On This Day in History: May 19

On May 19, the first British queen consort was executed for crimes that some historians believe she never committed. What else happened today in history?

1536: The Execution of Anne Boleyn

Anne BoleynOn May 19, 1536, Queen Anne, the second wife of Henry VIII, was led to Tower Green, London, where she was executed by sword. She was charged and convicted of high treason, adultery, incest and witchcraft. It is possible that she never committed the crimes and she, and the five men executed two days earlier, were part of a plot to remove the Boleyn faction from court. Her body and head were placed in an elm arrow chest and buried in an unmarked grave at St. Peter ad Vincula. Her body has since been retrieved—at least, historians believe—and has been buried in the peaceful chapel now with a place mark.

1568: Mary, Queen of Scots Escapes to England

After losing a battle days earlier, Mary, Queen of Scots fled for England. She had hoped that her cousin Elizabeth would give her safety. Instead, Elizabeth I of England had her imprisoned, where she remained for the next 19 years. She was eventually executed for treason after Elizabeth signed the death warrant, although Elizabeth wasn’t happy it happened.

Exactly 20 years later, the Spanish Armada would set sail. Queen Elizabeth I had a war with the Spanish on her hands.

1864: Lincoln Wants Soldiers’ Dependents to Get Equal Treatment

President Abraham Lincoln was all for equality, and that showed in his belief that all widows and children of those Abraham Lincolnservice should be given equal treatment. It didn’t matter whether they were black or white. This followed the death Major Lincoln F. Booth at Fort Pillow, which had led to a massacre of black Union forces and is still considered one of the worst acts in the Civil War. By 1866, a bill was passed allowing equal treatment, but Major Booth’s widow is never listed has applying or receiving her widow’s pension.

1943: D-Day Plots Begin

With the United States and United Kingdom now working together in World War II, it was time to finally bring it to an end. President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill planned D-Day on this day, with the date for landing set. Churchill wanted the date to be relatively early to avoid the Allies becoming split and tired, which is something the Axis powers wanted. D-Day would take place on May 1, 1944 and it would be the start of the end of World War II.

Famous Birthdays on May 19

Sculpture Giovanni della Robbia–1469

Pope Innocent XI–1611

Queen Consort of Great Britain, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz–1744

Philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte–1762

Maria Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Spain–1797

First female in the House of Commons Lady Nancy Astor—1879

Political leave Ho Chi Minh—1890

Activist Malcolm X—1925

Journalist James Lehrer—1934

Food and health writer Jane Brody—1941

Comedian Victoria Wood—1953

Basketball player Kevin Garnett—1976

Stay With Me singer Sam Smith—1992


Birthdays from OnThisDay.com, HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Anne Boleyn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Boleyn#/media/File:Anne_boleyn.jpg

Abraham Lincoln: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln#/media/File:Abraham_Lincoln_O-77_matte_collodion_print.jpg

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