30 fun facts for May, 15

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
May 15 symbolizes the beginning of the jet-age in aviation, the end of the Paraguayan War, and Mickey Mouse's debut. It is a day to celebrate families, conscientious objectors, and even chocolate chips. Edith Cresson broke barriers in France, and Jessica Watson set a record as the youngest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe.
30 Fun facts
  1. In 1793, Spanish inventor Diego Marín Aguilera successfully tested his homemade glider, becoming the first European to achieve sustained human flight. Aguilera's flight, which took place in Coruña del Conde, Spain, lasted for about 360 meters before ending in a crash.
  2. On May 15, 1836, the first American patent for a horse-drawn lawn mower was registered. Edwin Beard Budding, an engineer from Stroud, England, invented the lawn mower and later received a British patent for it in 1830.
  3. In 1858, the Royal Italian Opera House in London opened its doors for the first time, going on to become the world-famous Royal Opera House. Designed by architect Edward Middleton Barry, the opera house is an iconic cultural institution located in Covent Garden.
  4. On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help agricultural growth and farming/food safety standards. The USDA's mission today includes a focus on rural development, food safety, conservation, and research in agriculture and farming.
  5. May 15, 1911, marks the day when the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case resulted in the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly, one of the largest corporate trusts of its time, into 33 independent companies.
  6. The Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance, ended on May 15, 1870. The conflict involved Paraguay fighting against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The war resulted in a significant loss of life and territory for Paraguay.
  7. In 1928, Walt Disney's iconic character Mickey Mouse made his debut in a film called "Plane Crazy." The silent film short, which was not initially well-received, was later re-released with synchronized sound and became a hit.
  8. On May 15, 1930, Ellen Church made history as the first female flight attendant to fly with United Airlines. Church was a registered nurse who paved the way for future flight attendants and revolutionized in-flight customer service.
  9. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Empire State Building was officially opened on May 15, 1931. At the time, the building was the tallest in the world, towering at 1,454 feet (443.2 meters) above New York City.
  10. The Philippines celebrate National Family Day on May 15. Established in 1996, this day aims to promote and strengthen family values, highlighting the importance of bonding and communication within Filipino families.
  11. On May 15, 1940: Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the United States. This new material offered a more affordable alternative to traditional silk stockings and became popular across the country.
  12. In 1941, the first British jet-engine aircraft, the Gloster E.28/39, took its maiden flight. The test flight marked the beginning of the jet-age in aviation, leading to the development of faster and more advanced aircraft.
  13. May 15, 1957, saw the launch of the UK's first nuclear weapon, Blue Danube, which was part of Britain's atomic bomb program. Responsibility for the bomb was handed over to the Royal Air Force, establishing the UK as a nuclear power.
  14. On this day in 1960, the first contraceptive pill was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The pill, known as Enovid, revolutionized family planning and women's reproductive health worldwide.
  15. In 1963, the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9, was launched with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper Jr. aboard. This mission marked the end of America's first human spaceflight program, and Cooper set a record for the longest solo spaceflight, lasting over 34 hours.
  16. In 1970, the Beatles' final studio album, "Let It Be," was released in the United States. The album, which had been recorded in 1969, was later adapted into a documentary film.
  17. FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the United States, first opened its doors on May 15, 1862, in Baltimore, Maryland. The store's legacy includes its iconic Fifth Avenue location in New York City, which closed in 2015 and reopened at Rockefeller Center in 2018.
  18. On May 15, 1972, former Alabama Governor George Wallace was shot and paralyzed during a campaign stop in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace, who was running for the Democratic nomination for president, survived the assassination attempt.
  19. May 15 is International Day of Families, which was established by the United Nations in 1993. The day aims to promote the importance of families and celebrate the role they play in society, as well as to raise awareness of various social and economic issues that impact families worldwide.
  20. In 1988, Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The war had lasted for over nine years and resulted in significant casualties on both sides.
  21. On May 15, 1991, Edith Cresson became the first woman Prime Minister of France. Cresson served as Prime Minister for just under a year but maintained a long career in French politics.
  22. International Conscientious Objectors Day falls on May 15, which pays tribute to those who have refused to participate in military service on moral or religious grounds. The day is observed globally and aims to raise awareness about conscientious objection and support those who choose this path.
  23. Peace Officers Memorial Day, observed annually on May 15 in the United States, honors federal, state, and local officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. The day was established by US President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
  24. In 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that their state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This landmark decision marked a significant step in LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, leading to the eventual nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.
  25. May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day in the United States. The day celebrates the tasty addition to cookies, pancakes, and other treats, honoring its invention by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1937.
  26. On May 15, 2010, Jessica Watson became the youngest person ever to complete a solo, non-stop, and unassisted sail around the world. The Australian sailor completed the journey at just 16 years old, returning to Sydney to a hero's welcome.
  27. In 2013, the World Health Organization officially declared the novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV) a threat to global health. The virus, originating in Saudi Arabia, caused severe respiratory illness and had a high mortality rate.
  28. May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day in the Netherlands, celebrating the same sweet treat as its American counterpart.
  29. Each year, May 15 is marked by the Lemon Street Fair, a German tradition that dates back to 1653. The fair takes place in the town of Speyer and features food, drinks, and lemon-themed attractions.
  30. In Korea, May 15 is known as Teacher's Day, a day set aside to honor and show appreciation for educators. The day serves as a platform for students to express their gratitude for their teachers' dedication and hard work.