14 May 1942

14 May 1942

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14 May 1942




French authorities on Martinique agree to allow the United States to open bases on the island. Three French warships present at Martinique are neutralised.


From the Age of Enlightenment to the Christmas Truce, learn about some of history's most pivotal events.

Fearless Females: Our Women's History Quiz

The Secret South Carolina 'Monkey Farm' That Helped Develop the Polio Vaccine

What Is Transcendentalism and How Did It Change America?

5 Events in Hispanic History You Never Learned in School

Historical Figures

From Musketeers to Nazis, Archimedes to Harriet Tubman, these famous historical figures changed the course of history -- for better or worse.

Dolores Huerta, the Labor Activist Behind the Slogan '¡Sí, Se Puede!'

How Robert the Bruce, Inspired by a Spider, Won Scottish Independence

William James Sidis Is Likely the Smartest Man to Have Ever Lived

How John Muir Helped Pave the Way for the National Park System

History vs. Myth

You don’t need fiction when history provides you with tales as crazy as the ones we’ve collected for you. Read up while your jaw drops.

The Ridiculous History of the Chastity Belt

The Curse of Beauty: How Helen of Troy Was Blamed for Sparking the Trojan War

What 'Bridgerton' Gets Wrong – and Right – About Regency England

The Ouroboros Is More Than Just a Cool Tattoo


No matter how knowledgeable you are about European history, there's always more to learn! Get an in-depth look at European history in these articles.

Finland Is Definitely Happy, but Is it Part of Scandinavia?

Tuscan Wine Windows: Charming Remnants of Ancient Social Distancing

Who's Buried at Père Lachaise, the Largest Cemetery in Paris?

When Medieval Pilgrims Wore Badges to Ward Off Plague

North America

From the southern tip of Florida to the Alaskan wilderness, explore North American history in-depth in the North American history section.

Systemic Racism Is More Than Simple Prejudice

How Do the 5 U.S. Territories Differ From the 50 States?

The Chelsea Hotel Is New York's Legendary Hotel for Artists and Dreamers

Which Native American Nations Are the 'Five Civilized Tribes'?

World History

HowStuffWorks looks at the history and culture of places from all over the world.

19 Amazing Facts About the Canadian Provinces

A Border Runs Through It: Name These Spots That Straddle Two Places

5 Reasons Why the Bay of Pigs Invasion Failed

Deciphering the History, Symbols and Sounds of Egyptian Hieroglyphics

World Wars

World wars and conflicts have shaped the course of history as countries stuggle to maintain a balance of power. In this section topics such as the Korean War, Vietnam and both World Wars are explored.

USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) - A New Design

With the US entry into World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Essex-class became the US Navy's standard design for fleet carriers. The first four ships after Essex followed the type's original design. In early 1943, the US Navy made modifications to improve future vessels. The most noticeable of these was the lengthening the bow to a clipper design which allowed for the addition of two quadruple 40 mm mounts. Other alterations included moving the combat information center below the armored deck, installation of improved aviation fuel and ventilation systems, a second catapult on the flight deck, and an additional fire control director. Though known as the "long-hull" Essex-class or Ticonderoga-class by some, the US Navy made no distinction between these and the earlier Essex-class ships.

Improvements and fixes in the update

May 2021 updates

May 06 release

The following updates are available for Surface Laptop Go devices running Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, or greater.

Windows Update History Name

Surface – Firmware -

Improves USB 2.0 stability and device reliability.

Intel Corporation – Display -

Intel(R) UHD Graphics – Display

Address display flicker issues and improves graphics stability.

Surface - System -

Surface System Aggregator– Firmware

Improves battery reporting.

Surface Serial Hub Driver - System

Improves device stability by addressing critical bugcheck.

Intel Corporation - Bluetooth -

Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth - Bluetooth

Addresses critical security vulnerabilities and improves connection stability.

Intel(R) WiFi 6 AX201 160MHz - Network adapters

Addresses critical security vulnerabilities and improves connection stability.

Surface - Firmware -

Surface Dock Firmware Update

Improves stability when connected to an external display via Surface Dock 2.

The following updates are available for Surface Laptop Go devices running Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, or greater.

Windows Update History Name

Intel Corporation - System -

Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) OED - System devices

Improves audio performance and battery life.

Intel Corporation - System - 10.24.4813.245

Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) OED - System devices

Improves audio performance and battery life.

Realtek Semiconductor Corp. - Media - 6.0.9083.3

Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) - Sound, video, and game controllers

Improves audio performance and device stability.

Realtek Semiconductor Corp. - SoftwareComponent - 11.0.6000.92

Realtek Hardware Support Application - Software components

Improves audio performance and device stability.

Realtek Semiconductor Corp. - Extension -

Realtek Device Extension - Extn

Improves integration between system services.

Surface - System -

Surface Integration - System devices

Improves integration between system services.

Intel(R) WiFi 6 AX201 160MHz - Network adapters

Improves Wi-Fi reliability and stability.

Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth - Bluetooth

Improves Bluetooth reliability and stability.

The following updates are available for Surface Laptop Go devices running Windows 10 November 2019 Update, version 1909, or greater.

Windows Update History Name

Realtek – SoftwareComponent - 11.0.6000.92

Realtek Hardware Support Application - Software devices

Improves audio performance while streaming content.

Realtek Semiconductor Corp. - extension -

Realtek High Definition Audio (SST) Extension - no Device Manager notes

Improves integration between system services and stability.

Realtek Semiconductor Corp. - media - 6.0.9014.1

Realtek High Definition Audio(SST) - Sound, video, and game controllers

Improves audio performance and resolves the associated system bugcheck.

Surface – Batteries –

Surface Battery - Batteries

Resolves the issue where the battery icon is not available in the taskbar.

Surface - System devices -

Surface Integration Service Device - System devices

Improves integration between system services and resolves an issue with telemetry reporting.

Intel(R) WiFi 6 AX201 160MHz - Network adapters

Intel Corporation - Bluetooth -

Intel(R) Wireless Bluetooth - Bluetooth

Improves Bluetooth stability.

Surface – Firmware –

Addresses security updates and improves system stability.

The following updates are available for all Surface Laptop Go devices running Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, or greater.

Windows Update History Name

ELAN Finger Print - Biometric - 3.15.12011.10134

Fingerprint Sensor - Biometric devices

Improves Windows Hello Fingerprint reader performance.

Surface System Telemetry Driver - System device

Facilitates power and thermal related data analysis.

Surface – Firmware –

Improves system stability.

&aposJudge Judy&apos

In September 1996, Judge Judy first appeared in national syndication. The show rapidly established itself as a roaring success, largely based on the strength of Sheindlin&aposs powerful personality. In February 1999, Judge Judy won the No. 1 slot for syndicated shows. She even began to edge out Oprah in some major markets, including New York. By August 1999, the show averaged some 7 million viewers per week. 

The success of Judge Judy spawned the creation of numerous other daytime court shows, including Judge Joe Brown, Judge Hatchett and Judge Mathis. Judge Judy has been one of the most successful shows in daytime television, reaching more than 10 million viewers daily.

In a March 2020 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Sheindlin indicated that Judge Judy would cease taping new episodes after its 25th season, and that a new show was in the works.

Study reveals the Nazis murdered 1.47 million Jews in 100 days during 1942

Joe Millis is a journalist

More than one million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in just three months in 1942, new research has revealed.

This means that the Nazis and their accomplices were murdering up to 15,000 Jews a day during Operation Reinhart, the Germans’ genocide programme, said Tel Aviv University mathematical biologist Professor Lewi Stone.

Stone, writing in Science Advances journal, suggests that the murder rate had previously been greatly underestimated.

He wrote: “This study identifies an extreme phase of hyper-intense killing when over 1.47 million Jews – more than 25 per cent of the Jews killed in all six years of World War Two – were murdered by the Nazis in three month surge.

“The kill rate in the Operation Reinhard period is approximately 83 per cent higher than the commonly suggested figure for Rwanda – indicating previous comparisons have been based on incorrect accounting.”

Stone said he found that the scale of the Holocaust had been underestimated because many records of killings were destroyed by the Nazis.

However, he uncovered a major clue in the records of Deutsche Reichsbahn – the German National Railway – which transported millions of Jewish victims to death camps.

These “special trains” were kept on strict time schedules, and reveal how deadly the Holocaust really was.

Late Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad compiled German data on 480 train deportations from 393 Polish towns and ghettos to three death camps: Belzec Sobibor and Treblinka.

Using Arad’s data, Stone estimated the number of victims on each transport, and then calculated the rate at which the Nazis were killing Jews.

The study found that most of the murders occurred in August, September and October of 1942, when 1.7m victims of Operation Reinhardt, roughly 1.32m (or 78 percent) were slaughtered.

It also suggests that around a quarter of all Holocaust victims were murdered during these three months.

Stone believes the Nazi murder campaign could have continued at this rate, but only if there had been more victims living in German-occupied Poland.

Instead, wrote Stone, the murder rate “tapered off in November 1942, as a result of there being essentially no one left to kill”.

A Holocaust Educational Trust spokesperson commented: “The Holocaust was the defining episode of the 20th Century and it is easy to be overwhelmed by the vast number of Jews murdered by the Nazis during that time.

“This research confirms what historians have always known – that the scale and speed of the murders in the Holocaust in the second half of 1942 were unparalleled in human history. This helps us to understand what made the Holocaust unprecedented: even in the long and terrible history of genocide, this was the only time that an entire group – the Jewish people – were targeted for complete extermination.

“It is crucial that we continue to research this dark period of history, unearthing new material, as well as listen to the eyewitnesses. For some, the Holocaust is still within living memory and our work to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today is vitally important.”

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100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity.

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

14 May 1942 - History

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

Before the United States entered World War II, it started preparing for conflict. In preparation for war, Eleanor Roosevelt began advocating for women to have a greater role in the military. Prior to WWII, many were not willing to allow women into the forces. Thousands of women had worked as nurses in the Army, Marines, and Navy nursing corps during WWI, but they had not fought. In May 1941, Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts introduced a bill to create a women’s auxiliary army. However, it took Congress a full year to approve the measure. The bill gave women the option to volunteer for women’s units attached to the military, but women were not drafted. The goal of including women in the military was to fill non-combat roles, which would free up men for combat. Women worked in a wide variety of jobs including cook, secretary, and mechanic.

Col Oveta Culp Hobby (right) with Auxiliary Margaret Peterson and Capt Elizabeth Gilbert

In May 1942, the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) was created and attached to, but not integrated into the Army. Oveta Culp Hobby was appointed director of the WAAC. In 1943, the name changed to the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), when the group was given full military status. Other branches of the military quickly followed suit. The Navy formed the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) in July 1942. The Marine Corps Women’s Reserves was also formed in July 1942, although it would take months before woman were able to join. The Coast Guard created the SPARs in February 1943, which was short for their motto “Semper Paratus”, meaning “Always Ready”. The Air Force, was still part of the army, did not accept women into its ranks. Instead civilian women were employed to fly planes from production plants to bases in the US. These women were not given military status in wartime, but President Jimmy Carter recognized their military status in 1977.

US Naval Cadet Nurse Kay Fukuda

Each of the women’s groups had different entry requirements. The WAVES, for example, only accepted women between 20 and 36 years old, while the WAC allowed women to enlist up to the age of 50. Although women were given new opportunities and filled over 200 different kinds of non-combat roles, there was still segregation and racism in the groups. Initially, the WAC was the only women’s organization that allowed African American women to serve. However, the number of black women given places in the WAC was limited to a 10% quota. This cap was set by the military to reflect the proportion of black civilians to the total US population. Once African American women gained entrance to the WAC, they often faced discrimination. Japanese American women also faced discrimination. They were barred from serving with the WAC until November 1943 and the navy banned them from serving during wartime. Many other ethnic groups also volunteered for the forces including Native American and Chinese American women.

Women, whatever their ethnic background, often had to fight negative portrayals of their involvement in the military. Many people questioned the women’s character and morality. As a result, women were urged by military officials to maintain their “feminine” appearance by wearing makeup and nail polish.

Naval air base, Corpus Christi, Texas

The WAC was the only branch of the women’s military that was allowed to send members overseas. As a result, WACs were involved in every theatre of war. When the war ended in 1945, the continued existence of women in the military was in question. In 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which established women as a permanent part of the military. Today, World War II servicewomen’s contributions to the nation are remembered at the World War II Memorial and The Women in Military Service for America Memorial, both located in Washington, DC.

  1. How and when was the Women’s Auxilliary Army Corps created?
  2. What other women’s units were formed in the military during World War II?
  3. What types of roles did women fill in the services?
  4. What were the regulations governing African American women’s involvement in the WAC?
  5. What made the WAC different from the other women’s units serving in the military in WWII?
  6. How are servicewomen’s wartime efforts remembered today?

Earley, Charity Adams. One Woman’s Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1989.

Yellin, Emily. Our Mother’s War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2004.

Online Encyclopedia Entry

McEuen, Melissa A. “Women, Gender, and World War II.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, June 2016. Accessed July 14, 2017. http://americanhistory.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-55

The Women’s War Memorial. “Women’s War Memorial.” Accessed July 25, 2017. https://www.womensmemorial.org/

Moore, Brenda L. Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military During World War II. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2003.

Putney, Martha S. When the Nation was in Need: Blacks in the Women's Army Corps During World War II. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 1992.

Puerto Rico's History

Taíno Indians who inhabited the territory, called the island Boriken or Borinquen which means: "the great land of the valiant and noble Lord" or "land of the great lords". Today this word -used in various modifications- is still popularly used to designate the people and island of Puerto Rico. The Taíno Indians, who came from the Orinoco River in present Venezuela, inhabited the major portion of the island when the Spaniards arrived. The Taíno Indians, lived in small villages or "bateyes", and were organized in clans, led by a Cacique, or chief. They were a peaceful people who, with a limited knowledge of agriculture, lived on such domesticated tropical crops as pineapples, cassava, and sweet potatoes supplemented by seafood.

On April 17, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain signed the agreement to finance and set the terms of Columbus's voyage to the Indies. The document is known as the Capitulations of Santa Fe. The agreement established that Columbus would become the viceroy and governor of all discovered land and rights to 10% of all assets brought to Spain, among other terms.

On August 3, the fleet of three ships --the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María-- set forth from Palos, Spain. The first sighting of land came at dawn on October 12. They landed at San Salvador, in the Bahamas. Thinking he had reached the East Indies, Columbus referred to the native inhabitants of the island as "Indians," a term that was ultimately applied to all indigenous peoples of the New World.

After the success of Columbus's first voyage, he had little trouble convincing Ferdinand and Isabela of Spain, to follow up immediately with a second voyage. Unlike the exploratory first voyage, the second voyage was a massive colonization effort. On September 25, Christopher Columbus set sail from Cádiz, Spain with 17 ships and almost 1,500 men. The second voyage brought European livestock (horses, sheep, and cattle) to America for the first time.

On November 19, Christopher Columbus discovered the island in his second voyage to the New World. He found the island populated by as many as 50,000 Taíno or Arawak Indians. The Taíno Indians who greeted Columbus made a big mistake when they showed him gold nuggets in the river and told him to take all he wanted. Originally the newcomers called the island San Juan Bautista, for St. John the Baptist and the town was named Puerto Rico ("rich port") for its abundance of natural resources, specially gold and its excellent location. It was not until later that the two names were switched. Thanks in part to the enthusiasm of ambitious Juan Ponce de León, a lieutenant to Columbus, the city of Puerto Rico, it quickly became Spain's most important military outpost in the Caribbean.

The Spanish Crown permitted export of slaves to America.

Governor Nicolás de Ovando opposes the importing of slaves.

First slaves arrive in Hispañola.

On March 25, Vicente Yañez Pinzón Captain was appointed "corregidor" of the island San Juan Bautista and governor of the fort that he was to construct therein.

On May 20, Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid, Spain.

Spanish colonization begins. King Ferdinand II of Aragon assigned Ponce de León to lead an official expedition to the island.

On January 14, first school in Puerto Rico was established in Caparra.

On June 15, 1508, Nicolas de Ovando, the viceroy of Espanola (Hispaniola), granted Ponce de Leon the privilege to explore and subjugate the island of San Juan Bautista.

On August 8, Juan Ponce de León founded the Caparra Village near the bay on the north coast, not far from the modern city of San Juan. It became the first European settlement in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican archeologist, Don Ricardo Alegria estimated that the island had some 30,000 inhabitants.

The Spanish authorities refused to grant to Diego Columbus (Christopher's son) privileges to all discovered land, as a results, the Crown officially appointed Juan Ponce de León governor of the island.

The first repartimiento in Puerto Rico was established, this system consisted of distributing among officials and colonists fixed numbers of Indians for wage-free and forced labor.

The Spanish Crown instituted the encomienda after several priests protested against the treatment to Indians under the repartimiento system. The terms of the new agreement specified that Spaniards were obliged to pay the Indians for their labor and to teach them the Christian religion, but they soon reduced the Indians to a condition of abject slavery, claiming that the Indians were inferior and subhuman therefore Indians were forced to work from dawn until dusk, under threat of corporal punishment and death.

In his book "La colonización de Puuerto Rico", historian Salvador Brau states that the repartimiento recorded 60,000 Indians, six years later in 1515, only 14,636 remained.

Juan Garrido is the first African identified in Puerto Rico. A free man, he arrived with the Ponce De León expedition. Garrido later participates in the colonization of Florida and serves with Spanish explorer Hernan Cortex in the conquest of Mexico.

Differences between Spaniards and Taíno Indians began and conflicts soon arose as the settlers began subjugating the Taino.

The Cacique Urayoán ordered his warriors to drown Diego Salcedo to determine whether or not the Spaniards were immortal, as they believed that Spanish colonizers had divine powers. It is told that after they drowned Diego, they watched him for several days until they were sure that he was dead.

The Taíno Indians' after learning through the drowning of Diego Salcedo, that the Spanish were mortal, revolted against Spaniards with no success. Ponce de León orders 6,000 shot on the spot in the town square survivors flee to mountains or left the island.

Diego Columbus won rights to all land discovered by his father after presenting his case to the courts in Madrid. King Ferdinand ordered Ponce de Leon to be replaced as governor by Diego Columbus. Ponce de León not wishing to serve Diego, obtained title to explore the Upper Bahamas and areas to the North.

On August 8, Pope Julius II created two dioceses in Puerto Rico, the bishop of which were all suffragans of the archbishopric of Seville. The Canon of Salamanca, Alonso Manso, was appointed bishop of the Puerto Rican diocese and took possession in 1513 - the first bishop to arrive in America.

On November 11, the Spanish Crown granted a Coat of Arms to the Island of Puerto Rico.

On September 26, the first school of advanced studies was established by Bishop Alonso Manso.

On December 27, the Burgos Law is issued, by Ferdinand II, the Catholic, of Aragón, regulated relations between Spaniards and the conquered Indians, particularly to ensure the spiritual and material welfare of the latter, who were often severely treated.

After the Taino upprising in 1511, a second settlement in San Germán was founded.

On January 27, with the decline of Taino slaves, African slaves were introduced into the island.

On July 28th, the Complementary Declaration was established. Granting natives who were clothed, Christian, and capable could live their own lives.

On March, Ponce de León sailed into the Bahamas headed toward Florida.

The Spanish Crown granted permission to Spaniards to marry native Taíno Indians.

Hernando de Peralta received permission to obtain 2 white slaves, possibly Arab or Arab Descent.

Caribe Indians attacked settlements along the banks of the Daguao and Macao rivers that had been founded by Diego Columbus.

Mona Island is officially annexed to Puerto Rico.

On July, a hurricane strikes the island, killing many Indians.

King Carlos V authorized the importation of 4,000 slaves to the Caribbean.

Government Center is moved from Villa de Caparra to the isle of San Juan.

Puerto Rico became the general headquarters of the Inquisition, after Pope Leo X declared the island the first ecclesiastical headquarters in the New World.

On July 12, King Charles I of Spain issued a royal decree collectively emancipating the remaining Taíno population. The order came into place due to the large number of Taino deaths attributed to the continuing bondage systems. A population of 60,000 was reduced to 4,000 in seven years.

Caribe Indians attacked the south coast.

The city and the Island exchanged names, and the City of San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico became the official capital.

Casa Blanca (White House) was built. The house was owned by Ponce de León's family until the late 18th century.

The ever arriving Spaniards settlers, many of them gold-seekers, brought no women on their ships. To populate the country, the Spaniard took Indian women. With the arrival of African slaves, other elements were added. This historic intermingling has resulted in a contemporary Puerto Rico without racial problems.

Juan Ponce de León organized an expedition, setting out for Florida, where he suffered serious injuries. He took refuge on La Habana, Cuba, where he died.

On January 24, San Jose Church is founded, it is the oldest church still in use in America.

The first sugar cane processing plant is built.

The Convento de Santo Domingo (Dominican Friars Community) was built. The convent organized the first library in the island.

The first hospital was built, called Concepción, by Bishop Alonso Manso.

On their attempt to capture the Island the French attacked many settlements. On October 11, the French sacked and burned San Germán. All the other first settlements-Guánica, Sotomayor, Daguao and Loíza-had disappeared. Only the capital remained.

Sugar became the most important agricultural product.

Governor Francisco Manuel de Landó conducted the first census. The Taino population had almost vanished. Lando's census reports only 1148 Tainos remaining in the island.

On July 26, August 23, and August 31, within 6 weeks three storms strikes the island.

The construction of Santa Catalina Palace, the governors house, began. Later the name was changed to La Fortaleza.

On July 26, a hurricane strikes the island.

A month later, on August 23, another hurricane strikes the island.

On July, a hurricane strikes the island. Few weeks later, on August another hurricane strikes the island. Many slaves died.

Concerned about potential threats from European enemies and recognizing the strategic importance of Puerto Rico, Spain began constructing massive defenses around San Juan. The construction of San Felipe del Morro Castle began. The fort featured 18-foot-thick walls San Cristóbal and San Geronimo Forts also garrisoned troops, were built with the financial subsidy from the Mexican mines. Next the Spaniards constructed a wall, parts of which still survive, around the entire city.

The coconut tree was introduced to the island. The coconut is indigenous to the Indo-Malaysian region. It spread by sea currents with the average maximum distance of 3,000 miles, on which the coconut will remain afloat and still remain viable. Considering these limitations there were no or little chance of a coconut seed reach the New World. Most authorities agree that the coconut was introduced to the New World by Portuguese and Spanish traders.

The second hospital was built, called San Ildefonso.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain decreed that the natives be as free. In reality though, the declaration of equality did not end the colonial social class system.

Juan Ponce de León remains were brought to San Juan.

The gold mines were declared depleted.

Engineers Juan de Tejada and Juan Bautista Antonelli lay out the main design for El Morro still seen today.

On November 22, Sir Francis Drake, hero of the battle of the Spanish Armada, with 26 vessels, in the company of Sir John Hawkins, tried fruitlessly to conquer the island and set San Juan city on fire (battlemap).

On June 15, the British Navy led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, landing in Santurce, conquered the island and held it for several months, it is forced to abandon his conquest owing to an outbreak of plague among his troops (battlemap).

Ginger replaces sugar as Puerto Rico's main cash crop.

Spain sent 400 soldiers, 46 cannon and a new governor, Alonso de Mercado, to rebuild San Juan.

How do I access old newspapers?

Newspapers can be a gold mine of historical and genealogical information, but are not always easy to find and use. While many libraries and archives have some amount of physical newspapers in their collections, digitized and microfilmed versions are preferred for public use and long-term preservation. The following is an overview of accessing newspapers printed in the Kansas City area and region.

Digitized Newspapers Online

  • Textual issues (no images) of the Kansas City Star since 1991 are accessible with a valid KCPL library card.
  • Digitized "historical" issues of the Kansas City Star and Times are available via the Newsbank Database through the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library and Midcontinent Public Library. Each library requires their own physical or electronic library card for use.

Midcontinent Public Library card holders can also access small local newspapers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries via Newspapers.com.

  • Selected Kansas newspapers are accessible via the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website. Kansas residents may also use their valid state-issued ID to access Newspapers.com through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Microform Newspapers

Note: Researchers may obtain copies of microform articles via printing, email, saving to a flash drive, or by submitting an order with the Library’s Document Delivery Department.

U.S. Supreme Court

Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire

Argued February 5, 1942

Decided March 9, 1942


1. That part of c. 378, § 2, of the Public Law of New Hampshire which forbids under penalty that any person shall address "any offensive, derisive or annoying word to any other person who is lawfully in any street or other public place," or "call him by any offensive or derisive name," was construed by the Supreme Court of the State, in this case and before this case arose, as limited to the use in a public place of words directly tending to cause a breach of the peace by provoking the person addressed to acts of violence.

(1) That, so construed, it is sufficiently definite and specific to comply with requirements of due process of law. P. 315 U. S. 573 .

(2) That, as applied to a person who, on a public street, addressed another as a "damned Fascist" and a "damned racketeer," it does not substantially or unreasonably impinge upon freedom of speech. P. 315 U.S. 574 .

(3) The refusal of the state court to admit evidence offered by the defendant tending to prove provocation and evidence bearing on the truth or falsity of the utterances charged is open to no constitutional objection. P. 315 U.S. 574 .

2. The Court notices judicially that the appellations "damned racketeer" and "damned Fascist" are epithets likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of the peace. P. 315 U.S. 574

91 N.H. 310, 18 A.2d 754, affirmed.

APPEAL from a judgment affirming a conviction under a state law denouncing the use of offensive words when addressed by one person to another in a public place.

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY delivered the opinion of the Court.

Appellant, a member of the sect known as Jehovah's Witnesses, was convicted in the municipal court of Rochester, New Hampshire, for violation of Chapter 378, § 2, of the Public Laws of New Hampshire:

"No person shall address any offensive, derisive or annoying word to any other person who is lawfully in any street or other public place, nor call him by any offensive or derisive name, nor make any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with intent to deride, offend or annoy him, or to prevent him from pursuing his lawful business or occupation."

The complaint charged that appellant,

"with force and arms, in a certain public place in said city of Rochester, to-wit, on the public sidewalk on the easterly side of Wakefield Street, near unto the entrance of the City Hall, did unlawfully repeat the words following, addressed to the complainant, that is to say, 'You are a God damned racketeer' and 'a damned Fascist and the whole government of Rochester are Fascists or agents of Fascists,' the same being offensive, derisive and annoying words and names."

Upon appeal, there was a trial de novo of appellant before a jury in the Superior Court. He was found guilty, and the judgment of conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the State. 91 N.H. 310, 18 A.2d 754.

By motions and exceptions, appellant raised the questions that the statute was invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States in that it placed an unreasonable restraint on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of worship, and because it was vague and indefinite. These contentions were overruled, and the case comes here on appeal.

There is no substantial dispute over the facts. Chaplinsky was distributing the literature of his sect on the streets

of Rochester on a busy Saturday afternoon. Members of the local citizenry complained to the City Marshal, Bowering, that Chaplinsky was denouncing all religion as a "racket." Bowering told them that Chaplinsky was lawfully engaged, and then warned Chaplinsky that the crowd was getting restless. Some time later, a disturbance occurred and the traffic officer on duty at the busy intersection started with Chaplinsky for the police station, but did not inform him that he was under arrest or that he was going to be arrested. On the way, they encountered Marshal Bowering, who had been advised that a riot was under way and was therefore hurrying to the scene. Bowering repeated his earlier warning to Chaplinsky, who then addressed to Bowering the words set forth in the complaint.

Chaplinsky's version of the affair was slightly different. He testified that, when he met Bowering, he asked him to arrest the ones responsible for the disturbance. In reply, Bowering cursed him and told him to come along. Appellant admitted that he said the words charged in the complaint, with the exception of the name of the Deity.

Over appellant's objection, the trial court excluded, as immaterial, testimony relating to appellant's mission "to preach the true facts of the Bible," his treatment at the hands of the crowd, and the alleged neglect of duty on the part of the police. This action was approved by the court below, which held that neither provocation nor the truth of the utterance would constitute a defense to the charge.

"Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which are protected by the First Amendment from infringement by Congress, are among the fundamental personal rights and liberties which are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from invasion by state

Lovell v. Griffin, 303 U. S. 444 , 303 U. S. 450 . [Footnote 1] Freedom of worship is similarly sheltered. Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296 , 310 U. S. 303 .

Appellant assails the statute as a violation of all three freedoms, speech, press and worship, but only an attack on the basis of free speech is warranted. The spoken, not the written, word is involved. And we cannot conceive that cursing a public officer is the exercise of religion in any sense of the term. But even if the activities of the appellant which preceded the incident could be viewed as religious in character, and therefore entitled to the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment, they would not cloak him with immunity from the legal consequences for concomitant acts committed in violation of a valid criminal statute. We turn, therefore, to an examination of the statute itself.

Allowing the broadest scope to the language and purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment, it is well understood that the right of free speech is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances. [Footnote 2] There are certain well defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention

and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. [Footnote 3] These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words -- those which, by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. [Footnote 4] It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality. [Footnote 5]

"Resort to epithets or personal abuse is not in any proper sense communication of information or opinion safeguarded by the Constitution, and its punishment as a criminal act would raise no question under that instrument."

The state statute here challenged comes to us authoritatively construed by the highest court of New Hampshire. It has two provisions -- the first relates to words or names addressed to another in a public place the second refers to noises and exclamations. The court said:

"The two provisions are distinct. One may stand separately from the other. Assuming, without holding, that the second were unconstitutional, the first could stand if constitutional."

We accept that construction of severability and limit our consideration to the first provision of the statute. [Footnote 6]

On the authority of its earlier decisions, the state court declared that the statute's purpose was to preserve the public peace, no words being "forbidden except such as have a direct tendency to cause acts of violence by the persons to whom, individually, the remark is addressed." [Footnote 7] It was further said:

"The word 'offensive' is not to be defined in terms of what a particular addressee thinks. . . . The test is what men of common intelligence would understand would be words likely to cause an average addressee to fight. . . . The English language has a number of words and expressions which, by general consent, are 'fighting words' when said without a disarming smile. . . . [S]uch words, as ordinary men know, are likely to cause a fight. So are threatening, profane or obscene revilings. Derisive and annoying words can be taken as coming within the purview of the statute as heretofore interpreted only when they have this characteristic of plainly tending to excite the addressee to a breach of the peace. . . . The statute, as construed, does no more than prohibit the face-to-face words plainly likely to cause a breach of the peace by the addressee, words whose speaking constitutes a breach of the peace by the speaker -- including 'classical fighting words,' words in current use less 'classical' but equally likely to cause violence, and other disorderly words, including profanity, obscenity and threats."

We are unable to say that the limited scope of the statute as thus construed contravenes the Constitutional right of free expression. It is a statute narrowly drawn and limited to define and punish specific conduct lying within the domain of state power, the use in a public place of words likely to cause a breach of the peace. Cf. Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296 , 310 U. S. 311 Thornhill v. Alabama,

310 U. S. 88 , 310 U. S. 105 . This conclusion necessarily disposes of appellant's contention that the statute is so vague and indefinite as to render a conviction thereunder a violation of due process. A statute punishing verbal acts, carefully drawn so as not unduly to impair liberty of expression, is not too vague for a criminal law. Cf. Fox v. Washington 236 U.S. 273, 236 U. S. 277 . [Footnote 8]

Nor can we say that the application of the statute to the facts disclosed by the record substantially or unreasonably impinges upon the privilege of free speech. Argument is unnecessary to demonstrate that the appellations "damned racketeer" and "damned Fascist" are epithets likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of the peace.

The refusal of the state court to admit evidence of provocation and evidence bearing on the truth or falsity of the utterances is open to no Constitutional objection. Whether the facts sought to be proved by such evidence constitute a defense to the charge, or may be shown in mitigation, are questions for the state court to determine. Our function is fulfilled by a determination that the challenged statute, on its face and as applied, doe not contravene the Fourteenth Amendment.

Appellant here pitches his argument on the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Schenck v. United States, 249 U. S. 47 Whitney v. California, 274 U. S. 357 , 274 U. S. 373 (Brandeis, J., concurring) Stromberg v. California, 283 U. S. 359 Near v. Minnesota, 283 U. S. 697 De Jonge v. Oregon, 299 U. S. 353 Herndon v. Lowry, 301 U. S. 242 Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296 .

The protection of the First Amendment, mirrored in the Fourteenth, is not limited to the Blackstonian idea that freedom of the press means only freedom from restraint prior to publication. Near v. Minnesota, 283 U. S. 697 , 283 U. S. 714 -715.

Chafee, Free Speech in the United States (1941), 149.

Since the complaint charged appellant only with violating the first provision of the statute, the problem of Stromberg v. California, 283 U. S. 359 , is not present.

State v. Brown, 68 N.H. 200, 38 A. 731 State v. McConnell, 70 N.H. 294, 47 A. 267.

We do not have here the problem of Lanzetta v. New Jersey, 306 U. S. 451 . Even if the interpretative gloss placed on the statute by the court below be disregarded, the statute had been previously construed as intended to preserve the public peace by punishing conduct the direct tendency of which was to provoke the person against whom it was directed to acts of violence. State v. Brown, 68 N.H. 200, 38 A. 731 (1894).

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