Today is Tuesday, May 15, the 135th day of 2018. There are 230 days left in the year.
On May 15, 1968, two days of tornado outbreaks began in 10 Midwestern and Southern states; twisters were blamed for 72 deaths, including 45 in Arkansas and 18 in Iowa.
In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots, married her third husband, James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, who had been implicated in (but acquitted of) the death of Mary's second husband, Lord Darnley.
In 1776, Virginia authorized its delegation to the Continental Congress to support independence from Britain.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act establishing the Department of Agriculture.
In 1918, U.S. airmail began service between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
In 1928, the Walt Disney cartoon character Mickey Mouse made his debut in the silent animated short "Plane Crazy."
In 1930, registered nurse Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard an Oakland-to-Chicago flight operated by Boeing Air Transport, a forerunner of United Airlines.
In 1948, hours after declaring its independence, the new state of Israel was attacked by Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon received a hero's welcome from President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other well-wishers on his return to Washington from a violence-marred tour of Latin America. The MGM movie musical "Gigi," starring Leslie Caron as a young French courtesan-in-training, was released.
In 1972, Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot and left paralyzed while campaigning for president in Laurel, Maryland, by Arthur H. Bremer, who served 35 years for attempted murder.
In 1975, U.S. forces invaded the Cambodian island of Koh Tang and captured the American merchant ship Mayaguez, which had been seized by the Khmer Rouge. (All 39 crew members had already been released safely by Cambodia; some 40 U.S. servicemen were killed in connection with the operation.)
In 1988, the Soviet Union began the process of withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan, more than eight years after Soviet forces entered the country.
In 1998, hundreds of looters died inside a burning shopping mall in rioting that laid smoking waste to Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.