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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What significant historical events occurred on May 22?

May 22 has been a day of notable historical events. For instance, on May 22, 1843, the Great Migration kicked off with a wagon train of 1,000 settlers departing from Missouri for Oregon. Additionally, on May 22, 1906, Orville and Wilbur Wright were granted U.S. Patent No. 821,393 for their "Flying Machine," marking a pivotal moment in aviation history. These events reflect the spirit of exploration and innovation characteristic of the date.

Are there any important scientific milestones that took place on May 22?

Yes, May 22 marks a significant scientific milestone. On this day in 1906, the Wright brothers secured their patent for the airplane, which laid the groundwork for the future of human flight. This invention revolutionized transportation and had profound implications for the 20th century and beyond, making it one of the most critical achievements in the field of aeronautics.

Has May 22 been influential in the field of exploration?

Indeed, May 22 has been influential in the field of exploration. The launch of the Great Migration on May 22, 1843, is a prime example. Thousands of settlers embarked on a journey along the Oregon Trail, which became one of the most significant mass migrations in American history. This event was crucial in the westward expansion of the United States and the subsequent development of the American frontier.

What notable cultural or entertainment events have occurred on May 22?

While May 22 is primarily noted for historical and scientific events, it has also seen cultural moments. For example, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes, was born on May 22, 1859. His literary contributions have had a lasting impact on mystery and detective fiction, influencing countless works and adaptations in the entertainment industry.

How has May 22 been marked in recent history?

In recent history, May 22 has continued to be a day where notable events occur, although they may not always be as groundbreaking as those in the past. For instance, political elections, natural disasters, or significant announcements in the tech industry could take place on this date. Each year brings the potential for new developments that may be remembered in future historical accounts of May 22.

Discussion Comments


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.


@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.


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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