John’s Believe It Or Not… May 15th

In 1885 Louis Riel surrenders at Batoche ending the Northwest Rebellion. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorizes the torture of heretics. In 1756 The Seven Years war begins. In 1941 the first Allied jet fighter flies. In 1963 Gordon Cooper goes into space aboard Faith 7.

John Fioravanti Stands at the front of his classroom in 2006

It’s Monday Again! Did you know…

* 1885 – Louis Riel surrenders to Middleton; NW Rebellion ends after 100 days. (The North-West Rebellion of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people under Louis Riel and an associated uprising by First Nations Cree and Assiniboine of the District of Saskatchewan against the government of Canada. The Métis believed that Canada had failed to protect their rights, their land and their survival as a distinct people. Riel had been invited to lead the movement but he turned it into a military action with a heavily religious tone, thereby alienating the Catholic clergy, the whites, most of the Indians and some of the Métis. He had a force of a couple hundred Métis and a smaller number of Aboriginal at Batoche in May 1885, confronting 900 government troops. Despite some notable early victories at Duck Lake, Fish Creek, and Cut Knife, the rebellion ended when the Métis were defeated at the siege of Batoche. The remaining Aboriginal allies scattered. Riel was captured and put on trial. He was convicted of treason and despite many pleas across Canada for amnesty, he was hanged. Riel became the heroic martyr to Francophone Canada and ethnic tensions escalated into a major national division that was never resolved.)

Northwest Rebellion Timeline 1885
Northwest Rebellion Timeline 1885 (SlideShare)

* 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition. (The bull {Papal edict} was issued in the wake of the murder of the papal inquisitor of Lombardy, St. Peter of Verona, who was killed by a conspiracy of Cathar sympathizers on 6 April 1252. The bull argued that as heretics are “murderers of souls as well as robbers of God’s sacraments and of the Christian faith …”, they are “to be coerced—as are thieves and bandits—into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb.”)

1252 Pope Innocent IV
1252 Pope Innocent IV -Velazquez Portrait (Mary Ann Bernal – blogger)

* 1756 The Seven Years War begins. (The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially begins when England declares war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years. In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought France into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756–the first official year of fighting in the Seven Years War–the British suffered a series of defeats against the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. However, in 1757, British Prime Minister William Pitt (the older) recognized the potential of imperial expansion that would come out of victory against the French and borrowed heavily to fund an expanded war effort. Pitt financed Prussia’s struggle against France and her allies in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for the raising of armies in North America. The Seven Years War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.)

Painting of a battle during The French and Indian War 1756-1763 Also known as the Seven years War.
The French and Indian War 1756-1763 Also known as the Seven years War. (Pinterest)

* 1941 First Allied jet flies. (On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion. The aircraft’s turbojet engine, which produced a powerful thrust of hot air, was devised by Frank Whittle, an English aviation engineer and pilot generally regarded as the father of the jet engine. One week after the flight of the He 178, World War II broke out in Europe, and Whittle’s project got a further lease of life. The Air Ministry commissioned a new jet engine from Power Jets and asked the Gloster Aircraft Company to build an experimental aircraft to accommodate it, specified as E 28/39. On May 15, 1941, the jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 flew, beating out a jet prototype being developed by the same British turbine company that earlier balked at his ideas. In its initial tests, Whittle’s aircraft–flown by the test pilot Gerry Sayer–achieved a top speed of 370 mph at 25,000 feet, faster than the Spitfire or any other conventional propeller-driven machine.)

Gloster E.28/39 - Wikipedia
Gloster E.28/39 – Wikipedia

* 1963 The flight of Faith 7. (On May 15, 1963, Gordon Cooper is launched into space aboard Faith 7 on the longest American space mission to that date. Faith 7 was the capstone of Project Mercury, the NASA program that put the first American into space in 1961 and the first astronaut into orbit in 1962. Cooper completed 22 orbits of the earth and spent 34 hours in space. He was the first American astronaut to spend more than a day in space. On the afternoon of May 16, Faith 7 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean, four miles from the recovery ship Kearsarge. Cooper was honored by parades in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., where he addressed a joint session of Congress, and in New York City, where he was greeted by a massive ticker-tape crowd. Later Shawnee, Oklahoma–Cooper’s hometown–celebrated the return of the sixth Mercury astronaut from space.)

 Photo: Cooper with Faith 7
Cooper was the sixth and final astronaut to fly a Mercury mission. (AmericaSpace)

Acknowledged Sources:

* Canadian History Timeline – Canada’s Historical Chronology

* On This Day – History, Film, Music and Sport

* This Day In History – What Happened Today

* Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

3 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… May 15th”

    1. Indeed – it was an exciting time, and we couldn’t get enough. I hope the various space agencies worldwide build a Moonbase soon. Spaceships could be built there and make space exploration far more cost effective. They could also build a resort for the stupid rich – oops, I meant super rich. I’m sure Trump would want in on that – and he should be impeached by then.

      Liked by 1 person

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