THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 30,1911: The first Indianapolis 500 automobile race was run in Indianapolis, Indiana.

byname  Indy 500 U.S. automobile race held annually from 1911, except for the war years 1917–18 and 1942–45. The race is always run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, a suburban enclave of Indianapolis, Indiana. Drawing crowds of several hundred thousand people, the race is among the world’s best-attended single-day sporting events. It is held on the weekend of the American Memorial Day holiday.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 29,1860: Composer and virtuoso pianist Isaac Albéniz was born in Camprodón, Spain.

Albéniz appeared as a piano prodigy at age 4 and by 12 had run away from home twice. Both times he supported himself by concert tours, eventually gaining his father’s consent to his wanderings. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory in 1875–76 and, when his money ran out, obtained a scholarship to study in Brussels. From 1883 he taught in Barcelona and Madrid. He had previously composed facile salon music for piano, but about 1890 he began to take composition seriously. He studied with Felipe Pedrell, father of the nationalist movement in Spanish music, and in 1893 moved to Paris. There he came under the influence of Vincent d’Indy, Paul Dukas, and other French composers and for a time taught piano at the Schola Cantorum. He later developed Bright’s disease and was a near invalid for several years before he died.

Albéniz’ fame rests chiefly on his piano pieces, which utilize the melodic styles, rhythms, and harmonies of Spanish folk music. The most notable work is Iberia (1905–09), a collection of 12 virtuoso piano pieces, considered by many to be a profound evocation of the spirit of Spain, particularly of Andalusia. Also among his best works are the Suite española, containing the popular “Sevillana”; the Cantos de España, which includes “Córdoba”; Navarra; and the Tango in D Major. Orchestrated versions of many of his pieces are also frequently played.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 28,1898: The First Philippine Flag design use to proclamation of independence.

On May 28, 1898, days after the return of General Emilio Aguinaldo from exile in Hong Kong, Filipino troops were once again engaged in a battle against Spanish forces in Alapan, Cavite. It was in this skirmish that the Philippine flag was first unfurled as the revolutionary standard. Sewn in Hong Kong by Filipino expatriates and brought to the country by Aguinaldo, the flag was a tri-color featuring red and blue with a white triangle framing three yellow stars and an anthropomorphic eight-rayed sun.
Half a month later, on June 12, 1898, following the proclamation of independence from Spain, the same flag was waved by at Aguinaldo’s residence in Kawit, Cavite, as the Marcha Nacional Filipina played.
Throughout the Filipino Revolutionary War until the capture of Aguinaldo that precipitated the end of the Philippine-American War, the flag of the same design was flown with the red field on top to denote a state of war. Aguinaldo wrote about this unique feature of the Philippine flag in a letter to Captain Emmanuel A. Baja dated June 11, 1925:


THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 17, 1749 : English surgeon Edward Jenner, who discovered (1796) the smallpox vaccine, was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.

English surgeon and discoverer of vaccination for smallpox . Jenner was born at a time when the patterns of British medical practice and education were undergoing gradual change. Slowly the division between the Oxford  or Cambridge trained physicians and the apothecaries or surgeons who were much less educated and who acquired their medical knowledge through apprenticeship rather than through academic work was becoming less sharp, and hospital work was becoming much more important.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY MAY 16, 1763 : In London, Samuel Johnson met James Boswell, who published his famous biography, Life of Johnson, in 1791.

byname  Dr. Johnson English critic, biographer, essayist, poet, and lexicographer, regarded as one of the greatest figures of 18th-century life and letters.

Johnson once characterized literary biographies as “mournful narratives,” and he believed that he lived “a life radically wretched.” Yet his career can be seen as a literary success story of the sickly boy from the Midlands who by talent, tenacity, and intelligence became the foremost literary figure and the most formidable conversationalist of his time. For future generations, Johnson was synonymous with the later 18th century in England. The disparity between his circumstances and achievement gives his life its especial interest.