- 1279 BC Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (19th Dynasty)
- 1578 Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England, to Frobisher Bay, Canada. Eventually mines fools gold, famously used to pave the streets of London.
- 1902 Boer War Ends; Treaty of Unity signed, Britain annexes Transvaal
- 1910 Union of South Africa declares its independence from the United Kingdom
- 1916 Battle of Jutland: Largest naval battle of World War I between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet which killed 8,645 in an inconclusive battle but strategic British victory. German fleet never puts to sea again in WWI.
- 1935 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Quetta in Balochistan, British Raj (Pakistan) killing an estimated 50,000 people
- 1947 Communists seize power in Hungary
- 1970 7.75 Ancash earthquake off coast of Peru kills 66-70,000 and sets off world's deadliest avalanche
- 2008 Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds
Dr James Moore (UK) wins 1st recorded bicycle race, (2k) velocipede race at Parc fde St Cloud, Paris
On May 31, 1868
The Who set the record for the loudest concert of all time, 120 decibels at 50 metres, at The Valley in Charlton
On May 31, 1976