On This Day

Historical Events on May 31

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1279 BC Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (19th Dynasty)

Pharoah of Ancient Egypt Ramesses II
Pharoah of Ancient Egypt
Ramesses II
  • 70 Rome captures 1st wall of the city of Jerusalem

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1223 Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River - Mongol armies of Genghis Khan lead by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans

Great Khan of the Mongol Empire Genghis Khan
Great Khan of the Mongol Empire
Genghis Khan
  • 1417 Jacoba of Bavaria becomes countess of Holland/Zealand/Henegouwen
  • 1495 Emperor Maximilian, Pope Alexander VI, Milan, King Ferdinand, Isabella & Venice sign anti-French Saint League
  • 1531 "Women's Revolt" in Amsterdam: wool house in churchyard aborted
  • 1578 Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England, to Frobisher Bay, Canada. Eventually mines fools gold, famously used to pave the streets of London.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1621 Sir Francis Bacon imprisoned in the Tower of London for 1 night

Statesman/Philosopher Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
  • 1634 The colony of Massachusetts Bay annexes Maine colony
  • 1659 Netherlands, England and France sign Treaty of The Hague
  • 1665 Jerusalem's rabbi Sjabtai Tswi proclaims himself Messiah

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1669 Citing poor eyesight, English civil servant Samuel Pepys records the last event in his famous diary

Diarist Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
  • 1696 John Salomonsz elected chief of Saint-Eustatius
  • 1727 France, Britain & Netherlands sign accord of Paris
  • 1744 French troops conquer Kortrijk
  • 1759 The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions

  • 1790 US copyright law enacted
  • 1790 Alferez Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • 1813 In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth reach Mount Blaxland, marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains
  • 1821 Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, 1st US Catholic cathedral, is dedicated in Baltimore
  • 1836 HMS Beagle anchors in Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope
  • 1837 Astor Hotel opens in NYC, it later becomes the Waldorf-Astoria
  • 1847 Rotterdam-Hague Railway opens
  • 1849 Last edition of Orange sheet "Journal de La Haye"
  • 1853 Elisha Kane's Arctic expedition leaves NY aboard Advance
  • 1859 Philadelphia A's organize to play "town ball" became baseball 20 years later
  • 1861 General Beauregard is given command of Confederate Alexandria Line
  • 1861 Mint at New Orleans closes
  • 1862 Battle of Seven Pines Virginia (Fair Oaks)
  • 1864 Raid at Morgan's Kentucky
  • 1868 1st Memorial Day parade held in Ironton, Ohio
  • 1868 Dr James Moore (UK) wins 1st recorded bicycle race, (2k) velocipede race at Parc fde St Cloud, Paris
  • 1870 Congress passes 1st Enforcement Act (rights of blacks)
  • 1870 E J DeSemdt patents asphalt pavement
  • 1875 Reciprocity Treaty between US & Hawaii ratified
  • 1878 German battleship SMS Grosser Kurfürst sinks, 284 killed

  • 1878 US Congress accepts decrease in dollar circulation
  • 1879 1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1879 Madison Square Garden opens in New York, named after 4th President James Madison

4th US President James Madison
4th US President
James Madison
  • 1880 League of American Wheelmen (1st US bicycle association), forms in Newport, Rhode Island
  • 1883 French fleet under Pierre begins siege of Tamatave, Madagascar
  • 1884 Dr John Harvey Kellogg patents "flaked cereal"
  • 1889 Johnstown Flood; 2,209 die in Penn
  • 1891 Work on trans-Siberian railway begins
  • 1893 Whitcomb Judson, Chicago, patents a hookless fastening (zipper)
  • 1899 -June 5] Conference of Bloemfontein fails
  • 1899 Bronx acquires Keltch Memorial Park
  • 1900 British troops under Lord Roberts occupy Johannesburg
  • 1900 Piet de Law captures Lt Col BE Spragges, 13th Battalion Irish Imperial Yeomanry
  • 1900 Tom Hayward scores 1,000th cricket run of season (sets record 1074)
  • 1900 US troops arrive in Beijing, help put down Boxer Rebellion
  • 1901 At the opening of the Greek National Assembly, Prince George, High Commissioner of Crete, asks it to endorse the union of Crete with Greece; the proposal is later rejected
  • 1902 Australia Cricket all out 36 v England, Edgbaston, their lowest ever
  • 1902 Boer War Ends; Treaty of Unity signed, Britain annexes Transvaal
  • 1902 Labor trouble and riots lead Spanish King Alfonso XII to impose martial law

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1905 Emperor Wilhelm II lands in Tanger

German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
  • 1906 Attack on King Alfonso XIII & Victoria of Battenberg in Madrid
  • 1907 Taxis 1st began running in NYC
  • 1908 Miss Pottelsberghe de la Pottery is 1st airplane passenger (Belgium)

Conference meetingConference of Interest

1909 National Conference on the Negro holds its first meeting in United Charities Building, New York (earlier form of the NAACP)

Nurse and Social Activist Lillian Wald
Nurse and Social Activist
Lillian Wald
  • 1910 Cape of Good Hope becomes part of Union of South Africa
  • 1910 Glenn Curtiss flies from Albany to NYC
  • 1910 Union of South Africa declares its independence from the United Kingdom

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1911 RMS Titanic launched in Belfast

Captain of the Titanic Edward Smith
Captain of the Titanic
Edward Smith
  • 1911 Mexican President Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution
  • 1912 US marines land on Cuba
  • 1913 17th amendment (direct election of senators) declared ratified
  • 1913 Alexis Ahlgren runs world record maraton (2:36:06.6)
  • 1914 Chicago White Sox Joe Benz no-hits Cleveland Indians, 6-1
  • 1915 An LZ-38 Zeppelin makes an air raid on London
  • 1915 Indianapolis 500: Italian-born American driver Ralph DePalma accompanied by riding mechanic Louis Fontaine wins from Englishman Dario Resta

Battle of InterestBattle of Jutland

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.

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HMS Invincible on fire after being struck by shells from SMS Lützow and SMS Derfflinger
HMS Invincible on fire after being struck by shells from SMS Lützow and SMS Derfflinger
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BattleBattle of Interest

1916 Battle of Jutland: British battle cruiser HMS Invincible explodes, only 6 crew members survive

British Admiral of the Fleet John Jellicoe
British Admiral of the Fleet
John Jellicoe
British Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty
British Admiral of the Fleet
David Beatty
Admiral Reinhard Scheer
Reinhard Scheer
  • 1919 NC-4 aircraft commanded by AC Read completes 1st crossing of Atlantic
  • 1919 Indianapolis 500: Howdy Wilcox wins in 5:40:42.930 (141.703 km/h)
  • 1920 Indianapolis 500: Gaston Chevrolet wins in 5:38:31.901 (142.617 km/h)
  • 1921 Suffy McInnis (1st base) begins an errorless string of 1,700
  • 1921 A large-scale race riot breaks out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, later described as the worst incident of racial violence in American history; around 150-200 African Americans killed
  • 1923 China & USSR exchange diplomats
  • 1923 The South African Indian Congress (SAIC) forms in Durban, South Africa, with Omar Hajee Amod Jhaveri as President
  • 1924 China recognizes the USSR
  • 1926 Portuguese president Bernardino Machedo resigns after coup
  • 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition opens in Philadelphia
  • 1926 Indianapolis 500: Frank Lockhart wins in 5:12:48.768 (154.343 km/h)
  • 1927 Tiger 1st baseman Johnny Neun makes an unassisted triple play
  • 1928 1st aerial crossing of Pacific takes off from Oakland
  • 1928 Charlie Hallows scores his 1,000th run of Cricket season
  • 1929 Atlantic City Convention Center opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930 Don Bradman batting for Australia v Hampshire at Southampton is 47 not out at stumps, bringing his aggregate to 1,001 runs, the first cricket touring overseas batsman to complete 1,000 runs by end of May

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1930 Building begins on Albert Canal in Belgium
  • 1930 Comet 73P/1930 (Schwassmann-Wachmann 3) approaches 0.0617 AUs of Earth

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930 British Amateur Championship, Men's Golf, St. Andrews Links: Bobby Jones scores a 7 & 6 win over Englishman Roger Wethered for the first leg of his Grand Slam

Golfer Bobby Jones
Bobby Jones
  • 1931 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan: 40,000 dead.
  • 1931 French Championships Men's Tennis: Jean Borotra wins his only home title; beats fellow Frenchman Christian Boussus 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

Sport awardFrench Open Women's Tennis

1931 French Championship Women's Tennis: Cilly Aussem of Germany beats England's Betty Nuthall 8-6, 6-1 for the first of 2 major titles in 1931

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall
  • 1935 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Quetta in Balochistan, British Raj (Pakistan) killing an estimated 50,000 people
  • 1937 1st quadruplets to finish college (Baylor University)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1937 Brooklyn Dodgers snap NY Giant Carl Hubbell's 24-game winning streak

Baseball Pitcher Carl Hubbell
Baseball Pitcher
Carl Hubbell
  • 1937 German warships bombard Almeria, Spain
  • 1937 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:24:07.861 (182.789 km/h)
  • 1938 Bill Edrich scores his 1,000th run of cricket season, all at Lord's

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 Major General Bernard Montgomery leaves Dunkirk

British WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
British WWII Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 Winston Churchill flies to Paris to meet with French Marshal Philippe Pétain who announces he is willing to make a separate peace with Germany

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
French General Philippe Pétain
French General
Philippe Pétain
  • 1941 -June 1) 32.0 cm rain falls on Burlington Kansas (state record)
  • 1941 1st issue of "Parade" goes on sale
  • 1941 German occupiers forbids Jews access to beach & swimming pools
  • 1941 A Luftwaffe air raid in Dublin, in neutral Ireland, claims 38 lives.

Sport awardPGA Championship

1942 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Seaview CC: Sam Snead beats Jim Turnesa, 2 & 1 for his first PGA Tour major title

Golfer Sam Snead
Sam Snead
  • 1942 Luftwaffe bombs Canterbury
  • 1942 U-boats sink and damage 146 allied ships this month (722,666 tons)
  • 1943 "Archie" comic strip 1st broadcast on radio
  • 1943 Cards Mort Cooper pitches 1st of back-to-back one-hitters
  • 1943 42 U-boats sunk by the Allies this month
  • 1944 Allied breakthrough in Italy
  • 1947 79th Belmont: Ruperto Donoso aboard Phalanx wins in 2:29.6
  • 1947 Communists seize power in Hungary
  • 1947 Eastern DC-4 crashes between Ft Deposit & Perryville Md, kills 53
  • 1947 Italian government of Gasperi forms

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1948 Tommy Lasorda strikes out 25 Amsterdam Rugmakers (in 15 innings)

Baseball Manager Tommy Lasorda
Baseball Manager
Tommy Lasorda
  • 1948 Indianapolis 500: Mauri Rose wins in 4:10:23.286 (192.822 km/h)
  • 1949 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Hermitage CC: Sam Snead beats fellow American Johnny Palmer, 3 & 2; first time reigning Masters champion wins PGA Championship in the same calendar year.

  • 1949 Charley Lupica begins stay on 4 foot square platform atop a 60' pole, vowing to stay until Indians clinch pennant. (They don't, & stays 117 days)
  • 1950 Indianapolis 500: Due to rain, race shortened to 345 miles, Johnny Parson wins
  • 1950 Laker takes 14-12-2-8 in Test Cricket trial
  • 1951 Netherlands & South Africa sign cultural accord
  • 1953 Lebanese president Camille Shamun disbands government
  • 1953 WSUN TV channel 38 in St Petersburg-Tampa, FL (IND) 1st broadcast
  • 1954 Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:49:17.261 (210.567 km/h)
  • 1955 Construction begins on Soviet cosmodrome launch facilities
  • 1955 Great Britain proclaims emergency crisis due to rail strike
  • 1955 US Supreme Court orders school integration "with all deliberate speed"
  • 1957 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)
  • 1958 Dick Dale invents "surf music" with "Let's Go Trippin"
  • 1958 US performs nuclear test at Bikini Island (atmospheric tests)
  • 1958 French Championships Men's Tennis: Mervyn Rose wins his first and only French title; beats Luis Ayala of Chile 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
  • 1958 57th Women's French Championships: Zsuzsi Kormoczy beats Shirley Bloomer (6-4, 1-6, 6-2)
  • 1961 Arthur Michael Ramsey appointed the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Chuck Berry's amusement park, Berryland in St Louis, opens

Rock Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter Chuck Berry
Rock Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter
Chuck Berry

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1961 JFK visits Charles de Gaulle in Paris

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle
35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1961 Judge Irving Kaufman orders Board of Ed of New Rochelle, to integrate
  • 1961 Union of South Africa becomes a republic, leaves Commonwealth
  • 1961 European Cup Final, Wankdorf Stadium, Bern: Benfica beats Barcelona 3-2; first Portuguese team to reach final and win the tournament
  • 1962 "Tell It To Groucho" last airs on CBS-TV
  • 1962 The West Indies Federation dissolves.
  • 1964 Charles Schmid kills first Pied Piper victim
  • 1964 SF Giants beat NY Mets, 8-6, in 23 innings (2nd game) (7 hrs 32 mins)
  • 1965 Jim Clark becomes 1st foreigner in 49 years to win Indianapolis 500 - 3:19:05.370 (242.506 km/h)
  • 1965 12th National Film Awards (India): "Charulata" wins the Golden Lotus
  • 1967 Bayern Munchen of West Germany wins 7th European Cup Winner's Cup against Rangers of Scotland 1-0 in Nuremberg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins in 3:18:24.211 (243.344 km/h)

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Movie star James Stewart retires from the US Air Force after 27 years of service

  • 1969 "Dear World" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 132 performances
  • 1969 "Gitarzan" by Ray Stevens peaks at #8

Music releaseMusic Recording

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance"

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
Artist & Musician Yoko Ono
Artist & Musician
Yoko Ono

Music releaseMusic Single

1969 Stevie Wonder releases the single "My Cherie Amour" which goes on to become a soul classic

Singer-Songwriter Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
  • 1970 7.75 Ancash earthquake off coast of Peru kills 66-70,000 and sets off world's deadliest avalanche
  • 1970 KDUB TV channel 40 in Dubuque, IA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1971 WDXR (now WKPD) TV channel 29 in Paducah, KY (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1972 16th European Cup: Ajax beats Internazionale 2-0 at Rotterdam
  • 1973 Glenn Turner scores his 1,000th run of English cricket season
  • 1974 Israel and Syria sign an agreement concerning Golan Heights
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1975 "Goodtime Charley" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 104 performances
  • 1975 Fred Newman makes 12,874 baskets in a one-day exhibition
  • 1975 "Fight the Power" single released by The Isley Brothers (Billboard Song of the Year 1975)
  • 1976 The Who set the record for the loudest concert of all time, 120 decibels at 50 metres, at The Valley in Charlton
  • 1977 "Beatlemania" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 920 performances
  • 1977 Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes heir apparent to throne of Qatar
  • 1977 Trans Alaska oil pipeline completed
  • 1979 "I Remember Mama" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 108 performances
  • 1979 Radio City Music Hall (NYC) reopens
  • 1980 "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band peaks at #38
  • 1980 Police & youthful rebels battle in Zurich
  • 1982 "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 63 performances
  • 1983 37th NBA Championship: Philadelphia 76ers sweep LA Lakers in 4 games
  • 1984 57th National Spelling Bee: Daniel Greenblatt wins spelling luge
  • 1984 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1984 Viv Richards hits 189* (170 balls) v England, ODI cricket record
  • 1985 Guatemala adopts constitution
  • 1985 New Orleans Saints are sold for $70,204,000
  • 1985 Tornado outbreak in the United States and Canada sees 41 tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario, leaving 90 dead

  • 1985 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) became a Schedule I drug in the United States.
  • 1987 Saul Ballesteros drives 3 golf balls off Mt McKinley, Alaska
  • 1987 Stanley Cup Final, Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton, AL: Edmonton Oilers beat Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1 to win title 4 games to 3: Oilers' 3rd SC
  • 1989 "Rambling with Gambling" 20,000th radio program on WOR-AM (NYC)
  • 1989 1st International Rock Awards
  • 1989 1st presentation of rock 'n' roll Elvis awards
  • 1989 Speaker of US House of Representatives Jim Wright resigns
  • 1990 63rd National Spelling Bee: Amy Marie Dimak wins spelling fibranne
  • 1990 BPAA US Women's Bowling Open won by Dana Miller-Mackie
  • 1990 NYC's Zodiac killer shoots 3rd victim, Joseph Ponce
  • 1991 Sides in Angola sign a treaty ending 16 year civil war
  • 1992 "The 1992 Boat Show" - the final episode of US comedy series "Night Court" - airs on NBC-TV
  • 1992 46th Tony Awards: "Dancing at Lughnasa", "Crazy For You" win
  • 1992 5th Children's Miracle Network Telethon raises $1,060,000
  • 1993 President Dobrica Ćosić of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia flees
  • 1994 Padres scores 13 in 2nd vs Pirates
  • 1996 Mark Van Thillo and Abigail Alling, former biospherian win $100,000 lawsuit against Biospheric Development for Space Biospheres Ventures
  • 1997 "Once Upon a Matress" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 187 performances
  • 1997 The Confederation Bridge opens, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick