What Happened on May 31

Historical Events

  • 1279 BC Rameses II (The Great) (19th dynasty) becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
  • 1578 Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England, to Frobisher Bay, Canada, eventually to mine fools gold, used to pave streets in London.
  • 1910 Union of South Africa declares its independence from the United Kingdom
  • 1916 Battle of Jutland (Skagerrak): naval battle between British Grand Fleet and German High Seas Fleet: over 8,500 die in this inconclusive slaughter - although the German fleet never put to sea again.
  • 1935 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Quetta in Balochistan, British Raj (Pakistan) killing approx 50,000
  • 1947 Communists seize power in Hungary
  • 2008 Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds.
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Did You Know?

Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.

On May 31, 1669

Famous Weddings

  • 1889 Pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski (38) weds baroness Helena Maria Rosen
  • 1919 1st wedding held in an aircraft (over Houston, Texas)
  • 1991 Oldest bride - Minnie Munro, 102, weds Dudley Reid, 83, in Australia
  • 1998 Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch (33) weds daughter of prominent Tibetan activists Dechen Wangdu in New York
  • 2002 "NYPD Blue" actress Sharon Lawrence (30) weds doctor Thomas Apostle at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles

Famous Divorces

  • 1949 Actress Doris Day (25) divorces saxophonist George Weidler (23) after 3 years of marriage
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