May 19, 1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier set sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons, whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage.
May 19, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, a Continental Army garrison surrendered in the Battle of the Cedars.
May 19, 1778 - In Pennsyvlania, the Marquis de Lafayette learned of a British plan to suprise, surround and capture Continentals defending Valley Forge. The attempt made the next day was unsuccessful.
May 19, 1780 – In what’s called “New England's Dark Day,” a combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover caused complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 a.m. Scientists later suggested it was due to a massive wildfire in Canada.
May 19, 1795 – New Hampshire patriot Josiah Bartlett died at the age of 65 in Kingston, N.H. He signed the Declaration of Independence, served as a governor and a Supreme Court chief justice in New Hampshire.
May 19, 1795 - American merchant Johns Hopkins was born on a tobacco plantation in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
May 19, 1796 - The first U.S. game law was approved and called for penalties for hunting or destroying game within Indian territory.
May 19–20, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette stayed in Cincinnati, Ohio.
May 19, 1845 – Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition departed from Greenhithe, England.
May 19, 1848 – During the Mexican–American War, Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million.
May 19, 1856 - Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner began a two-day speech on the Senate floor over the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. On May 22, Southern Congressman Preston Brooks savagely beat Sumner for comments made about South Carolina Senator Andrew D. Butler, Brook's cousin.
May 19, 1858 - A pro-slavery band led by Charles Hameton executed unarmed Free State men near Marais des Cygnes on the Kansas-Missouri border.
May 19, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at City Point and Gaines' Mill, Va. and at Searcy Landing, Ark.
May 19, 1862 - Lincoln rescinded David Hunter's emancipation of the slaves in his department and used the opportunity to call for a gradual emancipation.
May 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant made contact with Rear Admiral David Porter, sailing north from New Orleans with supplies.
May 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, the first assault against Vicksburg, Miss. took place as William Tecumseh Sherman launched a full scale frontal assault against Rebel lines in Vicksburg. He was repulsed with heavy losses, especially near the Stockade Redan.
May 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Siege of Vicksburg began its first day in Mississippi and continued until July 4.
May 19, 1864 – The Battle of Spotsylvania, Va. ended after 12 days of fighting. The battled resulted in 18,000 Union casualities and 12,000 Confederates casualties.
May 19, 1864 - Author Nathaniel Hawthorne died in his sleep at the age of 59 in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
May 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, Congress passed legislation creating the Official Records.
May 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Fayetteville and Norristown, Ark.; at Welaka and Saunders, Fla.; at Kingston, Ga.; at Dandridge, Tenn.; and at Harris' Farm, Va.
May 19, 1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irvinville, Georgia.
May 19, 1873 - Henry Bascom Steagall, longtime Alabama congressman, was born in Clopton in Dale County, Ala. He represented Alabama's Third Congressional District from 1915 until his death in 1943. He was co-sponsor of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, which established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and also introduced banking reforms. Steagall was named chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, in 1931, during Herbert Hoover's presidency early in the Great Depression. It was a time when the public questioned the dependability of banks as a result of the 1929 collapse of the stock market. After his death, Steagall was publicly recognized on the floor of Congress as an important ally for farmers and credited with stabilizing the nation's banking industry. Ozark's National Guard Armory was renamed Fort Henry B. Steagall in his honor in April 1965.
May 19, 1890 – Ho Chi Minh, the first President of Vietnam, was born in Kim Liên, Nghệ An Province, French Indochina.
May 19, 1897 – Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol.
May 19, 1910 - Cy Young of the Cleveland Indians got his 500th pitching win.
May 19, 1912 - American League president Ban Johnson told the Detroit Tigers that if they continued to protest Ty Cobb’s suspension they would be banned from baseball.
May 19, 1914 – The Wilcox Mineral Springs at Schuster, Ala. opened for the Summer Season with John H. McWilliams as proprietor.
May 19, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the “electric light plant was out of commission a couple of nights due to a breakdown of the dynamo.”
May 19, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the “convict camp will be removed this week to the old Grange Hall. The road work will then proceed to Flat Rock. The portable cage for sick prisoners was taken to the camp yesterday.”
May 19, 1918 - The Washington Senators played their first Sunday game and beat Cleveland, 1-0, in 18 innings.
May 19, 1920 – Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, Ala. held its annual commencement exercises, and Dr. J.S. Thomas of the University of Alabama delivered the baccalaureate address. Four boys and six girls were given diplomas, including Rosa Pate, Helen Albreast, Albert Smith, Dewitt Hancock, Edward Suddith and Forrest Castleberry. Prof. Sellers Stough was also elected principal for another year.
May 19, 1925 – Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb.
May 19, 1935 - The National Football League (NFL) adopted an annual college draft to begin in 1936.
May 19, 1935 - T.E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia," died at the age of 46 from injuries in a motorcycle crash in Bovington Camp, Dorset, England.
May 19, 1935 – Evergreen’s baseball team beat Opp, 8-3 and 10-1, in a doubleheader on this Sunday. Skin Hyde pitched both games for Evergreen, giving up just four runs and striking out 10 in 16 innings of work.
May 19, 1941 – The Viet Minh, a communist coalition, formed at Cao Bằng Province, Vietnam.
May 19, 1942 - Paul Waner of the Atlanta Braves became the third National League player to get 3,000 hits.
May 19, 1959 – The North Vietnamese Army established Group 559, whose responsibility was to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route was the Ho Chi Minh trail.
May 19, 1962 – A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy took place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe's sultry rendition of "Happy Birthday."
May 19, 1962 - Stan Musial set the National League hit record when he got his 3,431st hit.
May 19, 1963 - Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" was issued to the public in a press release. Begun April 16 from the Birmingham City Jail, where King was under arrest for participation in civil rights demonstrations, the letter was addressed to eight local clergymen who had recently urged civil rights leaders to use the courts and local negotiations instead of mass demonstrations to promote their cause in Birmingham. King's letter, which soon became a classic text of the civil rights movement, rejected the clergymen's plea.
May 19, 1963 – The New York Post Sunday Magazine published Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
May 19, 1964 - The United States initiated low-altitude target reconnaissance flights over southern Laos by U.S. Navy and Air Force aircraft. Two days later, similar flights were commenced over northern Laos. These flights were code-named Yankee Team and were meant to assist the Royal Lao forces in their fight against the communist Pathet Lao and their North Vietnamese and Viet Cong allies.
May 19, 1970 – Army Spc. Frank Deamon Salter was killed in action in Vietnam.
May 19, 1972 - Units of South Vietnam’s 9th and 21st Divisions, along with several South Vietnamese airborne battalions, opened new stretches of road south of An Loc and came within two miles of the besieged city. In the Central Highlands, North Vietnamese troops, preceded by heavy shelling, tried to break through the lines of South Vietnam’s 23rd Division defending Kontum, but the South Vietnamese troops held firm. These actions were part of the North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive (later called the “Easter Offensive”), a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces on March 30 to strike the blow that would win them the war. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to Quang Tri in the north and Kontum in the Central Highlands, included An Loc farther to the south.
May 19, 1973 - The East v. West All Star Baseball Game of the South Alabama Conference was scheduled to be played on this Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Waltman Field in Johnson Park in Andalusia, Ala. All-Stars from Covington and Crenshaw counties were to play against Butler and Conecuh county all-stars. The game was sponsored by the Andalusia Lions Club with proceeds going to Alabama Sight Conservation. Major League and college scouts were to select five players to go to Mobile the following Saturday to play in the Southern Division game. All-Stars chosen from Conecuh County included Charlie Johnson and Wavie Ausby of Evergreen and Steve Anthony and Jackie Gorum of Lyeffion.
May 19, 1974 - Erno Rubik invented the puzzle what would later become known as the Rubik's Cube.
May 19, 1976 – NBA power forward and center Kevin Garnett was born in Greenville, S.C. He went on to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets.
May 19, 1988 - The Boston Red Sox retired Bobby Doerr's No. 1 jersey
May 19, 1993 – Two people were killed on Interstate Highway 65 when the Conecuh County Road 22 overpass collapsed and fell across the southbound lane of the interstate. In July 1993, two lawsuits were filed in Conecuh County Circuit Court by the families of the two people killed in the tragic accident.
May 19, 1994 – The Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places (13 Alabama Ghosts)
May 19, 1999 – Hope Well Church at Furman in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
May 19, 1999 – The Stanley School near Florala in Covington County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
May 19, 1999 - "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released in the U.S., and it set a new record for opening day sales at $28.5 million.
May 19, 2002 – The last episode of “The X-Files” aired on Fox.
May 19, 2002 - Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees got his 287th win and tied for 22nd place on the all-time victory list.
May 19, 2005 - "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" brought in $50.0 million in its opening day.
May 19, 2016 – J.U. Blacksher High School’s varsity baseball team dropped a pair of games in the Class 1A state finals, 9-8 and 3-2, to Decatur Heritage, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A. Blacksher won the series opener the day before, 6-3, but came up short in the last two games, which were both played at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. Blacksher’s runner-up finish was the school’s best ever finish in baseball.