Today's History Lesson continues...
This Day in History: May 23
And, those are not all of the events chronicled on this day...
1785 Bifocals are invented. Ben Franklin was getting old experiencing difficulty seeing both up-close and at a distance. Getting tired of switching between two types of glasses, he devised a way to have both types of lenses fit into the frame. He invented a pair of glasses in which the lenses consist of an upper and lower part, each with a different focusing power.1876 First National League no-hitter pitched by Joe Borden of Boston. On May 23, Borden pitched a two-hit 8–0 shutout victory against the Cincinnati Reds. Various historians claim that this performance was, instead, the first no-hitter thrown in the NL, thus the first in major league history.
1900 First African-American received the U.S. Medal of Honor. Sergeant William Carney of New Bedford, MA, became the first African American awarded the Medal of Honor for "most distinguished gallantry in action" during the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863. After being shot in the thigh, Carney crawled uphill on his knees, bearing the Union flag and urging his troops to follow.
1924 Rayon is officially adopted as the name for artificial silk. Manufacturers thought that the word “artificial” was not very appealing from a marketing standpoint. A nationwide contest was held to find the appropriate name. The prize was $1,000 for the person with the best suggestion. Out of the 10,000 suggestions received, not one was chosen. Finally, a member of the name committee said “Let’s just see if we can shed a Ray of Light on this problem. Why not the word RAYON.” Rayon is derived from a French word meaning “rays of light”. The committee members agreed on rayon as the official name. In 1924 the official name “rayon” was adopted by the National Retail Dry Goods Association.1934 Nylon is invented, by the du Pont Company. Its first commercial use was bristles for toothbrushes. In 1935, DuPont patented the new fiber known as nylon. Know as the miracle fiber, nylon was introduced to the world in 1938. Without the invention of the polymer, nylon, the nylon stockings worn today would be non-existent. Leggings, stockings and socks from the middle ages would be the leg coverings of the day. Legs, showing their shapeliness, would be totally unheard of. Nylons...ooh la la!
“I've been thinking about why you have to get famous to get an award for helping other people...If your name is John Doe, and you work night and day doing things for your helpless neighbors, what you get for your effort is tired. So, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and all of you who give of yourselves, to those who carry too big a burden to make it on their own, I want you to reach out and take your share of this...Because if I have earned it, so too have you.” —Frank Sinatra, while accepting the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award1985 Mother Teresa and Frank Sinatra receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Pres. Reagan. Mother Teresa received her last major award when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by United States President Ronald Reagan, who described Mother Teresa as; "a heroine of our times". Despite the fact that this award was traditionally given to US citizens, President Reagan explained that "the goodness in some hearts transcends all national boundaries". As for Frank Sinatra, no references are found as to why he received the medal, apart from the fact of his being a Hollywood friend of Ronald Reagan. It is known, however, besides being an entertainment legend and icon, Sinatra was a wonderful humanitarian.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with the comparable Congressional Gold Medal, bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award of the United States. It recognizes those individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."