On This Day

Events in History 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Johnston, Pennsylvania when the South Fork Dam, located on the Little Conemaugh River fails
  • 1890 Ulm Minster, in Ulm, Germany, the tallest church in the world with a steeple 161.5m high, is finally completed (begun 1377)
  • 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 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 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 Assassination attempt on King Alfonso XIII & Victoria of Battenberg in Madrid during the procession after their marriage in Madrid by a Catalan anarchist kills 30
  • 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)
  • 1915 An LZ-38 Zeppelin makes an air raid on London

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
  • 1921 A large-scale race riot breaks out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, later described as the worst incident of racial violence in American history; around 150-300 African Americans killed [1]
  • 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
  • 1928 1st aerial crossing of Pacific takes off from Oakland
  • 1929 Atlantic City Convention Center opens

  • 1930 Building begins on Albert Canal in Belgium
  • 1930 Comet 73P/1930 (Schwassmann-Wachmann 3) approaches 0.0617 AUs of Earth
  • 1935 7.7 magnitude earthquake destroys Quetta in Balochistan, British India (now Pakistan) killing an estimated 40,000 people
  • 1937 1st quadruplets to finish college (Baylor University)
  • 1937 German warships bombard Almeria, Spain
British troops await evacuation at Dunkirk
British troops await evacuation at Dunkirk
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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 A Luftwaffe air raid in Dublin, in neutral Ireland, claims 38 lives.
  • 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 Communists seize power in Hungary
  • 1947 Eastern DC-4 crashes between Ft Deposit & Perryville Md, kills 53
  • 1947 Italian government of Gasperi forms
  • 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)

  • 1951 Netherlands & South Africa sign cultural accord
  • 1953 Lebanese president Camille Shamun disbands government
  • 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 US performs nuclear test at Bikini Island (atmospheric tests)
  • 1961 Arthur Michael Ramsey appointed the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1961 US President John F. Kennedy 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
  • 1962 The West Indies Federation dissolves.
  • 1964 Charles Schmid kills first Pied Piper victim
  • 1970 7.75 Ancash earthquake off coast of Peru kills 66-70,000 and sets off world's deadliest avalanche
  • 1974 Israel and Syria sign an agreement concerning Golan Heights
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1975 Fred Newman makes 12,874 baskets in a one-day exhibition
  • 1977 Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani becomes heir apparent to throne of Qatar
  • 1977 Trans Alaska oil pipeline completed
  • 1980 Police & youthful rebels battle in Zurich

  • 1984 57th National Spelling Bee: Daniel Greenblatt wins spelling luge
  • 1984 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1985 Guatemala adopts constitution
  • 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.
  • 1989 "Rambling with Gambling" 20,000th radio program on WOR-AM (NYC)
  • 1989 1st International Rock 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 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
  • 1996 Mark Van Thillo and Abigail Alling, former biospherian win $100,000 lawsuit against Biospheric Development for Space Biospheres Ventures
  • 1997 The Confederation Bridge opens, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick
  • 2005 Mark Felt, former FBI high ranking official revealed as "Deep Throat" source during Watergate investigations in "Vanity Fair" article
  • 2010 Gaza Flotilla raid: Israeli Shayetet 13 soldiers board ships trying to break blockade of Gaze, during violent confrontation aboard MV Mavi Marmara 9 activists killed and several activists and soldiers injured
  • 2012 Egypt formally ends its 31 year state of emergency

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017 Kenya's Madaraka Express, a Chinese-built high speed railway from Mombasa to Nairobi is opened by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Prime Minister of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta
Prime Minister of Kenya
Uhuru Kenyatta
  • 2018 Danish government bans garments that cover the face, including the niqab and burqa
  • 2018 Uganda's parliament imposes tax on social media to stop gossip
  • 2019 Disgruntled employee shoots and kills 12 people at a US municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2019 US President Donald Trump threatens to impose extra 5% tax on Mexican goods if country does not increase its efforts to curb immigration

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2021 China's ruling Communist Party announces it will allow married couples to have three children, in effort to boost falling birthrates [1]
  • 2021 Peru says its COVID-19 death toll is three times higher than its official count (180,764 vs 68,000), making it one of the hardest high countries per population
  • 2021 Tulsa, Oklahoma, marks 100 year anniversary of the massacre of hundreds of black residents by a white mob in the Greenwood neighborhood