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Yankee Ingenuity in the Merry Month of May

May 4, 2009 by Reader's Connection

Americans have always had a knack for inventing and creating, and May is a banner month in which some of America’s best-known contributions came to life. This ingenious list is courtesy of Sherry Utterback at Central Library.


May 1, 1931

 Empire State Building opens to the public.


Empire: A Tale of Obsession, Betrayal, and the Battle for an
American Icon
by Mitchell Pacelle













Nearest Thing to Heaven

Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams by Mark Kingwell












May 8, 1886

Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton mixes the first batch of Coca-Cola.  The Real Thing

The Real Thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company by Constance L. Hays



Secret Formula: How Brilliant Marketing and Relentless Salesmanship Made Coca-Cola the Best-Known Product in the World by Frederick Allen









May 10, 1869

 A golden spike is driven into the ground at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

Empire Express

Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad by David Haward Bain













May 14, 1973

 NASA launches the space station Skylab.

Homesteading Space

Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story by Owen K. Garriott and Joe P. Kerwin














Skylab: America’s Space Station by David J. Shayler













May 17, 1792

 A group of brokers organize the New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street

Wall Street: A History from its Beginnings to the Fall of Enron by Charles R. Geisst












Every Man a Speculator

Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life by Steve Frase














May 23, 1785

 Benjamin Franklin describes his new invention of bifocal lenses in a letter.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin: Inventing America by Thomas Fleming













Inventing America

Inventing America: The Life of Benjamin Franklin by Mark Essig








May 24, 1844

Inventor Samuel Morse sends the first telegraph from Washington D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland. Lightning Man

Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F. B. Morse by Kenneth Silverman














May 24, 1883

The Brooklyn Bridge opens to traffic. The Great Bridge

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough













May 27, 1937

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens.

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge by James Barter



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