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by Allen J. Sheinman | May 04, 2012
The list


May 1, 1873:
First U.S. postcard issued, quickly followed by first use of eventual cliché, "Wish you were here."

May 5, 1494: Christopher Columbus discovers Jamaica, takes a few puffs of local herb proferred by residents, resumes voyage and dubs Native Americans "Indians."

May 5, 1955: Landmark Broadway hit "Damn Yankees" opens; title reportedly coined by a Boston Red Sox fan.

May 6, 1840: First adhesive postage stamp issued, enabling eventual major Seinfeld plot development involving George's fiancée Susan.

May 9, 1869: Transcontinental Railroad completed, but it doesn't draw much interest until development of the bar car.

May 14, 1804: Lewis and Clark Expedition begins, stops while Clark goes back for his sunglasses, begins again.

May 16, 1866: Congress authorizes creation of the nickel coin, giving rise to enhanced version of old "Don't dime me" complaint.

May 17, 1792: The New York Stock Exchange is establshed, leading to novel new way to lose everything.

May 20, 1927: Charles Lindbergh begins historic solo flight across Atlantic Ocean, almost quits mid-journey when he learns he's being charged for bringing a change of clothes.

May 24, 1883:
The Brooklyn Bridge, linking the then city of Brooklyn to Manhattan, opens to traffic -- and purchase by gullible tourists.

May 28, 1887:
Polish-American chemist Kasimir Fajans born, credited with formulating landmark concepts concerning the heat of hydration of gaseous ions, findings likely made possible in part by his mother's heavy Polish-American cooking.