After World War I, it expanded to include those who died in any war or military action. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911 (no one has been able to successfully explain the connection between honoring the nation's war dead and people driving around a race track).
Saint Vitalis of Assisi (not to be confused with St. Vitilas of Milan, patron saint of grey haired Lotharios ) was an Italian hermit and monk who died in 1370. He became a saint despite an early life marked by licentiousness and immorality. However, in an attempt to atone he went on pilgrimages to various sanctuaries.
The severed head alleged to belong to the patron saint of genital diseases was recently sold at auction. If the reliquary ever comes up for sale again, snap it up. Bunkies, nothing says love like the rotting skull of the saint of the burning loins.
There are four other Saints who glommed onto the name St. Vitalis,
Saint Vitalis of Bologna
Saint Vitalis of Gaza
Saint Vitalis of Savigny
Saint Vitalis, martyred in 250 under the persecution of Decius
So try to keep this all straight when you're praying to a saint to cure your STDs.
May 26, 1977 -
Police arrested George Willig, after he had successfully scaled the World Trade Center's south tower in NYC on this date.
He was fined $110 -- a dollar per floor climbed. The stunt paved the way for appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Good Morning America, The Merv Griffin Show and ABC's Wide World of Sports.
There were a lot of notable music birthdays on this date.
May 26, 1920 -
Norma Deloris Egstrom, Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, composer and actress, was born on this date.
And yes Peggy, that's all there is.
May 26, 1926 –
Miles Dewey Davis III born on this date in Alton, Illinois, was a trumpeter, bandleader, composer and widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
I just love this story about Miles Davis: In 1987, he was invited to a White House dinner by Ronald Reagan. Few of the guests appeared to know who he was. During dinner, Nancy Reagan turned to him and asked what he'd done with his life to merit an invitation. Straight-faced, Davis replied: "Well, I've changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except f*ck the president?"
May 26, 1948 -
Stephanie Lynn Nicks, singer-songwriter and acclaimed goat singer, was born on this date.
May 26, 1964 -
Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz, musician and actor was born on this date.
Today in History:
May 26, 1232 -
Pope Gregory IX issues the bull Declinante jam mundi, bringing the Papal Inquisition to Spain.
May 26, 1647 -
Alse Young, a widow, was hanged for witchcraft in Hartford, Connecticut on this date. She was the first person in America executed for the crime of witchcraft.
It was something in the genes.
May 26, 1868 -
In England's last public execution, Michael Barrett was hanged at Newgate on this date. All subsequent hangings are held behind prison walls.
Hey, a man's got to earn a living.
May 26, 1913 –
Peter Wilton Cushing, OBE, English actor, known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, was born on this date.
Peter Cushing was the guest of honor at the Famous Monsters of Filmland Convention in New York City in 1975. After receiving a thunderous ovation from those in attendance, he looked at everyone and said, "Have you ever felt unloved?"
May 26, 1923 -
Le Mans France held its first Grand Prix D'endurance - the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as an endurance test for touring cars.
The first winning drivers, Amdre Lagache and Rene Leonard, averaged 57.2 miles per hour.
May 26, 1960 -
America's UN Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. charged at a speech at the UN on this date that the Soviets with having bugged the Moscow embassy. He shows off a large wooden carving of the United States seal which had been hollowed out to conceal a sophisticated resonant cavity transmitter.
May 26, 1994 -
Michael Jackson wed Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic on this date. The couple keeps their love match secret for six weeks, then files for divorce 18 months after that.
Stop thinking about it, it's the road to madness!!
May 26, 1995 -
89-year-old Friz Freleng, the cartoonist who created Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and many other Looney Tunes characters, died in Los Angeles on this date.
The nickname "Friz" came from how "frizzy" his hair was at one time.
And so it goes.