May 21 Today in History and the Word of the Day

Today’s Important Historical Events

1792 Mount Unzen on Japan’s Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami, killing about 15,000; Japan’s deadliest volcanic eruption

1832 1st US Democratic National Convention held in Baltimore

1871 -July 28] French regular troops attack Commune of Paris; 17,000 die

1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh, in the Spirit of St Louis, lands in Paris after the first solo air crossing of Atlantic

1932 After flying for 17 hours from Newfoundland, Amelia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, becoming the 1st transatlantic solo flight by a woman

Today’s Historical Events

878 Syracuse is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily

879 Pope John VIII gives blessings to duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of the Croatian state

996 Pope Gregory V crowns his cousin Otto III as Holy Roman Emperor in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome

1040 King Henry III gives Utrecht the Groninger currency

1216 French crown prince Louis enters England, having been invited by barons at war with King John

1260 Hao Jing, envoy of Mongol leader Kublai Khan imprisoned by order of the high Chancellor of China, Jia Sidao at the Song Dynasty court of Emperor Lizong while attempting to negotiate with the Song

1281 Kublai Khan‘s second invasion of Japan begins with an attack on Tsushima Island but meets fierce resistance; his troops are forced to withdraw

1382 Earthquake centered on Dover Straits with estimated magnitude of 6.0 causes widespread damage, including to Canterbury Cathedral

Today’s Historical Events in Film and TV

1908 1st American horror movie silent film “Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde” premieres in Chicago

1922 Rollin Kirby’s “On the Road to Moscow” is the 1st cartoon to receive a Pulitzer Prize

1955 WFRV TV channel 5 in Green Bay, Wisconsin (ABC/NBC) begins broadcasting

1956 WITI TV channel 6 in Milwaukee, WI (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting

1968 Paul McCartney and girlfriend Jane Asher attend an Andy Williams concert

1968 WEKW TV channel 52 in Keene, NH (PBS) begins broadcasting

1980 “Star Wars Episode V – Empire Strikes Back”, produced by George Lucas opens in cinemas in UK and North America

1981 Kim Seelbrede, (Ohio), crowned 30th Miss USA

Today’s Historical Events in Music

1892 Ruggero Leoncavallo’s opera “I Pagliacci” premieres in Milan

1941 Singer Johan Heesters visits Dachau concentration camp

1955 Harold Arlen and Truman Capote‘ musical “House of Flowers” closes at Alvin Theater, NYC, after 165 performances

1959 “Gypsy” opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 702 performances

1960 Leontyne Price becomes the first African American to sing the lead at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in “Aida”

1966 “Downtown” by Mrs Miller hits #82

1966 “Time for Singing” opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 41 performances

1966 Louie Louie by The Kingsmen reentered the chart & hits #97

Today’s Historical Events in Sports

1819 1st bicycles (swift walkers) in US introduced in NYC

1866 1st-class debut of cricketer Fred Grace aged 15 years 159 days at the Magdalen Ground, Oxford

1878 4th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Carter aboard Day Star wins in 2:37.25

1881 US National Lawn Tennis Association is established in NYC, New York

1886 14th Preakness: S Fisher aboard Bard wins in 2:45

1891 Australian boxer Peter Jackson and future world heavyweight champion Jim Corbett fight a No Contest in 61 rounds at California Athletic Club, San Francisco

1904 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) forms in Paris

1907 32nd Preakness: G Mountain aboard Don Enrique wins in 1:45.4

Today’s Word is


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Namby-pamby / adjective / nam·by-pam·by

Namby-pamby is the word we use to describe people believed to be lacking in strength or courage. We see someone described as “namby-pamby” as feeble or spineless in response to situations that call for a stronger behavior response.

People often associate the word “namby-pamby” with a male who is behaving in an “effeminate” fashion. Being called a “namby-pamby” is not a compliment. It is a sign that whomever is doing the name-calling lacks respect for the person who is the subject of their verbal attacks.


The English word namby-pamby entered language in the mid-1700s around 1745. We derived it from early Ambrose and adopted it into popular use in the mid-18th century. Etymologists say the word was initially used to describe the characteristics of an English writer ridiculed by the public and leading officials of the time. We use namby-pamby as both an adjective and a noun with its original meaning.

In a Sentence

The namby-pamby just stood by and watched while his family was in danger.

The employees all secretly called their boss a namby-pamby behind his back.

Stop acting like such a namby-pamby and step up to the plate!


Effeminate, Spineless


Backboned, Strong