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What Happened on May 22?

  • Lyndon B. Johnson presented his goals for the "Great Society." (1964) Johnson outlined his goal to create a "Great Society" through social reform at a speech at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor on this day. The most long-lasting programs of the Great Society include Medicaid and Medicare.

  • The Pact of Steel was signed. (1939) Italy and Germany allied themselves with the Pact of Steel on this day, forming the basis for the Axis powers, which would later include Japan. Despite the fact that the two became allies, Hitler and Mussolini still did not trust each other, so the pact was a very uneasy alliance even after the Tripartite Agreement Pact in 1940, when Japan joined.

  • The Great Train Robbery took place. (1868) The Reno gang hit a train going through Marshfield, Indiana, and made off with around $96,000 US Dollars (USD) in cash, gold, and bonds.

  • The Great Emigration set out for Oregon. (1843) Over 1,000 settlers left Independence, Missouri, on this day in the Great Emigration on the Oregon Trail. It was one of the largest parties to ever use the trail.

  • Pac-man was released. (1980) Namco released the phenomenally popular arcade game in Japan on this day. An instant hit, Pac-man is still considered a landmark in video gaming history.

  • Aaron Burr was indicted for treason. (1807) Burr, Jefferson's former vice president, was accused of conspiring to help Mexico overthrow Spanish rule in hopes of founding his own country in Mexican territory. He was indicted by a grand jury, but was later acquitted.

  • The first battle of the War of the Roses was fought. (1455) Yorkist forces defeated Henry VI's forces near London, starting a dynastic war that would last for over 30 years.

  • Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show for the last time. (1992) Carson was an American entertainment staple, and had hosted the Tonight Show on NBC for over 30 years.

  • The Amnesty Act of 1872 went into effect. (1872) President Ulysses Grant signed the act, which granted amnesty to all but about 500 Confederate supporters, allowing over 150,000 former Confederate soldiers and supporters the right to vote again.

  • President Nixon visited Moscow. (1972) Nixon had been to Moscow before as a vice president, but this was his first presidential visit. Nixon and Brezhnev reached a number of agreements, including the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, which limited the amount of antiballistic missiles each country could have.
Discussion Comments
By Krunchyman — On May 24, 2014

When I was in grade school, I remember learning about the train robbery of 1868. However, the funny thing is that you don't hear about these kinds of robberies anymore. Maybe it's because they're so old fashioned. As an example, just look at the old western movies.

By Viranty — On May 23, 2014

@Chmander - As a kid, I enjoyed Pac-man too. However, I don't like what they did with him in the newer games. Have you seen the way he's designed? They pretty much ruined what made his older games so good. However, they have to create him for the new generation, and I guess most kids nowadays don't have the patience for the challenging yet charming arcade style.

By Chmander — On May 22, 2014

Without a doubt, Pac-man is one of the more important figures in the video game world. One thing I've always enjoyed about his games is how simple yet challenging they are. Though all you need to do is eat the dots to win, it's a lot easier said than done. Not only are there tons of levels, but the ghost-like enemies are always after you, and can quickly cause a game over. A simple, nostalgic classic.

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