashion. This early 16th-century noun represents the silly antics or behavior of a person who others consider as being foolish and “jester-like.” Being called a “Merry Andrew” is not a compliment. Someone being called a “Merry Andrew” is being insulted and described as a fool. Merry Andrew is also the name of the 1958 American musical film directed by Michael Kidd and starring famed actor Danny Kaye.

In a Sentence

Look out, here comes that unfunny Merry Andrew from last night’s performance.

A court jester and a Merry Andrew are one and the same.

The king and queen demanded to be entertained by the local Merry Andrew.


We saw the first use of Merry Andrew around the late 16th-century in 1670. Etymologists say the term was used to represent people who were kept around because of their entertaining qualities that regularly included them making foolish jokes and public spectacles of themselves.


Comedian, Jester


Wise, Humorless