What happened in May. Historical events that happened on every day
475 BC – Roman consul Publius Valerius Poplicola celebrates a Roman triumph for his victory over Veii and the Sabines.
305 – Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman emperor.
524 – King Sigismund of Burgundy is executed at Orléans after an 8-year reign and is succeeded by his brother Godomar.
880 – The Nea Ekklesia is inaugurated in Constantinople, setting the model for all later cross-in-square Orthodox churches.
1169 – Norman mercenaries land at Bannow Bay in Leinster, marking the beginning of the Norman invasion of Ireland.
1328 – Wars of Scottish Independence end: By the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, England recognises Scotland as an independent state.
1455 – Battle of Arkinholm, Royal forces end the Black Douglas hegemony in Scotland.
1576 – Stephen Báthory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, marries Anna Jagiellon and they become co-rulers of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1707 – The Act of Union joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain takes effect.
1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
1759 – Josiah Wedgwood founds the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain.
1776 – Establishment of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt, Upper Bavaria, by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.
1778 – American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet begins in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
1786 – In Vienna, Austria, Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro is performed for the first time.
1794 – War of the Pyrenees: The Battle of Boulou ends, in which French forces defeat the Spanish and regain nearly all the land they lost to Spain in 1793.
1820 – Execution of the Cato Street Conspirators, who plotted to kill the British Cabinet and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool.
1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.
1844 – Hong Kong Police Force, the world’s second modern police force and Asia’s first, is established.
1846 – The few remaining Mormons left in Nauvoo, Illinois, formally dedicate the Nauvoo Temple.
1851 – Queen Victoria opens The Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace in London.
1856 – The Province of Isabela was created in the Philippines in honor of Queen Isabela II.
1862 – American Civil War: The Union Army completes its capture of New Orleans.
1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville begins.
1865 – The Empire of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay sign the Treaty of the Triple Alliance.
1866 – The Memphis Race Riots begin. In three days time, 46 blacks and two whites were killed. Reports of the atrocities influenced passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.
1875 – Alexandra Palace reopens after being burned down in a fire in 1873.
1884 – The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demands the eight-hour work day in the United States.
1884 – Moses Fleetwood Walker becomes the first black person to play in a professional baseball game in the United States.
1885 – The original Chicago Board of Trade Building opens for business.
1886 – Rallies are held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day, culminating in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, in commemoration of which May 1 is celebrated as International Workers’ Day in many countries.
1893 – The World’s Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago.
1894 – Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, arrives in Washington, D.C.
1898 – Spanish–American War: Battle of Manila Bay: The Asiatic Squadron of the United States Navy destroys the Pacific Squadron of the Spanish Navy after a seven-hour battle. Spain loses all seven of its ships, and 381 Spanish sailors die. There are no American vessel losses or combat deaths.
1900 – The Scofield Mine disaster kills over 200 men in Scofield, Utah in what is to date the fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.
1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.
1919 – German troops enter Munich to suppress the Bavarian Soviet Republic.
1925 – The All-China Federation of Trade Unions is officially founded. Today it is the largest trade union in the world, with 134 million members.
1927 – The Union Labor Life Insurance Company is founded by the American Federation of Labor.
1929 – The 7.2 Mw Kopet Dag earthquake shakes the Iran–Turkmenistan border region with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), killing up to 3,800 and injuring 1,121.
1930 – “Pluto” is officially proposed by the for the name of the newly-discovered dwarf planet Pluto by Vesto Slipher in the Lowell Observtory Observation Circular. The name quickly catches on.
1931 – The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City.
1941 – World War II: German forces launch a major attack during the siege of Tobruk.
1944 – World War II: Two hundred Communist prisoners are shot by the Germans at Kaisariani, Athens in reprisal for the killing of General Franz Krech by partisans at Molaoi.
1945 – World War II: A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.
1945 – World War II: Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda commit suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children are also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda.
1945 – World War II: Forces of the Soviet Red Army liberate Allied prisoners of war imprisoned at Stalag Luft I near Barth, Germany.
1945 – World War II: Up to 2,500 people die in a mass suicide in Demmin following the advance of the Red Army.
1945 – World War II: Yugoslav Partisans liberate Trieste.
1946 – Start of three-year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians.
1946 – The Paris Peace Conference concludes that the islands of the Dodecanese should be returned to Greece by Italy.
1947 – Portella della Ginestra massacre against May Day celebrations in Sicily by the bandit and separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano where 11 persons are killed and 33 wounded.
1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
1956 – A doctor in Japan reports an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.
1957 – Thirty-four people are killed when a Vickers Viking airliner crashes in Hampshire, England.
1960 – Formation of the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra; also known as “Maharashtra Day”.
1960 – Cold War: U-2 incident: Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
1961 – The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
1965 – Cross-Strait relations: Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China, takes place.
1967 – Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.
1970 – Vietnam War: Protests erupt following the announcement by Richard Nixon that the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces would attack Vietnamese communists in a Cambodian Campaign.
1971 – Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) takes over operation of U.S. passenger rail service.
1974 – The Argentine terrorist organization Montoneros is expelled from Plaza de Mayo by president Juan Perón.
1977 – Thirty-six people are killed in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the Labour Day celebrations.
1978 – Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
1982 – Operation Black Buck: The Royal Air Force attacks the Argentine Air Force during Falklands War.
1983 – The Sydney Entertainment Centre is opened.
1987 – Pope John Paul II beatifies Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
1989 – Disney-MGM Studios opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
1990 – The former Philippine Episcopal Church (supervised by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America) is granted full autonomy and raised to the status of an Autocephalous Anglican Province and renamed the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.
1993 – Dingiri Banda Wijetunga became president of Sri Lanka automatically after killing of R Premadasa in LTTE bomb explosion.
1994 – Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna is killed in an accident whilst leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
1995 – Croatian War of Independence: Croatian forces launch Operation Flash.
1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.
1999 – SpongeBob SquarePants premieres on Nickelodeon.
2001 – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declares the existence of “a state of rebellion”, hours after thousands of supporters of her arrested predecessor, Joseph Estrada, storm towards the presidential palace at the height of the EDSA III rebellion.
2002 – OpenOffice.org released version 1.0, the first stable version of the software.
2003 – Invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declares that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”.
2004 – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
2009 – Same-sex marriage is legalized in Sweden.
2011 – Pope John Paul II is beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
2019 – Naxalite attack in Gadchiroli district: 16 army soldiers, including a driver, killed in an IED blast. Naxals targeted an anti-Naxal operations team.
1194 – King Richard I of England gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.
1230 – William de Braose is hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great.
1335 – Otto the Merry, Duke of Austria, becomes Duke of Carinthia.
1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, is arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.
1559 – John Knox returns from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the nascent Scottish Reformation.
1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes from Loch Leven Castle.
1611 – The King James Version of the Bible is published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.
1670 – King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America.
1672 – John Maitland becomes Duke of Lauderdale and Earl of March.
1808 – Outbreak of the Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rise up in rebellion against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorializes this event in his painting The Second of May 1808.
1812 – The Siege of Cuautla during the Mexican War of Independence ends with both sides claiming victory after Mexican rebels under José María Morelos y Pavón abandon the city after 72 days under siege by royalist Spanish troops under Félix María Calleja.
1816 – Marriage of Léopold of Saxe-Coburg and Princess Charlotte of Wales.
1829 – After anchoring nearby, Captain Charles Fremantle of HMS Challenger, declares the Swan River Colony in Australia.
1863 – American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville. He succumbs to pneumonia eight days later.
1866 – Peruvian defenders fight off the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.
1876 – The April Uprising breaks out in Ottoman Bulgaria.
1879 – The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party is founded in Madrid by Pablo Iglesias.
1885 – Cree and Assiniboine warriors win the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.
1889 – Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs the Treaty of Wuchale, giving Italy control over Eritrea.
1906 – Closing ceremony of the Intercalated Games in Athens, Greece.
1918 – General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
1920 – The first game of the Negro National League baseball is played in Indianapolis.
1933 – Germany’s independent labor unions are replaced by the German Labour Front.
1941 – Following the coup d’état against Iraq Crown Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah earlier that year, the United Kingdom launches the Anglo-Iraqi War to restore him to power.
1945 – World War II: The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.
1945 – World War II: The surrender of Caserta comes into effect, by which German troops in Italy cease fighting.
1945 – World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberates Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1000 dead prisoners, most of whom starved to death.
1945 – World War II: A death march from Dachau to the Austrian border is halted by the segregated, all-Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army in southern Bavaria, saving several hundred prisoners.
1952 – The world’s first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 makes its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.
1955 – Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
1963 – Berthold Seliger launches a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven. It is the only sounding rocket developed in Germany.
1964 – Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the American aircraft carrier USS Card while it is docked at Saigon. Two Viet Cong combat swimmers had placed explosives on the ship’s hull. She is raised and returned to service less than seven months later.
1964 – First ascent of Shishapangma, the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.
1969 – The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City.
1972 – In the early morning hours a fire breaks out at the Sunshine Mine located between Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho, killing 91 workers.
1982 – Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.
1986 – Chernobyl disaster: The City of Chernobyl is evacuated six days after the disaster.
1989 – Cold War: Hungary begins dismantling its border fence with Austria, which allows a number of East Germans to defect.
1994 – A bus crashes in Gdańsk, Poland killing 32 people.
1995 – During the Croatian War of Independence, the Army of the Republic of Serb Krajina fires cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing seven and wounding over 175 civilians.
1998 – The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union’s monetary policy.
1999 – Panamanian general election, 1999: Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman to be elected President of Panama.
2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
2004 – The Yelwa massacre concludes. It began on 4 February 2004 when armed Muslims killed 78 Christians at Yelwa. In response, about 630 Muslims were killed by Christians on May 2nd.
2008 – Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Burma killing over 138,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.
2008 – Chaitén Volcano begins erupting in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,500 people.
2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man, is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
2011 – An E. coli outbreak strikes Europe, mostly in Germany, leaving more than 30 people dead and many others sick from the bacteria outbreak.
2012 – A pastel version of The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, sells for $120 million in a New York City auction, setting a new world record for a work of art at auction.
2014 – Two mudslides in Badakhshan, Afghanistan, leave up to 2,500 people missing.
752 – Mayan king Bird Jaguar IV of Yaxchilan in modern-day Chiapas, Mexico assumes the throne.
1294 – John II becomes Duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg.
1481 – The largest of three earthquakes strikes the island of Rhodes and causes an estimated 30,000 casualties.
1491 – Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
1616 – Treaty of Loudun ends French civil war.
1715 – A total solar eclipse was visible across northern Europe, and northern Asia, as predicted by Edmond Halley to within 4 minutes accuracy.
1791 – The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1802 – Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city after Congress abolishes the Board of Commissioners, the District’s founding government. The “City of Washington” is given a mayor-council form of government.
1808 – Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.
1808 – Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are executed near Príncipe Pío hill.
1815 – Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples is defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.
1830 – The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened; it is the first steam-hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.
1837 – The University of Athens is founded in Athens, Greece.
1848 – The boar-crested Anglo-Saxon Benty Grange helmet is discovered in a barrow on the Benty Grange farm in Derbyshire.
1849 – The May Uprising in Dresden begins: The last of the German revolutions of 1848–49.
1855 – American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.
1860 – Charles XV of Sweden–Norway is crowned king of Sweden.
1867 – The Hudson’s Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.
1901 – The Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, Florida.
1913 – Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film is released, marking the beginning of the Indian film industry.
1920 – A Bolshevik coup fails in the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
1921 – West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to enforcement issues.
1921 – The Government of Ireland Act 1920 is passed, dividing Ireland into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.
1928 – The Jinan incident begins with the deaths of twelve Japanese civilians by Chinese forces in Jinan, China, which leads to Japanese retaliation and the deaths of over 2,000 Chinese civilians in the following days.
1939 – The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
1942 – World War II: Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that results in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia.
1945 – World War II; Hamburg capitulates to the British under threat of renewed bombing.
1945 – World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay.
1945 – World War II: German Admiral-General Hans Georg von Friedeburg sent by Nazi Germany to negotiate an armistice with British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery to end hostilities between Allies and Nazi Germany in north-west Germany.
1947 – New post-war Japanese constitution goes into effect.
1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
1951 – London’s Royal Festival Hall opens with the Festival of Britain.
1951 – The United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.
1952 – Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole.
1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time, on the CBS network.
1957 – Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
1960 – The Off-Broadway musical comedy The Fantasticks opens in New York City’s Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
1960 – The Anne Frank House museum opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1963 – The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the civil rights movement.
1971 – Erich Honecker becomes First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, remaining in power until 1989.
1973 – The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world’s tallest building.
1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
1986 – Twenty-one people are killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb explodes on Air Lanka Flight 512 at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka.
1987 – A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop the restrictor plate for the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega.
1999 – The southwestern portion of Oklahoma City is devastated by an F5 tornado, killing forty-five people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado is one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. This tornado also produces the highest wind speed ever recorded, measured at 301 +/- 20 mph (484 +/- 32 km/h).
2000 – The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.
2001 – The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.
2002 – An Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes into a bank in Jalandhar, killing eight and injuring 17.
2007 – The 3-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann disappears in Praia da Luz, Portugal, starting “the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history”.
2015 – Two gunmen launch an attempted attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which was held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting.
2016 – Eighty-eight thousand people were evacuated from their homes in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada as a wildfire ripped through the community, destroying approximately 2,400 homes and buildings.
1256 – The Augustinian monastic order is constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.
1415 – Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.
1436 – Assassination of the Swedish rebel (later national hero) Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson
1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales.
1493 – Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation.
1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.
1686 – The Municipality of Ilagan is founded in the Philippines.
1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.
1799 – Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ends when the city is invaded and Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.
1814 – Emperor Napoleon I of France arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.
1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain signs the Decree of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.
1836 – Formation of Ancient Order of Hibernians
1859 – The Cornwall Railway opens across the Royal Albert Bridge linking Devon and Cornwall in England.
1865 – Surrender of the Confederate departments of Alabama, Mississippi and East Louisiana at Citronelle, Alabama.
1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate is fought in Japan.
1871 – The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1886 – Haymarket affair: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.
1904 – The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.
1910 – The Royal Canadian Navy is created.
1912 – Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes.
1919 – May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.
1926 – The United Kingdom general strike begins.
1932 – In Atlanta, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese forces had invaded Tulagi the day before.
1945 – World War II: Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.
1945 – World War II: The German surrender at Lüneburg Heath includes all Wehrmacht units in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany.
1946 – In San Francisco Bay, U.S. Marines from the nearby Treasure Island Naval Base stop a two-day riot at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary; 5 people are killed in the riot.
1949 – The entire Torino football team (except for two players who did not take the trip: Sauro Tomà, due to an injury and Renato Gandolfi, because of coach request) is killed in a plane crash.
1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
1959 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.
1961 – American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.
1961 – Malcolm Ross and Victor Prather attain a new altitude record for manned balloon flight ascending in the Strato-Lab V open gondola to 113,740 feet (34.67 km).
1970 – Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign of the United States and South Vietnam.
1972 – The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to “Greenpeace Foundation”.
1978 – The South African Defence Force attacks a SWAPO base at Cassinga in southern Angola, killing about 600 people.
1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1982 – Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.
1988 – The PEPCON disaster rocks Henderson, Nevada, as tons of Space Shuttle fuel detonate during a fire.
1989 – Iran–Contra affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges; the convictions are later overturned on appeal.
1990 – Latvia proclaims the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation.
1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord, granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
2000 – Ken Livingstone becomes the first Mayor of London.
2007 – Greensburg, Kansas is almost completely destroyed by a 1.7 mi wide EF5 tornado. It was the first-ever tornado to be rated as such with the new Enhanced Fujita scale.
2014 – Three people are killed and 62 injured in a pair of bombings on buses in Nairobi, Kenya.
553 – The Second Council of Constantinople begins.
1215 – Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England — part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta.
1260 – Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.
1494 – Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica and claims it for Spain.
1640 – King Charles I of England dissolves the Short Parliament.
1654 – Cromwell’s Act of Grace, aimed at reconciliation with the Scots, proclaimed in Edinburgh.
1762 – Russia and Prussia sign the Treaty of St. Petersburg.
1789 – In France, the Estates-General convenes for the first time since 1614.
1809 – Mary Kies becomes the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.
1809 – The Swiss canton of Aargau allows citizenship to Jews.
1811 – In the second day of fighting at the Peninsular War Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro the French army, under Marshall André Masséna, drive in the Duke of Wellington’s overextended right flank, but French frontal assaults fail to take the town of Fuentes de Oñoro and the Anglo-Portuguese army holds the field at the end of the day.
1821 – Emperor Napoleon dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean.
1835 – The first railway in continental Europe opens between Brussels and Mechelen.
1860 – Giuseppe Garibaldi sets sail from Genoa, leading the expedition of the Thousand to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and giving birth to the Kingdom of Italy.
1862 – Cinco de Mayo: Troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of the Wilderness begins in Spotsylvania County.
1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate District of the Gulf surrenders about 4,000 men at Citronelle, Alabama.
1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate government was declared dissolved at Washington, Georgia.
1866 – Memorial Day first celebrated in United States at Waterloo, New York.
1877 – American Indian Wars: Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.
1886 – The Bay View massacre: A militia fires into a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, killing seven.
1891 – The Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.
1904 – Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
1905 – The trial in the Stratton Brothers case begins in London, England; it marks the first time that fingerprint evidence is used to gain a conviction for murder.
1912 – Pravda, the “voice” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg.
1920 – Authorities arrest Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for alleged robbery and murder.
1925 – Scopes Trial: Serving of an arrest warrant on John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
1927 – To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is first published.
1936 – Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
1940 – World War II: Norwegian refugees form a government-in-exile in London.
1940 – World War II: Norwegian Campaign: Norwegian squads in Hegra Fortress and Vinjesvingen capitulate to German forces after all other Norwegian forces in southern Norway had laid down their arms.
1941 – Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa; the country commemorates the date as Liberation Day or Patriots’ Victory Day.
1945 – World War II: The German surrender at Lüneburg Heath becomes effective, encompassing all German armed forces opposing the 21st Army Group in northwestern Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
1945 – World War II: Dönitz gives Löhr permission to seek an armistice with the Western Allies to preserve a communist free Austria and recognising first, from a German standpoint, the separation of Austria from Germany undoing the Anschluss.
1945 – World War II: The Prague uprising begins as an attempt by the Czech resistance to free the city from German occupation.
1945 – World War II: Six people are killed when a Japanese fire balloon explodes near Bly, Oregon. They are the only Americans killed in the contiguous US during the war.
1945 – World War II: Battle of Castle Itter, the only battle in which American and German troops fought cooperatively.
1946 – The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
1950 – Bhumibol Adulyadej is crowned as King of Thailand.
1955 – The General Treaty, by which France, Britain and the United States recognize the sovereignty of West Germany, comes into effect.
1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.
1964 – The Council of Europe declares May 5 as Europe Day.
1972 – Alitalia Flight 112 crashes into Mount Longa near Palermo, Sicily, killing all 115 aboard, making it the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in Italy.
1973 – Secretariat wins the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5, an as-yet unbeaten record.
1980 – Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service storms the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.
1981 – Bobby Sands dies in the Long Kesh prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27.
1985 – Ronald Reagan visits the military cemetery at Bitburg and the site of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where he makes a speech.
1987 – Iran–Contra affair: Start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America
1991 – A riot breaks out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shoot a Salvadoran man.
1992 – Armand Césari Stadium disaster in Bastia (Corsica): 18 people are killed and 2,300 are injured when one of the terraces collapses before a football match between SC Bastia and Olympique de Marseille.
1994 – The signing of the Bishkek Protocol between Armenia and Azerbaijan effectively freezes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
1994 – American teenager Michael P. Fay is caned in Singapore for theft and vandalism.
2006 – The government of Sudan signs an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army.
2007 – Kenya Airways Flight 507 crashes after takeoff from Douala International Airport in Douala, Cameroon, killing all 114 aboard, making it the deadliest aircraft disaster in Cameroon.
2010 – Mass protests in Greece erupt in response to austerity measures imposed by the government as a result of the Greek government-debt crisis.
2014 – Eleven people are missing after a Chinese cargo ship collides with a Marshall Islands registered container ship off the coast of Hong Kong.
2014 – Twenty-two people die after two boats carrying refugees collide in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece.
2019 – A Russian jet plane burst into flames while attempting an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow killing at least 41 people.
1527 – Spanish and German troops sack Rome; many scholars consider this the end of the Renaissance.
1536 – The Siege of Cuzco commences, in which Incan forces attempt to retake the city of Cuzco from the Spanish.
1536 – King Henry VIII orders English-language Bibles be placed in every church. In 1539 the Great Bible would be provided for this purpose.
1542 – Francis Xavier reaches Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese India at the time.
1659 – English Restoration: A faction of the British Army removes Richard Cromwell as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth and reinstalls the Rump Parliament.
1682 – Louis XIV of France moves his court to the Palace of Versailles.
1757 – Battle of Prague: A Prussian army fights an Austrian army in Prague during the Seven Years’ War.
1757 – The end of Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War, and the end of Burmese Civil War (1740–1757).
1757 – English poet Christopher Smart is admitted into St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics in London, beginning his six-year confinement to mental asylums.
1782 – Construction begins on the Grand Palace, the royal residence of the King of Siam in Bangkok, at the command of King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.
1801 – Captain Thomas Cochrane in the 14-gun HMS Speedy captures the 32-gun Spanish frigate El Gamo.
1835 – James Gordon Bennett, Sr. publishes the first issue of the New York Herald.
1840 – The Penny Black postage stamp becomes valid for use in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
1857 – The British East India Company disbands the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British and is considered to be the First Martyr in the War of Indian Independence.
1861 – American Civil War: Arkansas secedes from the Union.
1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ends with the defeat of the Army of the Potomac by the Army of Northern Virginia.
1877 – Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Lakota surrenders to United States troops in Nebraska.
1882 – Thomas Henry Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish are stabbed to death by Fenian assassins in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
1882 – The United States Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act.
1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.
1906 – The Russian Constitution of 1906 is adopted (on April 23 by the Julian calendar).
1910 – George V becomes King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII.
1915 – Babe Ruth, then a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, hits his first major league home run.
1916 – Twenty-one Lebanese nationalists are executed in Martyrs’ Square, Beirut by Djemal Pasha.
1916 – Vietnamese Emperor Duy Tân is captured while attempting to call upon the people to rise up against the French, and is later deposed and exiled to Réunion island.
1933 – The Deutsche Studentenschaft attacked Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, later burning many of its books.
1935 – New Deal: Under the authority of the newly-enacted Federal Emergency Relief Administration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order 7034 to create the Works Progress Administration.
1937 – Hindenburg disaster: The German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people are killed.
1940 – John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.
1941 – At California’s March Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO show.
1941 – The first flight of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
1942 – World War II: On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.
1945 – World War II: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.
1945 – World War II: The Prague Offensive, the last major battle of the Eastern Front, begins.
1949 – EDSAC, the first practical electronic digital stored-program computer, runs its first operation.
1954 – Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.
1960 – More than 20 million viewers watch the first televised royal wedding when Princess Margaret marries Anthony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.
1966 – Myra Hindley and Ian Brady are sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors murders in England.
1972 – Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan are executed in Ankara after being convicted of attempting to overthrow the Constitutional order.
1975 – During a lull in fighting, 100,000 Armenians gather in Beirut to commemorate 60th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
1976 – The 6.5 Mw Friuli earthquake affected Northern Italy with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme), leaving 900–978 dead and 1,700–2,400 injured.
1983 – The Hitler Diaries are revealed as a hoax after being examined by experts.
1984 – One hundred three Korean Martyrs are canonized by Pope John Paul II in Seoul.
1988 – All thirty-six passengers and crew were killed when Widerøe Flight 710 crashed into Mt. Torghatten in Brønnøy.
1994 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and French President François Mitterrand officiate at the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
1996 – The body of former CIA director William Colby is found washed up on a riverbank in southern Maryland, eight days after he disappeared.
1997 – The Bank of England is given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank’s 300-year history.
1998 – Kerry Wood strikes out 20 Houston Astros to tie the major league record held by Roger Clemens. He threw a one-hitter and did not walk a batter in his fifth career start.
1999 – The first elections to the devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are held.
2001 – During a trip to Syria, Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to enter a mosque.
2002 – Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is assassinated following a radio-interview at the Mediapark in Hilversum.
2010 – In just 36 minutes, the Dow-Jones average plunged nearly 1000 points in what is known as the 2010 Flash Crash.
2013 – Three women, kidnapped and missing for more than a decade, are found alive in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
351 – The Jewish revolt against Constantius Gallus breaks out after his arrival at Antioch.
558 – In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses, twenty years after its construction. Justinian I immediately orders that the dome be rebuilt.
1274 – In France, the Second Council of Lyon opens to regulate the election of the Pope.
1487 – The Siege of Málaga commences during the Spanish Reconquista.
1664 – Louis XIV of France begins construction of the Palace of Versailles.
1685 – Battle of Vrtijeljka between rebels and Ottoman forces.
1697 – Stockholm’s royal castle (dating back to medieval times) is destroyed by fire. It is replaced in the 18th century by the current Royal Palace.
1718 – The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.
1763 – Pontiac’s War begins with Pontiac’s attempt to seize Fort Detroit from the British.
1794 – French Revolution: Robespierre introduces the Cult of the Supreme Being in the National Convention as the new state religion of the French First Republic.
1824 – World premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria. The performance is conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer’s supervision.
1832 – Greece’s independence is recognized by the Treaty of London.
1840 – The Great Natchez Tornado strikes Natchez, Mississippi killing 317 people. It is the second deadliest tornado in United States history.
1846 – The Cambridge Chronicle, America’s oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1864 – American Civil War: The Army of the Potomac, under General Ulysses S. Grant, breaks off from the Battle of the Wilderness and moves southwards.
1864 – The world’s oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide is launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, for transporting passengers and goods between Britain and Australia.
1895 – In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, the Popov lightning detector—a primitive radio receiver. In some parts of the former Soviet Union the anniversary of this day is celebrated as Radio Day.
1915 – World War I: German submarine U-20 sinks RMS Lusitania, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans. Public reaction to the sinking turns many former pro-Germans in the United States against the German Empire.
1915 – The Republic of China accedes to 13 of the 21 Demands, extending the Empire of Japan’s control over Manchuria and the Chinese economy.
1920 – Kiev Offensive: Polish troops led by Józef Piłsudski and Edward Rydz-Śmigły and assisted by a symbolic Ukrainian force capture Kiev only to be driven out by the Red Army counter-offensive a month later.
1920 – Treaty of Moscow: Soviet Russia recognizes the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia only to invade the country six months later.
1930 – The 7.1 Mw Salmas earthquake shakes northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). Up to three-thousand people were killed.
1931 – The stand-off between criminal Francis Crowley and 300 members of the New York Police Department takes place in his fifth-floor apartment on West 91st Street, New York City.
1937 – Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco’s forces.
1940 – World War II: The Norway Debate in the British House of Commons begins, and leads to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill three days later.
1942 – World War II: During the Battle of the Coral Sea, United States Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attack and sink the Imperial Japanese Navy light aircraft carrier Shōhō; the battle marks the first time in naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.
1945 – World War II: Last German U boat attack of the war, two freighters are sunk off the Firth of Forth, Scotland.
1945 – World War II: General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany’s participation in the war. The document takes effect the next day.
1946 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded.
1948 – The Council of Europe is founded during the Hague Congress.
1952 – The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer.
1954 – Indochina War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat and a Viet Minh victory (the battle began on March 13).
1960 – Cold War: U-2 Crisis of 1960: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that his nation is holding American U-2 pilot Gary Powers.
1976 – The Honda Accord is officially launched.
1986 – Canadian Patrick Morrow becomes the first person to climb each of the Seven Summits.
1992 – Michigan ratifies a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment law. This amendment bars the U.S. Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise.
1992 – Space Shuttle program: The Space Shuttle Endeavour is launched on its first mission, STS-49.
1992 – Three employees at a McDonald’s Restaurant in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, are brutally murdered and a fourth permanently disabled after a botched robbery. It is the first “fast-food murder” in Canada.
1994 – Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February.
1998 – Mercedes-Benz buys Chrysler for US$40 billion USD and forms DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history.
1999 – Pope John Paul II travels to Romania, becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054.
1999 – Kosovo War: Three Chinese citizens are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft apparently inadvertently bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.
1999 – In Guinea-Bissau, President João Bernardo Vieira is ousted in a military coup.
2000 – Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as president of Russia.
2002 – A China Northern Airlines MD-82 plunges into the Yellow Sea, killing 112 people.
2004 – American businessman Nick Berg is beheaded by Islamic militants. The act is recorded on videotape and released on the Internet.
453 BC – Spring and Autumn period: The house of Zhao defeats the house of Zhi, ending the Battle of Jinyang, a military conflict between the elite families of the State of Jin.
413 – Emperor Honorius signs an edict providing tax relief for the Italian provinces Tuscia, Campania, Picenum, Samnium, Apulia, Lucania and Calabria, which were plundered by the Visigoths.
589 – Reccared I opens the Third Council of Toledo, marking the entry of Visigothic Spain into the Catholic Church.
1429 – Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orléans, turning the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.
1450 – Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI.
1516 – A group of imperial guards, led by Trịnh Duy Sản, murdered Emperor Lê Tương Dực and fled, leaving the capital Thăng Long undefended.
1541 – Hernando de Soto stops near present-day Walls, Mississippi, and sees the Mississippi River (then known by the Spanish as Río de Espíritu Santo, the name given to it by Alonso Álvarez de Pineda in 1519).
1788 – King Louis XVI of France attempts to impose the reforms of Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne by abolishing the parlements.
1794 – Branded a traitor during the Reign of Terror, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector with the Ferme générale, is tried, convicted and guillotined in one day in Paris.
1821 – Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks at the Battle of Gravia Inn.
1842 – A train derails and catches fire in Paris, killing between 52 and 200 people.
1846 – Mexican–American War: Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.
1877 – At Gilmore’s Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens.
1886 – Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.
1898 – The first games of the Italian football league system are played.
1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produced its first play.
1902 – In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.
1912 – Paramount Pictures is founded.
1919 – Edward George Honey proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which ended World War I.
1921 – The creation of the Communist Party of Romania.
1924 – The Klaipėda Convention is signed formally incorporating Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory) into Lithuania.
1927 – Attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight from Paris to New York, French war heroes Charles Nungesser and François Coli disappear after taking off aboard The White Bird biplane.
1933 – Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a one-year campaign to help the Harijan movement.
1941 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches a bombing raid on Nottingham and Derby.
1942 – World War II: The German 11th Army begins Operation Trappenjagd (Bustard Hunt) and destroys the bridgehead of the three Soviet armies defending the Kerch Peninsula.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington.
1942 – World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebel in the Cocos Islands Mutiny. Their mutiny is crushed and three of them are executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.
1945 – World War II: German forces in the west agree to an unconditional surrender.
1945 – End of the Prague uprising, celebrated now as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.
1945 – Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.
1945 – The Halifax riot starts when thousands of civilians and servicemen rampage through Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1946 – Estonian schoolgirls Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel blow up the Soviet memorial which stood in front of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn.
1963 – South Vietnamese soldiers under the Roman Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.
1967 – The Philippine province of Davao is split into three: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
1972 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces his order to place naval mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
1973 – A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.
1976 – The rollercoaster The New Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
1978 – The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.
1980 – The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox.
1984 – Corporal Denis Lortie enters the Quebec National Assembly and opens fire, killing three people and wounding 13. René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly, succeeds in calming him, for which he will later receive the Cross of Valour.
1984 – The Thames Barrier is officially opened, preventing the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded except under extreme circumstances.
1987 – The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.
1988 – A fire at Illinois Bell’s Hinsdale Central Office triggers an extended 1AESS network outage once considered to be the “worst telecommunications disaster in US telephone industry history”.
1997 – China Southern Airlines Flight 3456 crashes on approach into Bao’an International Airport, killing 35 people.
2019 – A British teenager, Isabelle Holdaway, 17, is reported to be the first patient ever to receive a genetically modified phage therapy to treat a drug-resistant infection.
1009 – Lombard Revolt: Lombard forces led by Melus revolt in Bari against the Byzantine Catepanate of Italy.
1271 – Ninth Crusade, Edward I of England disembarks at Acre.
1386 – England and Portugal formally ratify their alliance with the signing of the Treaty of Windsor, making it the oldest diplomatic alliance in the world which is still in force.
1450 – ‘Abd al-Latif (Timurid monarch) is assassinated.
1540 – Hernando de Alarcón sets sail on an expedition to the Gulf of California.
1662 – The figure who later became Mr. Punch makes his first recorded appearance in England.
1671 – Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempts to steal England’s Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.
1726 – Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap’s molly house in London are executed at Tyburn.
1763 – The Siege of Fort Detroit begins during Pontiac’s War against British forces.
1864 – Second Schleswig War: The Danish navy defeats the Austrian and Prussian fleets in the Battle of Heligoland.
1865 – American Civil War: Nathan Bedford Forrest surrenders his forces at Gainesville, Alabama.
1865 – American Civil War: President Andrew Johnson issues a proclamation ending belligerent rights of the rebels and enjoining foreign nations to intern or expel Confederate ships.
1873 – Der Krach: Vienna stock market crash heralds the Long Depression.
1874 – The first horsebus makes its début in the city of Mumbai, traveling two routes.
1877 – Mihail Kogălniceanu reads, in the Chamber of Deputies, the Declaration of Independence of Romania. This day became the Independence Day of Romania.
1877 – A magnitude 8.8 earthquake off the coast of Peru kills 2,541, including some as far away as Hawaii and Japan.
1887 – Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opens in London.
1901 – Australia opens its first national parliament in Melbourne.
1904 – The steam locomotive City of Truro becomes the first steam engine in Europe to exceed 100 mph (160 km/h).
1911 – The works of Gabriele D’Annunzio are placed in the Index of Forbidden Books by the Vatican.
1915 – World War I: Second Battle of Artois between German and French forces.
1918 – World War I: Germany repels Britain’s second attempt to blockade the port of Ostend, Belgium.
1920 – Polish–Soviet War: The Polish army under General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrates its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreshchatyk.
1926 – Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claim to have flown over the North Pole (later discovery of Byrd’s diary appears to cast some doubt on the claim.)
1927 – Old Parliament House, Canberra officially opens.
1936 – Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa on May 5.
1940 – World War II: The German submarine U-9 sinks the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.
1941 – World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
1942 – Holocaust: The SS executes 588 Jewish residents of the Podolian town of Zinkiv (Khmelnytska oblast, Ukraine). The Zoludek Ghetto (in Belarus) is destroyed and all its inhabitants executed or deported.
1945 – World War II: The final German Instrument of Surrender is signed at the Soviet headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst.
1945 – World War II: The German occupation of the Channel Islands comes to an end.
1946 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicates and is succeeded by Umberto II.
1948 – Czechoslovakia’s Ninth-of-May Constitution comes into effect.
1949 – Rainier III becomes Prince of Monaco.
1950 – Robert Schuman presents his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe, which according to him was indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the “Schuman Declaration”, is considered by some people to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union.
1955 – Cold War: West Germany joins NATO.
1958 – Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo has world premiere in San Francisco.
1960 – The Food and Drug Administration announces it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle’s Enovid, making Enovid the world’s first approved oral contraceptive pill.
1961 – FCC Chairman Newton N. Minow gives his Wasteland Speech.
1964 – Ngô Đình Cẩn, de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother President Ngô Đình Diệm before the family’s toppling, is executed.
1969 – Carlos Lamarca leads the first urban guerrilla action against the military dictatorship of Brazil in São Paulo, by robbing two banks.
1970 – Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrate in front of the White House.
1974 – Watergate scandal: The United States House Committee on the Judiciary opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.
1977 – Hotel Polen fire: A disastrous fire burns down the Hotel Polen in Amsterdam causing 33 deaths and 21 severe injuries.
1979 – Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian is executed by firing squad in Tehran, prompting the mass exodus of the once 100,000-strong Jewish community of Iran.
1980 – In Florida, Liberian freighter MV Summit Venture collides with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, making a 1,400-ft. section of the southbound span collapse. Thirty-five people in six cars and a Greyhound bus fall 150 ft. into the water and die.
1980 – In Norco, California, five masked gunmen hold up a Security Pacific bank, leading to a violent shoot-out and one of the largest pursuits in California history. Two of the gunmen and one police officer are killed and thirty-three police and civilian vehicles are destroyed in the chase.
1987 – LOT Flight 5055 Tadeusz Kościuszko crashes after takeoff in Warsaw, Poland, killing all 183 people on board.
1988 – New Parliament House, Canberra officially opens.
1992 – Armenian forces capture Shusha, marking a major turning point in the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
1992 – Westray Mine disaster kills 26 workers in Nova Scotia, Canada.
1994 – Disappearance of Cleashindra Hall in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
2001 – In Ghana, 129 football fans die in what became known as the Accra Sports Stadium disaster. The deaths are caused by a stampede (caused by the firing of tear gas by police personnel at the stadium) that followed a controversial decision by the referee.
2002 – The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected terrorists among them deported to several different countries.
2012 – A Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft crashes into Mount Salak in West Java, Indonesia, killing 45 people.
2015 – An Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft crashes near the Spanish city of Seville with three people on board killed.
2015 – Russia stages its biggest ever military parade in Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory Day.
2018 – The historic defeat for Barisan Nasional, the governing coalition of Malaysia since the country’s independence in 1957 in 2018 Malaysian general election.
2018 – At the height of the 2018 East Africa floods, the Patel dam breaks in Solai, Kenya, killing 48 people and displacing another 2000.
28 BC – A sunspot is observed by Han dynasty astronomers during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, one of the earliest dated sunspot observations in China.
AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city’s Third Wall to the northwest.
1291 – Scottish nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England pending the selection of a king.
1497 – Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
1503 – Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.
1534 – Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland.
1655 – England, with troops under the command of Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, annexes Jamaica from Spain.
1688 – King Narai nominates Phetracha as regent, leading to the revolution of 1688 in which Phetracha becomes king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
1768 – John Wilkes is imprisoned for writing an article for The North Briton severely criticizing King George III. This action provokes rioting in London.
1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by reducing taxes on its tea and granting it the right to sell tea directly to North America. The legislation leads to the Boston Tea Party.
1774 – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette become King and Queen of France.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: A small Colonial militia led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold captures Fort Ticonderoga.
1775 – American Revolutionary War: Representatives from the Thirteen Colonies begin the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
1796 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon I of France wins a victory against Austrian forces at Lodi bridge over the Adda River in Italy. The Austrians lose some 2,000 men.
1801 – First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America.
1824 – The National Gallery in London opens to the public.
1833 – The desecration of the grave of the viceroy of southern Vietnam Lê Văn Duyệt by Emperor Minh Mạng provokes his adopted son to start a revolt.
1837 – Panic of 1837: New York City banks suspend the payment of specie, triggering a national banking crisis and an economic depression whose severity was not surpassed until the Great Depression.
1849 – Astor Place Riot: A riot breaks out at the Astor Opera House in Manhattan, New York City over a dispute between actors Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready, killing at least 25 and injuring over 120.
1857 – Indian Rebellion of 1857: In India, the first war of Independence begins. Sepoys mutiny against their commanding officers at Meerut.
1864 – American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton leads a 10-regiment “Attack-in-depth” assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, would provide the idea for the massive assault against the Bloody Angle on May 12. Upton is slightly wounded but is immediately promoted to brigadier general.
1865 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is captured by U.S. troops near Irwinville, Georgia.
1865 – American Civil War: In Kentucky, Union soldiers ambush and mortally wound Confederate raider William Quantrill, who lingers until his death on June 6.
1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah with the golden spike.
1872 – Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States.
1876 – The Centennial Exposition is opened in Philadelphia by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II.
1877 – The lower chamber of the Romanian Parliament sanctions the Declaration of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, proclaimed the previous day in the Senate by Mihail Kogălniceanu.
1881 – Carol I is crowned the King of the Romanian Kingdom.
1904 – The Horch & Cir. Motorwagenwerke AG is founded. It would eventually become the Audi company.
1908 – Mother’s Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.
1916 – Sailing in the lifeboat James Caird, Ernest Shackleton arrives at South Georgia after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island.
1922 – The United States annexes the Kingman Reef.
1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is appointed first Director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and remains so until his death in 1972.
1933 – Censorship: In Germany, the Nazis stage massive public book burnings.
1940 – World War II: German fighters accidentally bomb the German city of Freiburg.
1940 – World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin.
1940 – World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
1940 – World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.
1940 – World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.
1941 – World War II: The House of Commons in London is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
1941 – World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.
1942 – World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invades the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.
1946 – First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.
1948 – The Republic of China implements “temporary provisions” granting President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers to deal with the Communist uprising; they will remain in effect until 1991.
1954 – Bill Haley & His Comets release “Rock Around the Clock”, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.
1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.
1962 – Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk.
1967 – The Northrop M2-F2 crashes on landing, becoming the inspiration for the novel Cyborg and TV series The Six Million Dollar Man.
1969 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia begins with an assault on Hill 937. It will ultimately become known as Hamburger Hill.
1970 – Bobby Orr scores “The Goal” to win the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals, for the Boston Bruins’ fourth NHL championship in their history.
1972 – In the Vietnam War, the US had two fighter ace crews. The USAF’s Ritchie and DeBellevue scored their first kill while the USN’s Cunningham and Driscoll scored their third, fourth and fifth kills.
1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan.
1981 – François Mitterrand wins the presidential election and becomes the first Socialist President of France in the French Fifth Republic.
1993 – In Thailand, a fire at the Kader Toy Factory kills 156 workers.
1994 – Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
1997 – The 7.3 Mw Qayen earthquake strikes Iran’s Khorasan Province, killing 1,567, injuring over 2,300, leaving 50,000 homeless, and damaging or destroying over 15,000 homes.
2002 – FBI agent Robert Hanssen is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for selling United States secrets to Russia for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.
2005 – A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutyunian lands about 65 feet (20 meters) from U.S. President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctions and does not detonate.
2012 – The Damascus bombings are carried out using a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside of a military intelligence complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 55 people and injuring 400 others.
2013 – One World Trade Center becomes the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
1792 – Robert Gray commands the first expedition to sail into the Columbia River.
1813 – William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth discover a route across the Blue Mountains, opening up inland Australia to settlement.
1833 – The Lady of the Lake strikes an iceberg off Newfoundland and sinks with the loss of up to 265 passengers and crew.
1846 – President James K. Polk asked for a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican–American War.
1858 – Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd state of the United States.
1880 – Seven people are killed in the Mussel Slough Tragedy, a gun battle in California.
1894 – Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers go on a wildcat strike.
1943 – World War II: American troops invade Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands in an attempt to expel occupying Japanese forces.
1945 – World War II: Off the coast of Okinawa, the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill is hit by two kamikazes
1970 – The 1970 Lubbock tornado kills 26 and causes $250 million in damage.
1973 – Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg’s charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times are dismissed.
1985 – Fifty-six spectators die and more than 200 are injured in the Bradford City stadium fire.
1996 – After the aircraft’s departure from Miami, a fire started by improperly handled chemical oxygen generators in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 causes the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 on board.
1997 – Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.
1998 – India conducts three underground atomic tests in Pokhran.
2013 – Fifty-two people are killed in a bombing in Reyhanlı, Turkey.
2014 – Fifteen people are killed and 46 injured in Kinshasa in a stampede caused by tear gas being thrown into soccer stands by police officers.
2016 – 103 people are killed in an ISIL bombing in Baghdad.
254 – Pope Stephen I succeeds Pope Lucius I, becoming the 23rd pope of the Catholic Church.
907 – Zhu Wen forces Emperor Ai into abdicating, ending the Tang dynasty after nearly three hundred years of rule.
1191 – Richard I of England marries Berengaria of Navarre in Cyprus; she is crowned Queen consort of England the same day.
1328 – Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, is consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.
1364 – Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland, is founded in Kraków.
1510 – The Prince of Anhua rebellion begins when Zhu Zhifan kills all the officials invited to a banquet and declares his intent on ousting the powerful Ming dynasty eunuch Liu Jin during the reign of the Zhengde Emperor.
1551 – National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, is founded in Lima, Peru.
1588 – French Wars of Religion: Henry III of France flees Paris after Henry I, Duke of Guise, enters the city and a spontaneous uprising occurs.
1593 – London playwright Thomas Kyd is arrested and tortured by the Privy Council for libel.
1689 – King William’s War: William III of England joins the League of Augsburg starting a war with France.
1743 – Maria Theresa of Austria is crowned Queen of Bohemia after defeating her rival, Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.
1778 – Heinrich XI, count of the Principality of Reuss-Greiz, is elevated to Prince by Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: In the largest defeat of the Continental Army, Charleston, South Carolina is taken by British forces.
1797 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice.
1821 – The first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks is fought in Valtetsi.
1846 – The Donner Party of pioneers departs Independence, Missouri for California, on what will become a year-long journey of hardship and cannibalism.
1862 – American Civil War: U.S. federal troops occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: Two divisions of James B. McPherson’s XVII Corps turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton’s defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: Union troops assault a Confederate salient known as the “Mule Shoe”, with the fiercest fighting of the war, much of it hand-to-hand combat, occurring at “the Bloody Angle” on the northwest.
1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Palmito Ranch: The first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.
1870 – The Manitoba Act is given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15.
1881 – In North Africa, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate.
1885 – North-West Rebellion: The four-day Battle of Batoche, pitting rebel Métis against the Canadian government, comes to an end with a decisive rebel defeat.
1888 – In Southeast Asia, the North Borneo Chartered Company’s territories become the British protectorate of North Borneo.
1926 – The Italian-built airship Norge becomes the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.
1932 – Ten weeks after his abduction, Charles Jr., the infant son of Charles Lindbergh, is found dead near Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the Lindberghs’ home.
1933 – The Agricultural Adjustment Act, which restricts agricultural production through government purchase of livestock for slaughter and paying subsidies to farmers when they remove land from planting, is signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1937 – The Duke and Duchess of York are crowned as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Westminster Abbey.
1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
1942 – World War II: Second Battle of Kharkov: In eastern Ukraine, Red Army forces under Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launch a major offensive from the Izium bridgehead, only to be encircled and destroyed by the troops of Army Group South two weeks later.
1942 – World War II: The U.S. tanker SS Virginia is torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German submarine U-507.
1948 – Wilhelmina, Queen regnant of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, cedes the throne.
1949 – Cold War: The Soviet Union lifts its blockade of Berlin.
1965 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashes on the Moon.
1968 – Vietnam War: North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces attack Australian troops defending Fire Support Base Coral.
1978 – In Zaire, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining center of the province of Shaba (now known as Katanga); the local government asks the US, France and Belgium to restore order.
1981 – Francis Hughes, Provisional IRA hunger striker, dies in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland.
1982 – During a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpower Juan María Fernández y Krohn before he can attack Pope John Paul II with a bayonet.
1989 – The San Bernardino train disaster kills four people. A week later an underground gasoline pipeline explodes killing two more people.
1998 – Four students are shot at Trisakti University, leading to widespread riots and the fall of Suharto.
2002 – Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.
2003 – The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by al-Qaeda, kill 26 people.
2006 – Mass unrest by the Primeiro Comando da Capital begins in São Paulo (Brazil), leaving at least 150 dead.
2006 – Iranian Azeris interpret a cartoon published in an Iranian magazine as insulting, resulting in massive riots throughout the country.
2008 – An earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) occurs in Sichuan, China, killing over 69,000 people.
2008 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducts the largest-ever raid of a workplace in Postville, Iowa, arresting nearly 400 immigrants for identity theft and document fraud.
2010 – Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashes on final approach to Tripoli International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, killing 103 out of the 104 people on board.
2015 – A train derailment in Philadelphia kills eight people and injures more than 200.
2015 – Massive Nepal earthquake kills 218 people and injures more than 3500.
2017 – A ransomware attack attacks over 400 thousand computers worldwide, targeting computers of the United Kingdom’s National Health Services and Telefónica computers.
2018 – Paris knife attack: A man was fatally shot by police in Paris after killing one and injuring several others.
1373 – Julian of Norwich has visions of Jesus while suffering from a life-threatening illness, visions which are later described and interpreted in her book Revelations of Divine Love.
1515 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France, and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, are officially married at Greenwich.
1568 – Battle of Langside: The forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.
1619 – Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt is executed in The Hague after being convicted of treason.
1779 – War of the Bavarian Succession: Russian and French mediators at the Congress of Teschen negotiate an end to the war. In the agreement Austria receives the part of its territory that was taken from it (the Innviertel).
1780 – The Cumberland Compact is signed by leaders of the settlers in the Cumberland River area of what would become the U.S. state of Tennessee, providing for democratic government and a formal system of justice.
1787 – Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England, with eleven ships full of convicts (the “First Fleet”) to establish a penal colony in Australia.
1804 – Forces sent by Yusuf Karamanli of Tripoli to retake Derna from the Americans attack the city.
1830 – Ecuador gains its independence from Gran Colombia.
1846 – Mexican–American War: The United States declares war on the Federal Republic of Mexico following a dispute over the American annexation of the Republic of Texas and a Mexican military incursion.
1861 – American Civil War: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issues a “proclamation of neutrality” which recognizes the Confederacy as having belligerent rights.
1861 – The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.
1861 – Pakistan’s (then a part of British India) first railway line opens, from Karachi to Kotri.
1862 – The USS Planter, a steamer and gunship, steals through Confederate lines and is passed to the Union, by a southern slave, Robert Smalls, who later was officially appointed as captain, becoming the first black man to command a United States ship.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Resaca: The battle begins with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta.
1865 – American Civil War: Battle of Palmito Ranch: In far south Texas, the last land battle of the Civil War ends with a Confederate victory.
1880 – In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
1888 – With the passage of the Lei Áurea (“Golden Law”), Empire of Brazil abolishes slavery.
1909 – The first Giro d’Italia starts from Milan. Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna will be the winner.
1912 – The Royal Flying Corps, the forerunner of the Royal Air Force, is established in the United Kingdom.
1917 – Three children report the first apparition of Our Lady of Fátima in Fátima, Portugal.
1940 – World War II: Germany’s conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse. Winston Churchill makes his “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech to the House of Commons.
1940 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees her country to Great Britain after the German invasion. Princess Juliana takes her children to Canada for their safety.
1941 – World War II: Yugoslav royal colonel Dragoljub Mihailović starts fighting against German occupation troops, beginning the Serbian resistance.
1943 – World War II: Operations Vulcan and Strike force the surrender of the last Axis troops in Tunisia.
1948 – Arab–Israeli War: The Kfar Etzion massacre is committed by Arab irregulars, the day before the declaration of independence of the state of Israel on May 14.
1950 – The first round of the Formula One World Championship is held at Silverstone.
1951 – The 400th anniversary of the founding of the National University of San Marcos is commemorated by the opening of the first large-capacity stadium in Peru.
1952 – The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, holds its first sitting.
1954 – The anti-National Service Riots, by Chinese middle school students in Singapore, take place.
1954 – The original Broadway production of The Pajama Game opens and runs for another 1,063 performances. Later received three Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, and Best Choreography.
1958 – During a visit to Caracas, Venezuela, Vice President Richard Nixon’s car is attacked by anti-American demonstrators.
1958 – May 1958 crisis: A group of French military officers lead a coup in Algiers demanding that a government of national unity be formed with Charles de Gaulle at its head in order to defend French control of Algeria.
1958 – Ben Carlin becomes the first (and only) person to circumnavigate the world by amphibious vehicle, having travelled over 17,000 kilometres (11,000 mi) by sea and 62,000 kilometres (39,000 mi) by land during a ten-year journey.
1960 – Hundreds of University of California, Berkeley students congregate for the first day of protest against a visit by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
1967 – Dr. Zakir Husain becomes the third President of India. He is the first Muslim President of the Indian Union. He holds this position until August 24, 1969.
1969 – May 13 Incident involving sectarian violence in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1971 – Over 900 unarmed Bengali Hindus are murdered in the Demra massacre.
1972 – Faulty electrical wiring ignites a fire underneath the Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan. Blocked exits and non-functional elevators lead to 118 fatalities, with many victims leaping to their deaths.
1972 – The Troubles: A car bombing outside a crowded pub in Belfast sparks a two-day gun battle involving the Provisional IRA, Ulster Volunteer Force and British Army. Seven people are killed and over 66 injured.
1980 – An F3 tornado hits Kalamazoo County, Michigan. President Jimmy Carter declares it a federal disaster area.
1981 – Mehmet Ali Ağca attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Pope is rushed to the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic to undergo emergency surgery and survives.
1985 – Police bombed MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia to end a stand-off, killing six adults and five children, and destroying the homes of 250 city residents.
1989 – Large groups of students occupy Tiananmen Square and begin a hunger strike.
1990 – The Dinamo–Red Star riot took place at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, Croatia between the Bad Blue Boys (fans of Dinamo Zagreb) and the Delije (fans of Red Star Belgrade).
1992 – Li Hongzhi gives the first public lecture on Falun Gong in Changchun, People’s Republic of China.
1995 – Alison Hargreaves, a 33-year-old British mother, becomes the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.
1996 – Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kill 600 people.
1998 – Race riots break out in Jakarta, Indonesia, where shops owned by Indonesians of Chinese descent are looted and women raped.
1998 – India carries out two nuclear tests at Pokhran, following the three conducted on May 11. The United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India.
2005 – Andijan uprising, Uzbekistan; Troops open fire on crowds of protestors after a prison break; at least 187 people were killed according to official estimates.
2006 – São Paulo violence: Rebellions occur in several prisons in Brazil.
2011 – Two bombs explode in the Charsadda District of Pakistan killing 98 people and wounding 140 others.
2012 – Forty-nine dismembered bodies are discovered by Mexican authorities on Mexican Federal Highway 40.
2013 – American physician Kermit Gosnell is found guilty in Pennsylvania of murdering three infants born alive during attempted abortions, involuntary manslaughter of a woman during an abortion procedure, and other charges.
2014 – An explosion at an underground coal mine in southwest Turkey kills 301 miners.
1097 – The Siege of Nicaea begins during the First Crusade.
1264 – Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the effective ruler of England.
1509 – Battle of Agnadello: In northern Italy, French forces defeat the Republic of Venice.
1607 – Jamestown, Virginia is settled as an English colony.
1608 – The Protestant Union, a coalition of Protestant German states, is founded to defend the rights, land and safety of each member against the Catholic Church and Catholic German states.
1610 – Henry IV of France is assassinated by Catholic zealot François Ravaillac, and Louis XIII ascends the throne.
1643 – Four-year-old Louis XIV becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
1747 – War of the Austrian Succession: A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeats the French at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre.
1796 – Edward Jenner administers the first smallpox inoculation.
1800 – The 6th United States Congress recesses, and the process of moving the U.S. Government from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., begins the following day.
1804 – William Clark and 42 men depart from Camp Dubois to join Meriwether Lewis at St. Charles, Missouri, marking the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s historic journey up the Missouri River.
1811 – Paraguay: Pedro Juan Caballero, Fulgencio Yegros and José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia start actions to depose the Spanish governor.
1836 – The Treaties of Velasco are signed in Velasco, Texas.
1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson takes place.
1868 – Boshin War: The Battle of Utsunomiya Castle ends as former Tokugawa shogunate forces withdraw northward.
1870 – The first game of rugby in New Zealand is played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.
1878 – The last witchcraft trial held in the United States begins in Salem, Massachusetts, after Lucretia Brown, an adherent of Christian Science, accused Daniel Spofford of attempting to harm her through his mental powers.
1879 – The first group of 463 Indian indentured laborers arrives in Fiji aboard the Leonidas.
1913 – Governor of New York William Sulzer approves the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which begins operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.
1918 – Cape Town Mayor, Sir Harry Hands, inaugurates the Two-minute silence.
1925 – Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway is published.
1931 – Five unarmed civilians are killed in the Ådalen shootings, as the Swedish military is called in to deal with protesting workers.
1935 – The Constitution of the Philippines is ratified by a popular vote.
1939 – Lina Medina becomes the youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.
1940 – World War II: Rotterdam, Netherlands is bombed by the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany despite a ceasefire, killing about 900 people and destroying the historic city center.
1943 – World War II: A Japanese submarine sinks AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.
1948 – Israel is declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
1951 – Trains run on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales for the first time since preservation, making it the first railway in the world to be operated by volunteers.
1955 – Cold War: Eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign a mutual defense treaty called the Warsaw Pact.
1961 – Civil rights movement: A white mob twice attacks a Freedom Riders bus near Anniston, Alabama, before fire-bombing the bus and attacking the civil rights protesters who flee the burning vehicle.
1970 – Andreas Baader is freed from custody by Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and others, a pivotal moment in the formation of the Red Army Faction.
1973 – Skylab, the United States’ first space station, is launched.
1977 – A Dan-Air Boeing 707 leased to IAS Cargo Airlines crashes on approach to Lusaka International Airport (now Kenneth Kaunda International Airport) in Lusaka, Zambia, killing six people.
1980 – Salvadoran Civil War: the Sumpul River massacre occurs in Chalatenango, El Salvador.
1988 – Carrollton bus collision: A drunk driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group. Twenty-seven die in the crash and ensuing fire.
2004 – The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturns the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.
2004 – Rico Linhas Aéreas Flight 4815 crashes into the Amazon rainforest during approach to Eduardo Gomes International Airport in Manaus, Brazil, killing 33 people.
2012 – Agni Air Flight CHT crashes in Nepal after a failed go-around, killing 15 people.
495 BC – A newly constructed temple in honour of the god Mercury was dedicated in ancient Rome on the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills. To spite the senate and the consuls, the people awarded the dedication to a senior military officer, Marcus Laetorius.
221 – Liu Bei, Chinese warlord, proclaims himself emperor of Shu Han, the successor of the Han dynasty.
392 – Emperor Valentinian II is assassinated while advancing into Gaul against the Frankish usurper Arbogast. He is found hanging in his residence at Vienne.
589 – King Authari marries Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I. A Catholic, she has great influence among the Lombard nobility.
908 – The three-year-old Constantine VII, the son of Emperor Leo VI the Wise, is crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire by Patriarch Euthymius I at Constantinople.
1252 – Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad extirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
1525 – Insurgent peasants led by Anabaptist pastor Thomas Müntzer were defeated at the Battle of Frankenhausen, ending the German Peasants’ War in the Holy Roman Empire.
1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery and incest; she is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.
1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots marries James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.
1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).
1648 – The Treaty of Westphalia is signed.
1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world’s first machine gun.
1730 – Robert Walpole effectively became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1776 – American Revolution: The Fifth Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.
1791 – French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance.
1792 – War of the First Coalition: France declares war on Kingdom of Sardinia.
1793 – Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5–6 meters, during one of the first attempted manned flights.
1796 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph.
1800 – King George III of the United Kingdom survives an assassination attempt by James Hadfield, who is later acquitted by reason of insanity.
1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
1836 – Francis Baily observes “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.
1848 – Serfdom is abolished in the Habsburg Galicia, as a result of the 1848 revolutions. The rest of monarchy followed later in the year.
1849 – Troops of the Two Sicilies take Palermo and crush the republican government of Sicily.
1850 – The Bloody Island massacre takes place in Lake County, California, in which a large number of Pomo Indians are slaughtered by a regiment of the United States Cavalry.
1850 – The Arana–Southern Treaty is ratified, ending “the existing differences” between Great Britain and Argentina.
1851 – The first Australian gold rush is proclaimed, although the discovery had been made three months earlier.
1858 – Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia: Students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.
1867 – Canadian Bank of Commerce opens for business in Toronto, Ontario. The bank would later merge with Imperial Bank of Canada to become what is CIBC in 1961.
1869 – Women’s suffrage: In New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association.
1891 – Pope Leo XIII defends workers’ rights and property rights in the encyclical Rerum novarum, the beginning of modern Catholic social teaching.
1904 – Russo-Japanese War: The Russian minelayer Amur lays a minefield about 15 miles off Port Arthur and sinks Japan’s battleships Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew and Yashima.
1905 – Las Vegas is founded when 110 acres (0.45 km2), in what later would become downtown, are auctioned off.
1911 – In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, the United States Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be broken up.
1911 – More than 300 Chinese immigrants are killed in the Torreón massacre when the forces of the Mexican Revolution led by Emilio Madero take the city of Torreón from the Federales.
1919 – The Winnipeg general strike begins. By 11:00, almost the whole working population of Winnipeg had walked off the job.
1919 – Greek occupation of Smyrna. During the occupation, the Greek army kills or wounds 350 Turks; those responsible are punished by Greek commander Aristides Stergiades.
1925 – Al-Insaniyyah, the first Arabic communist newspaper, is founded.
1928 – Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse premieres in his first cartoon, “Plane Crazy”.
1929 – A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio kills 123.
1932 – In an attempted coup d’état, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is assassinated.
1933 – All military aviation organizations within or under the control of the RLM of Germany were officially merged in a covert manner to form its Wehrmacht military’s air arm, the Luftwaffe.
1934 – Kārlis Ulmanis establishes an authoritarian government in Latvia.
1940 – USS Sailfish is recommissioned. It was originally the USS Squalus.
1940 – World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrender to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.
1940 – McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
1941 – First flight of the Gloster E.28/39 the first British and Allied jet aircraft.
1941 – Joe DiMaggio begins a 56-game hitting streak.
1942 – World War II: In the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.
1943 – Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International).
1945 – World War II: The Battle of Poljana, the final skirmish in Europe is fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.
1948 – Following the expiration of The British Mandate for Palestine, the Kingdom of Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invade Israel thus starting the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
1957 – At Malden Island in the Pacific Ocean, Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple.
1958 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3.
1960 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 4.
1963 – Project Mercury: The launch of the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut Gordon Cooper on board. He becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space, and the last American to go into space alone.
1966 – After a policy dispute, Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ of South Vietnam’s ruling junta launches a military attack on the forces of General Tôn Thất Đính, forcing him to abandon his command.
1969 – People’s Park: California Governor Ronald Reagan has an impromptu student park owned by the University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, sparking a riot.
1970 – President Richard Nixon appoints Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army generals.
1970 – Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green are killed at Jackson State University by police during student protests.
1972 – The Ryukyu Islands, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.
1972 – In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while he is campaigning to become President.
1974 – Ma’alot massacre: Members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine attack and take hostages at an Israeli school; a total of 31 people are killed, including 22 schoolchildren.
1976 – Aeroflot Flight 1802 crashes in Viktorovka, Chernihiv Raion, killing all 52 people on board.
1987 – The Soviet Union launches the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit.
1988 – Soviet–Afghan War: After more than eight years of fighting, the Soviet Army begins to withdraw 115,000 troops from Afghanistan.
1991 – Édith Cresson becomes France’s first female Prime Minister.
1997 – The United States government acknowledges the existence of the “Secret War” in Laos and dedicates the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other “Secret War” veterans.
2004 – Arsenal F.C. go an entire league campaign unbeaten in the English Premier League, joining Preston North End F.C with the right to claim the title “The Invincibles”.
2008 – California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional.
2010 – Jessica Watson becomes the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.
2013 – An upsurge in violence in Iraq leaves more than 389 people dead over three days.
946 – Emperor Suzaku abdicates the throne in favor of his brother Murakami who becomes the 62nd emperor of Japan.
1204 – Having been elected on May 9, Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders is crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire.
1527 – The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence re-establishes itself as a republic.
1532 – Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England.
1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England.
1584 – Santiago de Vera becomes sixth Governor-General of the Spanish colony of the Philippines.
1739 – The Battle of Vasai concludes as the Marathas defeat the Portuguese army.
1770 – The 14-year-old Marie Antoinette marries 15-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later becomes king of France.
1771 – The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia and a group of rebels called The “Regulators”, occurs in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina.
1811 – Peninsular War: The allies Spain, Portugal and United Kingdom, defeat the French at the Battle of Albuera.
1812 – Imperial Russia signs the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Russo-Turkish War. The Ottoman Empire cedes Bessarabia to Russia.
1822 – Greek War of Independence: The Turks capture the Greek town of Souli.
1834 – The Battle of Asseiceira is fought, the last and decisive engagement of the Liberal Wars in Portugal.
1842 – The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail from Elm Grove, Missouri, with 100 pioneers.
1866 – The United States Congress establishes the nickel.
1868 – The United States Senate fails to convict President Andrew Johnson by one vote.
1874 – A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroys much of four villages and kills 139 people.
1877 – The 16 May 1877 crisis occurs in France, ending with the dissolution of the National Assembly 22 June and affirming the interpretation of the Constitution of 1875 as a parliamentary rather than presidential system. The elections held in October 1877 led to the defeat of the royalists as a formal political movement in France.
1888 – Nikola Tesla delivers a lecture describing the equipment which will allow efficient generation and use of alternating currents to transmit electric power over long distances.
1891 – The International Electrotechnical Exhibition opens in Frankfurt, Germany, and will feature the world’s first long distance transmission of high-power, three-phase electric current (the most common form today).
1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret wartime Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioning former Ottoman territories such as Iraq and Syria.
1918 – The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government during wartime an imprisonable offense. It will be repealed less than two years later.
1919 – A naval Curtiss NC-4 aircraft commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.
1920 – In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc.
1929 – In Hollywood, the first Academy Awards ceremony takes place.
1943 – The Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends.
1951 – The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between Idlewild Airport (now John F Kennedy International Airport) in New York City and Heathrow Airport in London, operated by El Al Israel Airlines.
1959 – The Triton Fountain in Valletta, Malta is turned on for the first time.
1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser (a ruby laser), at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
1961 – Park Chung-hee leads a coup d’état to overthrow the Second Republic of South Korea.
1966 – The Communist Party of China issues the “May 16 Notice”, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
1969 – Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet space probe, lands on Venus.
1974 – Josip Broz Tito is elected president for life of Yugoslavia.
1988 – A report by the Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
1991 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom addresses a joint session of the United States Congress. She is the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress.
1997 – Mobutu Sese Seko, the President of Zaire, flees the country.
2003 – In Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
2005 – Kuwait permits women’s suffrage in a 35–23 National Assembly vote.
2011 – STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6), launched from the Kennedy Space Center on the 25th and final flight for Space Shuttle Endeavour.
2014 – Twelve people are killed in two explosions in the Gikomba market area of Nairobi, Kenya.
1395 – Battle of Rovine: The Wallachians defeat an invading Ottoman army.
1536 – George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford and four other men are executed for treason.
1536 – Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage is annulled.
1590 – Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
1642 – Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founds the Ville Marie de Montréal.
1673 – Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi River.
1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed under the Buttonwood Agreement.
1805 – Muhammad Ali becomes Wāli of Egypt.
1809 – Emperor Napoleon I orders the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire.
1814 – Occupation of Monaco changes from French to Austrian.
1814 – The Constitution of Norway is signed and Crown Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark is elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
1859 – Members of the Melbourne Football Club codified the first rules of Australian rules football.
1863 – Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, the first book in the Galician language.
1865 – The International Telegraph Union (later the International Telecommunication Union) is established in Paris.
1869 – Imperial Japanese forces defeat the remnants of the Tokugawa shogunate in the Battle of Hakodate to end the Boshin War.
1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve Mafeking.
1900 – The children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, is first published in the United States. The first copy is given to the author’s sister.
1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
1914 – The Protocol of Corfu is signed, recognising full autonomy to Northern Epirus under nominal Albanian sovereignty.
1915 – The last British Liberal Party government (led by H. H. Asquith) falls.
1933 – Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway.
1939 – The Columbia Lions and the Princeton Tigers play in the United States’ first televised sporting event, a collegiate baseball game in New York City.
1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
1943 – World War II: Dambuster Raids commence by No. 617 Squadron RAF.
1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
1967 – Six-Day War: President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt demands dismantling of the peace-keeping UN Emergency Force in Egypt.
1969 – Venera program: Soviet Venera 6 begins its descent into the atmosphere of Venus, sending back atmospheric data before being crushed by pressure.
1973 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the United States Senate.
1974 – The Troubles: Thirty-three civilians are killed and 300 injured when the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) detonates four car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, Republic of Ireland.
1974 – Police in Los Angeles raid the Symbionese Liberation Army’s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.
1977 – Nolan Bushnell opened the first Chuck E. Cheese’s in San Jose, California.
1980 – General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea seizes control of the government and declares martial law in order to suppress student demonstrations.
1980 – On the eve of presidential elections, Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path attacks a polling location in Chuschi (a town in Ayacucho), starting the Internal conflict in Peru.
1983 – The U.S. Department of Energy declassifies documents showing world’s largest mercury pollution event in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (ultimately found to be 4.2 million pounds), in response to the Appalachian Observer’s Freedom of Information Act request.
1983 – Lebanon, Israel, and the United States sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
1984 – Prince Charles calls a proposed addition to the National Gallery, London, a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend”, sparking controversies on the proper role of the Royal Family and the course of modern architecture.
1987 – Iran–Iraq War: An Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. Navy warship USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
1990 – The General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminates homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.
1992 – Three days of popular protests against the government of Prime Minister of Thailand Suchinda Kraprayoon begin in Bangkok, leading to a military crackdown that results in 52 officially confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries, many disappearances, and more than 3,500 arrests.
1994 – Malawi holds its first multi-party elections.
1995 – Shawn Nelson steals an M60 tank from the California Army National Guard Armory in San Diego and proceeds to go on a rampage.
1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa. Zaire is officially renamed Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2000 – Arsenal and Galatasaray fans clash in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final riots in Copenhagen
2004 – The first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. are performed in the state of Massachusetts.
2006 – The aircraft carrier USS Oriskany is sunk in the Gulf of Mexico as an artificial reef.
2007 – Trains from North and South Korea cross the 38th Parallel in a test-run agreed by both governments. This is the first time that trains have crossed the Demilitarized Zone since 1953.
2014 – A plane crash in northern Laos kills 17 people.
332 – Emperor Constantine the Great announces free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.
872 – Louis II of Italy is crowned for the second time as Roman Emperor at Rome, at the age of 47. His first coronation was 28 years earlier, in 844, during the reign of his father Lothair I.
1096 – First Crusade: Around 800 Jews are massacred in Worms, Germany.
1152 – The future Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. He would become king 2 years later, after the death of his cousin once removed King Stephen of England.
1268 – The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Siege of Antioch.
1291 – Fall of Acre, the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land.
1302 – Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.
1388 – During the Battle of Buyur Lake, General Lan Yu leads a Chinese army forward to crush the Mongol hordes of Tögüs Temür, the Khan of Northern Yuan.
1499 – Alonso de Ojeda sets sail from Cádiz on his voyage to what is now Venezuela.
1565 – The Great Siege of Malta begins, in which Ottoman forces attempt and fail to conquer Malta.
1593 – Playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.
1631 – In Dorchester, Massachusetts, John Winthrop takes the oath of office and becomes the first Governor of Massachusetts.
1652 – Rhode Island passes the first law in English-speaking North America making slavery illegal.
1756 – The Seven Years’ War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.
1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown (later called Saint John, New Brunswick), Canada, after leaving the United States.
1794 – Battle of Tourcoing during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition.
1803 – Napoleonic Wars: The United Kingdom revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France.
1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.
1811 – Battle of Las Piedras: The first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay led by José Artigas.
1812 – John Bellingham is found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for the assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval.
1843 – The Disruption in Edinburgh of the Free Church of Scotland from the Church of Scotland.
1848 – Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.
1860 – Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the United States Secretary of State.
1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins.
1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that the “separate but equal” doctrine is constitutional.
1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: A mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II results in the deaths of 1,389 people.
1900 – The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.
1912 – The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne, is released in Mumbai.
1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President of the United States the power of conscription.
1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears in Venice, California.
1927 – The Bath School disaster: Forty-five people, including many children, are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.
1927 – After being founded for 20 years, the Government of the Republic of China approves Tongji University to be among the first national universities of the Republic of China.
1933 – New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority.
1944 – World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino: Conclusion after seven days of the fourth battle as German paratroopers evacuate Monte Cassino.
1944 – Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.
1948 – The First Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China officially convenes in Nanking.
1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.
1955 – Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War, ends.
1965 – Israeli spy Eli Cohen is hanged in Damascus, Syria.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 is launched.
1973 – Aeroflot Flight 109 is hijacked mid-flight and the aircraft is subsequently destroyed when the hijacker’s bomb explodes, killing all 82 people on board.
1974 – Nuclear weapons testing: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
1977 – Likud party wins the 1977 Israeli legislative election, with Menachem Begin, its founder, as the sixth Prime Minister of Israel.
1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
1980 – Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations calling for democratic reforms.
1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.2 mph).
1991 – Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is not recognized by the international community.
1993 – Riots in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, caused by the approval of the four Danish exceptions in the Maastricht Treaty referendum. Police open fire against civilians for the first time since World War II and injure 11 demonstrators.
1994 – Israeli troops finish withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, ceding the area to the Palestinian National Authority to govern.
2005 – A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.
2006 – The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.
2009 – The LTTE are defeated by the Sri Lankan government, ending almost 26 years of fighting between the two sides.
2015 – At least 78 people die in a landslide caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.
2018 – A school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas kills 10 people.
639 – Ashina Jiesheshuai and his tribesmen assaulted Emperor Taizong at Jiucheng Palace.
715 – Pope Gregory II is elected.
1051 – Henry I of France marries the Russian princess, Anne of Kiev.
1445 – John II of Castile defeats the Infantes of Aragon at the First Battle of Olmedo.
1499 – Catherine of Aragon is married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Catherine is 13 and Arthur is 12.
1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona’s two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).
1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
1542 – The Prome Kingdom falls to the Taungoo Dynasty in present-day Myanmar.
1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1643 – Thirty Years’ War: French forces under the duc d’Enghien decisively defeat Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power.
1649 – An Act of Parliament declaring England a Commonwealth is passed by the Long Parliament. England would be a republic for the next eleven years.
1655 – The Invasion of Jamaica begins during the Anglo-Spanish War.
1743 – Jean-Pierre Christin developed the centigrade temperature scale.
1749 – King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: A Continental Army garrison surrenders in the Battle of The Cedars.
1780 – New England’s Dark Day, an unusual darkening of the day sky, was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada.
1802 – Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Legion of Honour.
1828 – U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
1845 – Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England.
1848 – Mexican–American War: Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US$15 million.
1911 – Parks Canada, the world’s first national park service, is established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.
1917 – The Norwegian football club Rosenborg BK is founded.
1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating what is later termed the Turkish War of Independence.
1921 – The United States Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.
1922 – The Young Pioneer Organization of the Soviet Union is established.
1934 – Zveno and the Bulgarian Army engineer a coup d’état and install Kimon Georgiev as the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
1942 – World War II: In the aftermath of the Battle of the Coral Sea, Task Force 16 heads to Pearl Harbor.
1950 – A barge containing munitions destined for Pakistan explodes in the harbor at South Amboy, New Jersey, devastating the city.
1950 – Egypt announces that the Suez Canal is closed to Israeli ships and commerce.
1959 – The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail.
1961 – Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).
1961 – At Silchar Railway Station, Assam, 11 Bengalis die when police open fire on protesters demanding state recognition of Bengali language in the Bengali Language Movement.
1962 – A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
1963 – The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
1971 – Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
1986 – The Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1991 – Croatians vote for independence in a referendum.
1997 – The Sierra Gorda biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.
2007 – President of Romania Traian Băsescu survives an impeachment referendum and returns to office from suspension.
2010 – The Royal Thai Armed Forces concludes its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders.
2012 – Three gas cylinder bombs explode in front of a vocational school in the Italian city of Brindisi, killing one person and injuring five others.
2012 – A car bomb explodes near a military complex in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, killing nine people.
2015 – The Refugio oil spill deposited 142,800 U.S. gallons (3,400 barrels) of crude oil onto an area in California considered one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the west coast.
2016 – EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea while traveling from Paris to Cairo, killing all on board.
2018 – The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, with an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion.
325 – The First Council of Nicaea is formally opened, starting the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church.
491 – Empress Ariadne marries Anastasius I. The widowed Augusta is able to choose her successor for the Byzantine throne, after Zeno (late emperor) dies of dysentery.
685 – The Battle of Dun Nechtain is fought between a Pictish army under King Bridei III and the invading Northumbrians under King Ecgfrith, who are decisively defeated.
794 – While visiting the royal Mercian court at Sutton Walls with a view to marrying princess Ælfthryth, King Æthelberht II of East Anglia is taken captive and beheaded.
1217 – The Second Battle of Lincoln is fought near Lincoln, England, resulting in the defeat of Prince Louis of France by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke.
1293 – King Sancho IV of Castile creates the Estudio de Escuelas de Generales in Alcalá de Henares.
1449 – The Battle of Alfarrobeira is fought, establishing the House of Braganza as a principal royal family of Portugal.
1497 – John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west (other documents give a May 2 date).
1498 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India when he arrives at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India.
1521 – Ignatius of Loyola is seriously wounded in the Battle of Pampeluna.
1570 – Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issues Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas.
1609 – Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.
1631 – The city of Magdeburg in Germany is seized by forces of the Holy Roman Empire and most of its inhabitants massacred, in one of the bloodiest incidents of the Thirty Years’ War.
1645 – Yangzhou massacre: The ten day massacre of 800,000 residents of the city of Yangzhou, part of the Transition from Ming to Qing.
1775 – The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is allegedly signed in Charlotte, North Carolina.
1802 – By the Law of 20 May 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte reinstates slavery in the French colonies, revoking its abolition in the French Revolution.
1813 – Napoleon Bonaparte leads his French troops into the Battle of Bautzen in Saxony, Germany, against the combined armies of Russia and Prussia. The battle ends the next day with a French victory.
1840 – York Minster is badly damaged by fire.
1861 – American Civil War: The state of Kentucky proclaims its neutrality, which will last until September 3 when Confederate forces enter the state. Meanwhile, the State of North Carolina secedes from the Union.
1862 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law, opening 84 million acres of public land to settlers.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Ware Bottom Church: In the Virginia Bermuda Hundred campaign, 10,000 troops fight in this Confederate victory.
1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
1875 – Signing of the Metre Convention by 17 nations leading to the establishment of the International System of Units.
1882 – The Triple Alliance between the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Italy is formed.
1883 – Krakatoa begins to erupt; the volcano explodes three months later, killing more than 36,000 people.
1891 – History of cinema: The first public display of Thomas Edison’s prototype kinetoscope.
1902 – Cuba gains independence from the United States. Tomás Estrada Palma becomes the country’s first President.
1927 – Treaty of Jeddah: The United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merge to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
1932 – Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the next day.
1940 – The Holocaust: The first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz.
1941 – World War II: Battle of Crete: German paratroops invade Crete.
1948 – Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek wins the 1948 Republic of China presidential election and is sworn in as the first President of the Republic of China at Nanjing.
1949 – In the United States, the Armed Forces Security Agency, the predecessor to the National Security Agency, is established.
1956 – In Operation Redwing, the first United States airborne hydrogen bomb is dropped over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
1964 – Discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation by Robert Woodrow Wilson and Arno Penzias.
1967 – The Popular Movement of the Revolution political party is established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
1969 – The Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam ends.
1971 – In the Chuknagar massacre, Pakistani forces massacre thousands, mostly Bengali Hindus.
1980 – In a referendum in Quebec, the population rejects, by 60% of the vote, a government proposal to move towards independence from Canada.
1983 – First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier.
1983 – Church Street bombing: A car bomb planted by Umkhonto we Sizwe explodes on Church Street in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, killing 19 people and injuring 217 others.
1985 – Radio Martí, part of the Voice of America service, begins broadcasting to Cuba.
1989 – The Chinese authorities declare martial law in the face of pro-democracy demonstrations, setting the scene for the Tiananmen Square massacre.
1990 – The first post-Communist presidential and parliamentary elections are held in Romania.
1996 – Civil rights: The Supreme Court of the United States rules in Romer v. Evans against a law that would have prevented any city, town or county in the state of Colorado from taking any legislative, executive, or judicial action to protect the rights of gays and lesbians.
2002 – The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and three years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself is the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).
2012 – At least 27 people are killed and 50 others injured when a 6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes northern Italy.
2013 – An EF5 tornado strikes the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, killing 24 people and injuring 377 others.
2019 – The International System of Units (SI): The base units are redefined, and the International Prototype Kilogram becomes obsolete.
293 – Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appoint Galerius as Caesar to Diocletian, beginning the period of four rulers known as the Tetrarchy.
878 – Syracuse, Sicily, is captured by the Muslim Aghlabids after a nine-month siege.
879 – Pope John VIII gives blessings to Branimir of Croatia and to the Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of the Croatian state.
996 – Sixteen-year-old Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1349 – Dušan’s Code, the constitution of the Serbian Empire, is enacted by Dušan the Mighty.
1403 – Henry III of Castile sends Ruy González de Clavijo as ambassador to Timur to discuss the possibility of an alliance between Timur and Castile against the Ottoman Empire.
1554 – Queen Mary I grants a royal charter to Derby School, as a grammar school for boys in Derby, England.
1659 – In the Concert of The Hague, the Dutch Republic, the Commonwealth of England and the Kingdom of France set out their views on how the Second Northern War should end.
1660 – The Battle of Long Sault concludes after five days in which French colonial militia, with their Huron and Algonquin allies, are defeated by the Iroquois Confederacy.
1674 – The nobility elect John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
1703 – Daniel Defoe is imprisoned on charges of seditious libel.
1725 – The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by Empress Catherine I. It would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
1758 – Ten-year-old Mary Campbell is abducted in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War. She is returned six and a half years later.
1792 – A lava dome collapses on Mount Unzen, near the city of Shimbara on the Japanese island of Kyūshū, creating a deadly tsunami that kills nearly 15,000 people.
1809 – The first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling between the Austrian army led by Archduke Charles and the French army led by Napoleon I of France sees the French attack across the Danube held.
1851 – Slavery is abolished in Colombia, South America.
1856 – Lawrence, Kansas is captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.
1863 – American Civil War: The Union Army succeeds in closing off the last escape route from Port Hudson, Louisiana, in preparation for the coming siege.
1864 – Russia declares an end to the Russo-Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ends.
1864 – The Ionian Islands reunite with Greece.
1871 – French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of “Bloody Week”, some 20,000 communards have been killed and 38,000 arrested.
1871 – Opening of the first rack railway in Europe, the Rigi Bahnen on Mount Rigi.
1879 – War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbor of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battle two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique.
1881 – The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C.
1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal in the United Kingdom is officially opened by Queen Victoria, who later knights its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.
1904 – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.
1911 – President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz and the revolutionary Francisco Madero sign the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez to put an end to the fighting between the forces of both men, concluding the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution.
1917 – The Imperial War Graves Commission is established through royal charter to mark, record, and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of the British Empire’s military forces.
1917 – The Great Atlanta fire of 1917 causes $5.5 million in damages, destroying some 300 acres including 2,000 homes, businesses and churches, displacing about 10,000 people but leading to only one fatality (due to heart attack).
1924 – University of Chicago students Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a “thrill killing”.
1927 – Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
1934 – Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.
1936 – Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her handbag. Her story soon becomes one of Japan’s most notorious scandals.
1937 – A Soviet station, North Pole-1, becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
1939 – The Canadian National War Memorial is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
1946 – Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
1951 – The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition: A gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School.
1961 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
1966 – The Ulster Volunteer Force declares war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.
1969 – Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, known as Rosariazo, following the death of a 15-year-old student.
1972 – Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal, the mentally disturbed Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.
1976 – The Yuba City bus disaster occurs in Martinez, California. Twenty-nine are killed making it the deadliest road accident in U.S. history.
1979 – White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
1981 – The Italian government releases the membership list of Propaganda Due, an illegal pseudo-Masonic lodge that was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries.
1981 – Transamerica Corporation agrees to sell United Artists to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for $380 million after the box office failure of the 1980 film Heaven’s Gate.
1982 – Falklands War: A British amphibious assault during Operation Sutton leads to the Battle of San Carlos.
1991 – Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by a female suicide bomber near Madras.
1991 – Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, flees Ethiopia, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.
1992 – After 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests (Robin Williams and Bette Midler) of The Tonight Show.
1994 – The Democratic Republic of Yemen unsuccessfully attempts to secede from the Republic of Yemen; a war breaks out.
1996 – The ferry MV Bukoba sinks in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1,000.
1998 – In Miami, five abortion clinics are attacked by a butyric acid attacker.
1998 – President Suharto of Indonesia resigns following the killing of students from Trisakti University earlier that week by security forces and growing mass protests in Jakarta against his ongoing corrupt rule.
2001 – French Taubira law is enacted, officially recognizing the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
2003 – The 6.8 Mw Boumerdès earthquake shakes northern Algeria with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). More than 2,200 people were killed and a moderate tsunami sank boats at the Balearic Islands.
2005 – The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opens at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.
2006 – The Republic of Montenegro holds a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; 55% of Montenegrins vote for independence.
2010 – JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket. The vessel would make a Venus flyby late in the year.
2011 – Radio broadcaster Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on this date.
2012 – A bus accident near Himara, Albania kills 13 people and injures 21 others.
2012 – A suicide bombing kills more than 120 people in Sana’a, Yemen.
2017 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed their final show at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
192 – Dong Zhuo is assassinated by his adopted son Lü Bu.
760 – Fourteenth recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
853 – A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys undefended Damietta in Egypt.
1176 – The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to assassinate Saladin near Aleppo.
1200 – King John of England and King Philip II of France sign the Treaty of Le Goulet.
1246 – Henry Raspe is elected anti-king of the Kingdom of Germany in opposition to Conrad IV.
1254 – Serbian King Stefan Uroš I and the Republic of Venice sign a peace treaty.
1370 – Brussels massacre: Hundreds Jews are murdered and the rest of the Jewish community is banished from Brussels, Belgium, for allegedly descrating consecrated Host.
1377 – Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.
1455 – Start of the Wars of the Roses: At the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1520 – The massacre at the festival of Tóxcatl takes place during the Fall of Tenochtitlan, resulting in turning the Aztecs against the Spanish.
1629 – Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and Danish King Christian IV sign the Treaty of Lübeck ending Danish intervention in the Thirty Years’ War.
1762 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
1762 – Trevi Fountain is officially completed and inaugurated in Rome.
1766 – A large earthquake causes heavy damage and loss of life in Istanbul and the Marmara region.
1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially begins as the Corps of Discovery departs from St. Charles, Missouri.
1807 – A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1809 – On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna, Austria), Napoleon I is repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
1816 – A mob in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, riots concerning high unemployment and rising grain costs spreads to Ely the next day.
1819 – SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
1826 – HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.
1840 – The penal transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
1848 – Slavery is abolished in Martinique.
1849 – Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.
1856 – Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina severely beats Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made regarding Southerners and slavery.
1863 – American Civil War: Union forces begin the Siege of Port Hudson which lasts 48 days, the longest siege in U.S. military history.
1864 – American Civil War: After ten weeks, the Union Army’s Red River Campaign ends in failure.
1872 – Reconstruction Era: President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act into law, restoring full civil and political rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1900 – The Associated Press is formed in New York City as a non-profit news cooperative.
1906 – The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.
1915 – Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, the only volcano besides Mount St. Helens to erupt in the contiguous U.S. during the 20th century.
1915 – Three trains collide in the Quintinshill rail disaster near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246.
1926 – Chiang Kai-shek replaces the communists in Kuomintang China.
1927 – Near Xining, China, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake causes 200,000 deaths in one of the world’s most destructive earthquakes.
1939 – World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
1941 – During the Anglo-Iraqi War, British troops take Fallujah.
1942 – Mexico enters World War II, joining the Allies.
1943 – Joseph Stalin disbands the Comintern.
1947 – Cold War: The Truman Doctrine goes into effect, aiding Turkey & Greece.
1957 – South Africa’s government approves of racial separation in universities.
1958 – The 1958 riots in Ceylon become a watershed in the race relations of various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total deaths is estimated at 300, mostly Tamils.
1960 – The Great Chilean earthquake, measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, hits southern Chile, becoming the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
1962 – Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode on board.
1963 – Greek left-wing politician Grigoris Lambrakis is shot in an assassination attempt, and dies five days later.
1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson launches the Great Society.
1967 – Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.
1967 – L’Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium, burns down, resulting in 323 dead or missing and 150 injured, the most devastating fire in Belgian history.
1968 – The nuclear-powered submarine USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard, 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
1969 – Apollo 10’s lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.
1972 – Ceylon adopts a new constitution, becoming a republic and changing its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
1972 – Over 400 women in Derry, Northern Ireland attack the offices of Sinn Féin following the shooting by the Irish Republican Army of a young British soldier on leave.
1987 – Hashimpura massacre occurs in Meerut, India.
1987 – First ever Rugby World Cup kicks off with New Zealand playing Italy at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
1990 – North and South Yemen are unified to create the Republic of Yemen.
1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia join the United Nations.
1994 – A worldwide trade embargo against Haiti goes into effect to punish its military rulers for not reinstating the country’s ousted elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1996 – The Burmese military regime jails 71 supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in a bid to block a pro-democracy meeting.
1998 – A U.S. federal judge rules that U.S. Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the Lewinsky scandal involving President Bill Clinton.
2000 – In Sri Lanka, over 150 Tamil rebels are killed over two days of fighting for control in Jaffna.
2002 – Civil rights movement: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murder of four girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
2010 – Air India Express Boeing 737 crashes over a cliff upon landing at Mangalore, India, killing 158 of 166 people on board, becoming the deadliest crash involving a Boeing 737.
2010 – Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the Uefa Champions League final in Madrid, Spain to become the first, and so far only, Italian team to win the historic treble (Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League).
2011 – An EF5 tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri, killing 158 people and wreaking $2.8 billion in damages, the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history.
2012 – Tokyo Skytree opens to the public. It is the tallest tower in the world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).
2014 – General Prayut Chan-o-cha becomes interim leader of Thailand in a military coup d’état, following six months of political turmoil.
2014 – An explosion occurs in Ürümqi, capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries.
2015 – The Republic of Ireland becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.
2017 – Twenty-two people are killed at an Ariana Grande concert in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing.
2017 – United States President Donald Trump visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Western Wall.
1430 – Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to raise the Siege of Compiègne.
1498 – Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in Florence, Italy.
1533 – The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
1568 – Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Arenberg, and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.
1609 – Official ratification of the Second Virginia Charter takes place.
1618 – The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years’ War.
1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
1706 – John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeats a French army under Marshal François de Neufville, duc de Villeroy at the Battle of Ramillies.
1788 – South Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution as the eighth American state.
1793 – Battle of Famars during the Flanders Campaign of the War of the First Coalition.
1829 – Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian in Vienna, Austrian Empire.
1844 – Declaration of the Báb the evening before the 23rd: A merchant of Shiraz announces that he is a Prophet and founds a religious movement that would later be brutally crushed by the Persian government. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith; Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.
1846 – Mexican–American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declares war on the United States.
1863 – The General German Workers’ Association, a precursor of the modern Social Democratic Party of Germany, is founded in Leipzig, Kingdom of Saxony.
1873 – The Canadian Parliament establishes the North-West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1900 – American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner in 1863.
1907 – The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathers for its first plenary session.
1911 – The New York Public Library is dedicated.
1915 – World War I: Italy joins the Allies, fulfilling its part of the Treaty of London.
1932 – In Brazil, four students are shot and killed during a manifestation against the Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas, which resulted in the outbreak of the Constitutionalist Revolution several weeks later.
1934 – Infamous American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
1934 – The Auto-Lite strike culminates in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.
1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians. The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect are rescued the following day.
1945 – World War II: Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutzstaffel, commits suicide while in Allied custody.
1945 – World War II: The Flensburg Government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz is dissolved when its members are captured and arrested by British forces.
1948 – Thomas C. Wasson, the US Consul-General, is assassinated in Jerusalem, Israel.
1949 – Cold War: The Western occupying powers approve the Basic Law and establish a new German state, the Federal Republic of Germany.
1951 – Tibetans sign the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.
1960 – A tsunami caused by an earthquake in Chile the previous day kills 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii.
1974 – British nuclear testing in the United States of nuclear test Fallon for Chevaline under the Polaris (UK nuclear programme), named after the South African Roan antelope in the London zoo, on request of Lord Carrington.
1992 – Italy’s most prominent anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three body guards are killed by the Corleonesi clan with a half-ton bomb near Capaci, Sicily. His friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino will be assassinated less than two months later, making 1992 a turning point in the history of Italian Mafia prosecutions.
1995 – The first version of the Java programming language is released.
1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with roughly 75% voting yes.
2002 – The “55 parties” clause of the Kyoto Protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland.
2006 – Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupts.
2008 – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awards Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.
2013 – A freeway bridge carrying Interstate 5 over the Skagit River collapses in Mount Vernon, Washington.
2014 – Seven people, including the perpetrator, are killed and another 14 injured in a killing spree near the campus of University of California, Santa Barbara.
2015 – At least 46 people are killed as a result of floods caused by a tornado in Texas and Oklahoma.
2016 – Two suicide bombings, conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, killed at least 45 potential army recruits in Aden, Yemen.
2016 – Eight bombings were carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Jableh and Tartus, coastline cities in Syria. One hundred eighty-four people were killed and at least 200 people injured.
2017 – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, following the Maute’s attack in Marawi.
919 – The nobles of Franconia and Saxony elect Henry the Fowler at the Imperial Diet in Fritzlar as king of the East Frankish Kingdom.
1218 – The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt.
1276 – Magnus Ladulås is crowned King of Sweden in Uppsala Cathedral.
1487 – The ten-year-old Lambert Simnel is crowned in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, with the name of Edward VI in a bid to threaten King Henry VII’s reign.
1567 – Erik XIV of Sweden and his guards murder five incarcerated Swedish nobles.
1595 – Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.
1607 – 100 English settlers disembark in Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in America.
1621 – The Protestant Union is formally dissolved.
1626 – Peter Minuit buys Manhattan.
1667 – The French Royal Army crosses the border into the Spanish Netherlands, starting the War of Devolution opposing France to the Spanish Empire and the Triple Alliance.
1683 – The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opens as the world’s first university museum.
1689 – The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting dissenting Protestants but excluding Roman Catholics.
1738 – John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day and a church service is generally held on the preceding Sunday.
1798 – The Irish Rebellion of 1798 led by the United Irishmen against British rule begins.
1813 – South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
1822 – Battle of Pichincha: Antonio José de Sucre secures the independence of the Presidency of Quito.
1830 – “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sarah Josepha Hale is published.
1832 – The First Kingdom of Greece is declared in the London Conference.
1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message “What hath God wrought” (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.
1856 – John Brown and his men kill five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas.
1861 – American Civil War: Union troops occupy Alexandria, Virginia.
1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.
1900 – Second Boer War: The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State.
1915 – World War I: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary, joining the conflict on the side of the Allies.
1930 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).
1935 – The first night game in Major League Baseball history is played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1 at Crosley Field.
1940 – Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
1940 – Acting on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, NKVD agent Iosif Grigulevich orchestrates an unsuccessful assassination attempt on exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky in Coyoacán, Mexico.
1941 – World War II: In the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sinks then-pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, killing all but three crewmen.
1948 – Arab–Israeli War: Egypt captures the Israeli kibbutz of Yad Mordechai, but the five-day effort gives Israeli forces time to prepare enough to stop the Egyptian advance a week later.
1956 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.
1958 – United Press International is formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
1960 – Following the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, the largest ever recorded earthquake, Cordón Caulle begins to erupt.
1961 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, for “disturbing the peace” after disembarking from their bus.
1962 – Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
1967 – Egypt imposes a blockade and siege of the Red Sea coast of Israel.
1976 – The Judgment of Paris takes place in France, launching California as a worldwide force in the production of quality wine.
1981 – Ecuadorian president Jaime Roldós Aguilera, his wife, and his presidential committee die in an aircraft accident while travelling from Quito to Zapotillo minutes after the president gave a famous speech regarding the 24 de mayo anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha.
1982 – Liberation of Khorramshahr: Iranians recapture of the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War.
1988 – Section 28 of the United Kingdom’s Local Government Act 1988, a controversial amendment stating that a local authority cannot intentionally promote homosexuality, is enacted.
1991 – Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
1992 – The last Thai dictator, General Suchinda Kraprayoon, resigns following pro-democracy protests.
1992 – The ethnic cleansing in Kozarac, Bosnia and Herzegovina begins when Serbian militia and police forces enter the town.
1993 –Eritrea gains its independence from Ethiopia.
1993 – Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo and five other people are assassinated in a shootout at Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport in Mexico.
1994 – Four men convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 are each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
1999 – The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.
2000 – Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
2002 – Russia and the United States sign the Moscow Treaty.
2014 – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurs in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, injuring 324 people.
2014 – At least three people are killed in a shooting at Brussels’ Jewish Museum of Belgium.
2019 – 19 students died in a fire in Surat (India).
2019 – Under pressure over her handling of Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party, effective as of June 7, 2019.
567 BC – Servius Tullius, the king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.
240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
1085 – Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain, back from the Moors.
1420 – Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ.
1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
1644 – Ming general Wu Sangui forms an alliance with the invading Manchus and opens the gates of the Great Wall of China at Shanhaiguan pass, letting the Manchus through towards the capital Beijing.
1659 – Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.
1660 – Charles II lands at Dover at the invitation of the Convention Parliament (England), which marks the end of the Cromwell-proclaimed Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland and begins the Restoration (1660) of the British monarchy.
1738 – A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.
1787 – After a delay of 11 days, the United States Constitutional Convention formally convenes in Philadelphia after a quorum of seven states is secured.
1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Battle of Carlow begins; executions of suspected rebels at Carnew and at Dunlavin Green take place.
1809 – Chuquisaca Revolution: Patriot revolt in Chuquisaca (modern day Sucre) against the Spanish Empire, sparking the Latin American wars of independence.
1810 – May Revolution: Citizens of Buenos Aires expel Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the May week, starting the Argentine War of Independence.
1819 – The Argentine Constitution of 1819 is promulgated.
1833 – The Chilean Constitution of 1833 is promulgated.
1837 – The Rebels of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for governmental reforms.
1865 – In Mobile, Alabama, around 300 people are killed when an ordnance depot explodes.
1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London.
1895 – Playwright, poet, novelist and aesthete Oscar Wilde is convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1895 – The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Jingsong as its president.
1914 – The House of Commons of the United Kingdom passes the Home Rule Bill for devolution in Ireland.
1925 – Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in Tennessee.
1926 – Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the government of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, which is in government-in-exile in Paris.
1935 – Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks three world records and ties a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1938 – Spanish Civil War: The bombing of Alicante kills 313 people.
1940 – World War II: The German 2nd Panzer Division captures the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer; the surrender of the last French and British troops marks the end of the Battle of Boulogne.
1946 – The parliament of Transjordan makes Abdullah I of Jordan their Emir.
1953 – Nuclear weapons testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
1953 – The first public television station in the United States officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.
1955 – In the United States, a night-time F5 tornado strikes the small city of Udall, Kansas, killing 80 and injuring 273. It is the deadliest tornado to ever occur in the state and the 23rd deadliest in the U.S.
1955 – First ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third-highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition led by Charles Evans. Joe Brown and George Band reached the summit on May 25, followed by Norman Hardie and Tony Streather the next day.
1961 – Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decade.
1963 – In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established.
1966 – Explorer program: Explorer 32 launches.
1968 – The Gateway Arch in Saint Louis is dedicated.
1973 – The captain and crew on Greek naval destroyer Velos mutinied in order to protest the dictatorship in Greece. Velos anchored at Fiumicino, Italy, refusing to return to Greece.
1977 – Star Wars is released in theaters.
1977 – Chinese government removes a decade old ban on William Shakespeare’s work, effectively ending the Cultural Revolution started in 1966.
1978 – The first bomb of a series of bombings orchestrated by the Unabomber detonates at Northwestern University resulting in minor injuries.
1979 – John Spenkelink, a convicted murderer, was executed in Florida. He was the first person to be executed in Florida after capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.
1979 – American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O’Hare International Airport killing all 271 on board and two people on the ground.
1981 – In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
1982 – Falklands War: HMS Coventry is sunk by Argentine Air Force A-4 Skyhawks.
1985 – Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.
1986 – Hands Across America takes place.
1997 – A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koroma.
1999 – The United States House of Representatives releases the Cox Report which details the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.
2000 – Liberation Day of Lebanon. Israel withdraws its army from Lebanese territory (except for the disputed Shebaa farms zone) 22 years after its invasion in 1978.
2001 – Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, with Dr. Sherman Bull.
2002 – China Airlines Flight 611 disintegrates in mid-air and crashes into the Taiwan Strait. All 225 people on board are killed.
2008 – NASA’s Phoenix lander lands in Green Valley region of Mars to search for environments suitable for water and microbial life.
2009 – North Korea allegedly tests its second nuclear device. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang also conducted several missile tests building tensions in the international community.
2011 – Oprah Winfrey airs her last show, ending her twenty-five-year run of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
2012 – The SpaceX Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with the International Space Station.
2013 – Suspected Maoist rebels kill at least 28 people and injure 32 others in an attack on a convoy of Indian National Congress politicians in Chhattisgarh, India.
2013 – A gas cylinder explodes on a school bus in the Pakistani city of Gujrat, killing at least 18 people.
2018 – The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes enforceable.
2018 – Ireland votes to repeal the Eight Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, prohibiting abortion in all but a few cases, choosing to replace it with the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland.
47 BC – Julius Caesar visits Tarsus on his way to Pontus, where he meets enthusiastic support, but where, according to Cicero, Cassius is planning to kill him at this point.
17 – Germanicus returns to Rome as a conquering hero; he celebrates a triumph for his victories over the Cherusci, Chatti, and other German tribes west of the Elbe.
451 – Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sasanian Empire takes place. The Sasanids defeat the Armenians militarily but guarantee them freedom to openly practice Christianity.
946 – King Edmund I of England is murdered by a thief whom he personally attacks while celebrating St Augustine’s Mass Day.
961 – King Otto I elects his 6-year-old son Otto II as heir apparent and co-ruler of the East Frankish Kingdom. He is crowned at Aachen, and placed under the tutelage of his grandmother Matilda.
1135 – Alfonso VII of León and Castile is crowned in León Cathedral as Imperator totius Hispaniae (Emperor of all of Spain).
1293 – An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan, killing about 23,000.
1328 – William of Ockham, the Franciscan Minister-General Michael of Cesena, and two other Franciscan leaders secretly leave Avignon, fearing a death sentence from Pope John XXII.
1538 – Geneva expels John Calvin and his followers from the city. Calvin lives in exile in Strasbourg for the next three years.
1573 – The Battle of Haarlemmermeer, a naval engagement in the Dutch War of Independence.
1637 – Pequot War: A combined English and Mohegan force under John Mason attacks a village in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Pequots.
1644 – Portuguese Restoration War: Portuguese and Spanish forces both claim victory in the Battle of Montijo.
1736 – The Battle of Ackia was fought near the present site of Tupelo, Mississippi. British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the then-Chickasaw village of Ackia.
1770 – The Orlov Revolt, an attempt to revolt against the Ottoman Empire before the Greek War of Independence, ends in disaster for the Greeks.
1783 – A Great Jubilee Day held at North Stratford, Connecticut, celebrated the end of fighting in the American Revolution.
1805 – Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan Cathedral, the gothic cathedral in Milan.
1821 – Establishment of the Peloponnesian Senate by the Greek rebels.
1822 – One hundred sixteen people die in the Grue Church fire, the biggest fire disaster in Norway’s history.
1830 – The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
1857 – Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
1864 – Montana is organized as a United States territory.
1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, is the last full general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas.
1868 – The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson ends with his acquittal by one vote.
1869 – Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
1879 – Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
1896 – Nicholas II becomes the last Tsar of Imperial Russia.
1896 – Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1897 – Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, is published.
1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford’s history, “Of Plymouth Plantation” is returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.
1900 – Thousand Days’ War: The Colombian Conservative Party turns the tide of war in their favor with victory against the Colombian Liberal Party in the Battle of Palonegro.
1908 – The first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East was made at Masjed Soleyman in southwest Persia. The rights to the resource were quickly acquired by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.
1917 – Several powerful tornadoes rip through Illinois, including the city of Mattoon, killing 101 people and injuring 689.
1918 – The Democratic Republic of Georgia is established.
1923 – The first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held and has since been run annually in June.
1936 – In the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, Tommy Henderson begins speaking on the Appropriation Bill. By the time he sits down in the early hours of the following morning, he had spoken for ten hours.
1938 – In the United States, the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.
1940 – World War II: Operation Dynamo: In northern France, Allied forces begin a massive evacuation from Dunkirk, France.
1940 – World War II: The Siege of Calais ends with the surrender of the British and French garrison.
1942 – World War II: The Battle of Gazala takes place.
1948 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 80-557, which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
1966 – British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana.
1967 – The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is released.
1968 – H-dagurinn in Iceland: Traffic changes from driving on the left to driving on the right overnight
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing.
1970 – The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.
1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War: The Pakistan Army slaughters at least 71 Hindus in Burunga, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
1972 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
1981 – Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due).
1981 – An EA-6B Prowler crashes on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others.
1983 – The 7.8 Mw Sea of Japan earthquake shakes northern Honshu with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). A destructive tsunami is generated that leaves about 100 people dead.
1986 – The European Community adopts the European flag.
1991 – Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era.
1991 – Lauda Air Flight 004 breaks apart in mid-air and crashes in the Phu Toei National Park in Thailand, killing all 223 people on board.
1993 – Tahar Djaout, Algerian journalist and writer, was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists, dying in hospital on June 2, 1993.
1998 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
1998 – The first “National Sorry Day” was held in Australia, and reconciliation events were held nationally, and attended by over a million people.
2002 – The tugboat Robert Y. Love collides with a support pier of Interstate 40 on the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, resulting in 14 deaths and 11 others injured.
2004 – United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
2008 – Severe flooding begins in eastern and southern China that will ultimately cause 148 deaths and force the evacuation of 1.3 million.
1096 – Count Emicho enters Mainz, where his followers massacre Jewish citizens. At least 600 Jews are killed.
1120 – Richard III of Capua is anointed as Prince two weeks before his untimely death.
1153 – Malcolm IV becomes King of Scotland.
1199 – John is crowned King of England.
1257 – Richard of Cornwall, and his wife, Sanchia of Provence, are crowned King and Queen of the Germans at Aachen Cathedral.
1644 – Manchu regent Dorgon defeats rebel leader Li Zicheng of the Shun dynasty at the Battle of Shanhai Pass, allowing the Manchus to enter and conquer the capital city of Beijing.
1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
1798 – The Battle of Oulart Hill takes place in Wexford, Ireland; Irish rebel leaders defeat and kill a detachment of militia.
1799 – War of the Second Coalition: Austrian forces defeat the French at Winterthur, Switzerland.
1813 – War of 1812: In Canada, American forces capture Fort George.
1860 – Giuseppe Garibaldi begins his attack on Palermo, Sicily, as part of the Italian unification.
1863 – American Civil War: First Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson.
1874 – The first group of Dorsland trekkers under the leadership of Gert Alberts leaves Pretoria.
1883 – Alexander III is crowned Tsar of Russia.
1896 – The F4-strength St. Louis–East St. Louis tornado hits in St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois, killing at least 255 people and causing $2.9 billion in damage (1997 US dollars).
1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima begins.
1917 – Pope Benedict XV promulgates the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first comprehensive codification of Catholic canon law in the legal history of the Catholic Church.
1919 – The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.
1927 – The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the Ford Model T and begins to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.
1930 – The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.
1933 – New Deal: The U.S. Federal Securities Act is signed into law requiring the registration of securities with the Federal Trade Commission.
1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”
1935 – New Deal: The Supreme Court of the United States declares the National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, (295 U.S. 495).
1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.
1940 – World War II: In the Le Paradis massacre, 99 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops; two survive.
1941 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims an “unlimited national emergency”.
1941 – World War II: The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the North Atlantic killing almost 2,100 men.
1942 – World War II: In Operation Anthropoid, Reinhard Heydrich is fatally wounded in Prague; he dies of his injuries eight days later.
1958 – First flight of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
1960 – In Turkey, a military coup removes President Celâl Bayar and the rest of the democratic government from office.
1962 – The Centralia mine fire is ignited in the town’s landfill above a coal mine.
1965 – Vietnam War: American warships begin the first bombardment of National Liberation Front targets within South Vietnam.
1967 – Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit Indigenous Australians and to count them in the national census.
1967 – The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy is launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline.
1971 – The Dahlerau train disaster, the worst railway accident in West Germany, kills 46 people and injures 25 near Wuppertal.
1971 – Pakistani forces massacre over 200 civilians, mostly Bengali Hindus, in the Bagbati massacre.
1975 – Dibbles Bridge coach crash near Grassington, in North Yorkshire, England, kills 33 – the highest ever death toll in a road accident in the United Kingdom.
1980 – The Gwangju Massacre: Airborne and army troops of South Korea retake the city of Gwangju from civil militias, killing at least 207 and possibly many more.
1984 – The Danube-Black Sea canal is opened, in a ceremony attended by the Ceaușescus. It had been under construction since the 1950s.
1996 – First Chechen War: the Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire.
1997 – The 1997 Central Texas tornado outbreak occurs, spawning multiple tornadoes in Central Texas, including the F5 that killed 27 in Jarrell.
1998 – Oklahoma City bombing: Michael Fortier is sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about the terrorist plot.
2001 – Members of the Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf seize twenty hostages from an affluent island resort on Palawan in the Philippines; the hostage crisis would not be resolved until June 2002.
2006 – The 6.4 Mw Yogyakarta earthquake shakes central Java with an MSK intensity of VIII (Damaging), leaving more than 5,700 dead and 37,000 injured.
2016 – Barack Obama is the first president of United States to visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and meet Hibakusha.
2018 – Maryland Flood Event: A flood occurs throughout the Patapsco Valley causing one death and destroying the entire first floors of buildings on Main Street in Ellicott City and causing cars to overturn.
585 BC – A solar eclipse occurs, as predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes is battling Cyaxares in the Battle of Halys, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.
621 – Battle of Hulao: Li Shimin, the son of the Chinese emperor Gaozu, defeats the numerically superior forces of Dou Jiande near the Hulao Pass (Henan). This victory decides the outcome of the civil war that followed the Sui dynasty’s collapse in favour of the Tang dynasty.
1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declares the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid.
1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel. (It will take until May 30 for all ships to leave port.)
1644 – English Civil War: Bolton Massacre by Royalist troops under the command of James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby.
1754 – French and Indian War: In the first engagement of the war, Virginia militia under the 22-year-old Lieutenant colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.
1802 – In Guadeloupe, 400 rebellious slaves, led by Louis Delgrès, blow themselves up rather than submit to Napoleon’s troops.
1830 – U.S. President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act which relocates Native Americans.
1871 – Fall of the Paris Commune.
1892 – In San Francisco, John Muir organizes the Sierra Club.
1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō and the Imperial Japanese Navy.
1907 – The first Isle of Man TT race was held.
1918 – The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the First Republic of Armenia declare their independence.
1926 – The 28 May 1926 coup d’état: Ditadura Nacional is established in Portugal to suppress the unrest of the First Republic.
1932 – In the Netherlands, construction of the Afsluitdijk is completed and the Zuiderzee bay is converted to the freshwater IJsselmeer.
1934 – Near Callander, Ontario, Canada, the Dionne quintuplets are born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne; they will be the first quintuplets to survive infancy.
1936 – Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication.
1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer is founded.
1940 – World War II: Belgium surrenders to Nazi Germany to end the Battle of Belgium.
1940 – World War II: Norwegian, French, Polish and British forces recapture Narvik in Norway. This is the first allied infantry victory of the War.
1942 – World War II: In retaliation for the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, Nazis in Czechoslovakia kill over 1,800 people.
1948 – Daniel François Malan is elected as Prime Minister of South Africa. He later goes on to implement Apartheid.
1958 – Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement, heavily reinforced by Frank Pais Militia, overwhelm an army post in El Uvero.
1961 – Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners is published in several internationally read newspapers. This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
1974 – Northern Ireland’s power-sharing Sunningdale Agreement collapses following a general strike by loyalists.
1975 – Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.
1977 – In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club is engulfed in fire, killing 165 people inside.
1979 – Konstantinos Karamanlis signs the full treaty of the accession of Greece with the European Economic Community.
1987 – A West German pilot, Mathias Rust, who was 18 years old, evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. He is immediately detained and released on August 3, 1988.
1991 – The capital city of Addis Ababa falls to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, ending both the Derg regime in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Civil War.
1995 – The 7.0 Mw Neftegorsk earthquake shook the former Russian settlement of Neftegorsk with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). Total damage was $64.1–300 million, with 1,989 deaths and 750 injured. The settlement was not rebuilt.
1996 – U.S. President Bill Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, and the Governor of Arkansas Jim Guy Tucker, are convicted of fraud.
1998 – Nuclear testing: Pakistan responds to a series of nuclear tests by India with five of its own codenamed Chagai-I, prompting the United States, Japan, and other nations to impose economic sanctions. Pakistan celebrates Youm-e-Takbir annually.
1999 – In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper is put back on display.
2002 – The last steel girder is removed from the original World Trade Center site. Cleanup duties officially end with closing ceremonies at Ground Zero in Manhattan, New York City.
2003 – Peter Hollingworth resigns as Governor-General of Australia following criticism of his handling of child sexual abuse allegations during his tenure as Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane.
2004 – The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, as prime minister of Iraq’s interim government.
2008 – The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declares Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.
2010 – In West Bengal, India, the Jnaneswari Express train derailment and subsequent collision kills 148 passengers.
2011 – Malta votes on the introduction of divorce; the proposal was approved by 53% of voters, resulting in a law allowing divorce under certain conditions being enacted later in the year.
363 – The Roman emperor Julian defeats the Sasanian army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sasanian capital, but is unable to take the city.
1108 – Battle of Uclés: Almoravid troops under the command of Tamim ibn Yusuf defeat a Castile and León alliance under the command of Prince Sancho Alfónsez.
1167 – Battle of Monte Porzio: A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel.
1176 – Battle of Legnano: The Lombard League defeats Emperor Frederick I.
1328 – Philip VI is crowned King of France.
1416 – Battle of Gallipoli: The Venetians under Pietro Loredan defeat a much larger Ottoman fleet off Gallipoli.
1453 – Fall of Constantinople: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.
1658 – Battle of Samugarh: decisive battle in the struggle for the throne during the Mughal war of succession (1658–1659).
1660 – English Restoration: Charles II is restored to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1733 – The right of settlers in New France to enslave natives is upheld at Quebec City.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: At the Battle of Waxhaws, the British continue attacking after the Continentals lay down their arms, killing 113 and critically wounding all but 53 that remained.
1790 – Rhode Island becomes the last of North America’s original Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution and become one of the United States.
1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Between 300 and 500 United Irishmen are executed as rebels by the British Army in County Kildare, Ireland.
1807 – Mustafa IV became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph of Islam.
1848 – Wisconsin is admitted as the 30th U.S. state.
1852 – Jenny Lind leaves New York after her two-year American tour.
1861 – The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is founded, in Hong Kong.
1864 – Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico arrives in Mexico for the first time.
1867 – The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 (“the Compromise”) is born through Act 12, which establishes the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
1868 – Mihailo Obrenović III, Prince of Serbia is assassinated.
1886 – The pharmacist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appeared in The Atlanta Journal.
1900 – N’Djamena is founded as Fort-Lamy by the French commander Émile Gentil.
1903 – In the May Coup, Alexander I, King of Serbia, and Queen Draga, are assassinated in Belgrade by the Black Hand (Crna Ruka) organization.
1913 – Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, France, provoking a riot.
1914 – The Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sinks in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with the loss of 1,012 lives.
1918 – Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarabad.
1919 – Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin
1931 – Michele Schirru, a citizen of the United States, is executed by Italian military firing squad for intent to kill Benito Mussolini.
1932 – World War I veterans begin to assemble in Washington, D.C., in the Bonus Army to request cash bonuses promised to them to be paid in 1945.
1935 – First flight of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aeroplane.
1945 – First combat mission of the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber.
1948 – United Nations Truce Supervision Organization is founded.
1950 – The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay’s (adopted) 39th birthday.
1964 – The Arab League meets in East Jerusalem to discuss the Palestinian question, leading to the formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1973 – Tom Bradley is elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles, California.
1982 – Pope John Paul II becomes the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral.
1982 – Falklands War: British forces defeat the Argentines at the Battle of Goose Green.
1985 – Heysel Stadium disaster: Thirty-nine association football fans die and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses.
1985 – Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.
1988 – The U.S. President Ronald Reagan begins his first visit to the Soviet Union when he arrives in Moscow for a superpower summit with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
1989 – Signing of an agreement between Egypt and the United States, allowing the manufacture of parts of the F-16 jet fighter plane in Egypt.
1990 – The Russian parliament elects Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
1993 – The Miss Sarajevo beauty pageant is held in war-torn Sarajevo drawing global attention to the plight of its citizens.
1999 – Olusegun Obasanjo takes office as President of Nigeria, the first elected and civilian head of state in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule.
1999 – Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station.
2001 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the disabled golfer Casey Martin can use a cart to ride in tournaments.
2004 – The National World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
2008 – A doublet earthquake, of combined magnitude 6.1, strikes Iceland near the town of Selfoss, injuring 30 people.
2012 – A 5.8-magnitude earthquake hits northern Italy near Bologna, killing at least 24 people.
2015 – One World Observatory at One World Trade Center opens.
AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.
1381 – Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.
1416 – The Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.
1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
1434 – Hussite Wars: Battle of Lipany: Effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.
1510 – During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, Ming dynasty rebel leader Zhu Zhifan is defeated by commander Qiu Yue, ending the Prince of Anhua rebellion.
1536 – King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.
1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.
1574 – Henry III becomes King of France.
1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.
1631 – Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.
1635 – Thirty Years’ War: The Peace of Prague is signed.
1642 – From this date all honors granted by Charles I of England are retroactively annulled by Parliament.
1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel.
1814 – Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition: The Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. Napoleon is exiled to Elba.
1815 – The East Indiaman Arniston is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, in present-day South Africa, with the loss of 372 lives.
1834 – Minister of Justice Joaquim António de Aguiar issues a law seizing “all convents, monasteries, colleges, hospices and any other houses” from the Catholic religious orders in Portugal, earning him the nickname of “The Friar-Killer”.
1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.
1845 – The Fatel Razack coming from India, lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first Indians to the country.
1854 – The Kansas–Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Kansas and Nebraska.
1868 – Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day”) is observed in the United States for the first time (by “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan’s proclamation on May 5).
1876 – Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz is deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murad V.
1883 – In New York City, a stampede on the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge killed twelve people.
1899 – Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.
1911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.
1913 – The Treaty of London is signed, ending the First Balkan War; Albania becomes an independent nation.
1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.
1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
1925 – May Thirtieth Movement: Shanghai Municipal Police Force shoot and kill 13 protesting workers.
1937 – Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot and kill ten labor demonstrators.
1941 – World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the German flag.
1942 – World War II: One thousand British bombers launch a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.
1943 – The Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer of the Zigeunerfamilienlager (Romani family camp) at Auschwitz concentration camp.
1948 – A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
1959 – The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitematā Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.
1961 – The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
1963 – A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.
1966 – Former Congolese Prime Minister, Évariste Kimba, and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.
1967 – The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.
1968 – Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.
1971 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.
1972 – The Angry Brigade goes on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout the United Kingdom.
1972 – In Ben Gurion Airport (at the time: Lod Airport), Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.
1974 – The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.
1975 – European Space Agency is established.
1982 – Cold War: Spain joins NATO.
1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
1998 – The 6.5 Mw Afghanistan earthquake shook the Takhar Province of northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VII (Very strong), killing around 4,000–4,500.
1998 – Nuclear Testing: Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt TNT equivalent.
2003 – Depayin massacre: At least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy are killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi flees the scene, but is arrested soon afterwards.
2008 – Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted.
2008 – TACA Flight 390 overshoots the runway at Toncontín International Airport, killing five people.
2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
2013 – Nigeria passes a law banning same-sex marriage.
455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome.
1223 – Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River: Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus’ and Cumans.
1293 – Mongol invasion of Java was a punitive expedition against King Kertanegara of Singhasari, who had refused to pay tribute to the Yuan and maimed one of its ministers. However, it ended with failure for the Mongols. Regarded as establish City of Surabaya
1578 – King Henry III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge of Paris, France.
1669 – Citing poor eyesight as a reason, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.
1775 – American Revolution: The Mecklenburg Resolves are adopted in the Province of North Carolina.
1790 – Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
1790 – The United States enacts its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790.
1795 – French Revolution: The Revolutionary Tribunal is suppressed.
1805 – French and Spanish forces begin the assault against British forces occupying Diamond Rock.
1813 – In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth reach Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains.
1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
1862 – American Civil War: Peninsula Campaign: Confederate forces under Joseph E. Johnston and G.W. Smith engage Union forces under George B. McClellan outside Richmond, Virginia.
1864 – American Civil War: Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor: The Army of Northern Virginia engages the Army of the Potomac.
1879 – Gilmore’s Garden in New York City is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.
1884 – The arrival at Plymouth of Tāwhiao, King of Maoris, to claim the protection of Queen Victoria.
1889 – Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people die after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
1902 – Second Boer War: The Treaty of Vereeniging ends the war and ensures British control of South Africa.
1909 – The National Negro Committee, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), convenes for the first time.
1910 – The South Africa Act comes into force, establishing the Union of South Africa.
1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1911 – The President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution.
1916 – World War I: Battle of Jutland: The British Grand Fleet engages the High Seas Fleet in the largest naval battle of the war, which proves indecisive.
1921 – The Tulsa race riot kills at least 39, but other estimates of black fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.
1927 – The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.
1935 – A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan killing 40,000.
1941 – Anglo-Iraqi War: The United Kingdom completes the re-occupation of Iraq and returns ‘Abd al-Ilah to power as regent for Faisal II.
1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.
1961 – The South African Constitution of 1961 becomes effective.
1961 – In Moscow City Court, the Rokotov–Faibishenko show trial begins, despite the Khrushchev Thaw to reverse Stalinist elements in Soviet society.
1962 – The West Indies Federation dissolves.
1970 – The 7.9 Mw Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794–70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.
1971 – In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30.
1973 – The United States Senate votes to cut off funding for the bombing of Khmer Rouge targets within Cambodia, hastening the end of the Cambodian Civil War.
1977 – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is completed.
1985 – United States–Canada tornado outbreak: Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead.
1989 – A group of six members of the Peruvian guerrilla group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement murder eight transsexuals in Tarapoto.
1991 – Bicesse Accords in Angola lay out a transition to multi-party democracy under the supervision of the United Nations’ UNAVEM II mission.
2005 – Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat”.
2008 – Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7 m/s) 9.72 seconds
2010 – Israeli Shayetet 13 commandos boarded the Gaza Freedom Flotilla while still in international waters trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip; nine Turkish citizens on the flotilla were killed in the ensuing violent affray.
2013 – The asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon make their closest approach to Earth for the next two centuries.
2013 – A record breaking 2.6 mile wide tornado strikes El Reno, Oklahoma, United States, causing eight fatalities and over 150 injuries.
2017 – A car bomb explodes in a crowded intersection in Kabul near the German embassy during rush hour, killing over 90 and injuring 463.
2019 – A public utility worker opens fire inside a municipal building at Virginia Beach, US, killing 12 people, including the shooter, and wounding six others.