On This Day in History May 23

May 23 – Events:

  • 1430 – Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.
  • 1498 – Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake, in Florence, Italy, on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.
  • 1533 – The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
  • 1568 – Netherlands declared independence from Spain.
  • 1568 – Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeat Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.
  • 1609 – Official ratification of the Second Charter of Virginia 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 – Battle of Ramillies – the John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough defeats a French army under Marshal Villeroi.
  • 1805 – Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.
  • 1813 – South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
  • 1846 – Mexican-American War: Mexico declares war on the United States.
  • 1863 – Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
  • 1863 – The Siege of Port Hudson starts.
  • 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 becomes the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.
  • 1907 – Unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.
  • 1911 – Dedication ceremony for the New York Public Library.
  • 1915 – World War I: Italy joins the Allies after they declare war on Austria-Hungary.
  • 1923 – Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.
  • 1929 – The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, The Karnival Kid, was released.
  • 1933 – Seabiscuit, legendary American racehorse, is born.
  • 1934 – American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.
  • 1934 – The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo,” a five-day melee 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 26 sailors. The remaining 32 crewmen and one passenger are rescued the following day.
  • 1945 – World War II: Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, commits suicide while in Allied custody.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members were captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.
  • 1949 – The Federal Republic of Germany is established, and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany proclaimed.
  • 1958 – Explorer 1 ceases transmission.
  • 1960 – Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured.
  • 1967 – Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran and blockades the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.
  • 1970 – An outbreak of fire occurs in the Britannia Bridge over the Menai Straits in north Wales contributing to its partial destruction and amounting to approximately £1,000,000 worth of fire damage.
  • 1977 – Two terrorist actions unfold in The Netherlands: Several dozen hostages are taken onboard a train, and about 100 others (mostly children) are held at a Dutch school. The train siege lasts until June 11.
  • 1985 – U.S. engineer Thomas Patrick Cavanagh is sentenced to life in prison for attempting to sell stealth bomber secrets to the Soviet Union.
  • 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, what remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building is imploded.
  • 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is accepted in a referendum, with a high margin of three-fourth ‘yes’ votes to Northern Ireland.
  • 2002 – The “55 parties” clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland. 2003 – The euro exceeds its initial trading value as it hits $1.18 for the first time since its introduction in 1999.
  • 2004 – Part of Paris Charles De Gaulle International Airport Terminal 2E collapses, killing four people and injuring three others.
  • 2007 – Parliament of Finland celebrated its 100th anniversary plenary session, with President Tarja Halonen and veterans in attendance.

May 23 – Birthdays:

  • 1052 – King Philip I of France (d. 1108)
  • 1100 – Emperor Qinzong of China (d. 1161)
  • 1606 – Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, Spanish writer (d. 1682)
  • 1617 – Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian (d. 1692)
  • 1707 – Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist (d. 1778)
  • 1718 – William Hunter, Scottish anatomist (d. 1783)
  • 1729 – Giuseppe Parini, Italian writer (d. 1799)
  • 1734 – Franz Anton Mesmer, Austrian physician/hypnotist (d.1815)
  • 1741 – Andrea Luchesi, Italian composer (d. 1801)
  • 1790 – Jules Dumont d’Urville, French explorer (d. 1842)
  • 1795 – Charles Barry , English architect (d. 1860)
  • 1810 – Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist (d. 1850)
  • 1820 – James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor (d. 1887)
  • 1820 – Lorenzo Sawyer, 9th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California (d. 1891)
  • 1824 – Ambrose Burnside, American Union Civil War general (d. 1881)
  • 1834 – Carl Heinrich Bloch, Danish painter (d. 1890)
  • 1844 – `Abdu’l-Bahá, Successor to Prophet of the Bahá’í Faith (d. 1921)
  • 1848 – Otto Lilienthal, German aviation pioneer (d. 1896)
  • 1865 – Epitácio Pessoa, President of Brazil (d. 1942)
  • 1875 – Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors (d. 1966)
  • 1879 – Dezso Lauber, Hungarian sportsman (d. 1966)
  • 1883 – Douglas Fairbanks, American actor (d. 1939)
  • 1884 – Corrado Gini, Italian sociologist (d. 1965)
  • 1887 – Thoralf Skolem, Norwegian mathematician (d. 1963)
  • 1888 – Zack Wheat, American baseball player (d. 1972)
  • 1889 – Ernst Niekisch, German politician (d. 1967)
  • 1890 – Herbert Marshall, English actor (d. 1966)
  • 1891 – Pär Lagerkvist, Swedish writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1974)
  • 1893 – Ulysses S. Grant IV, American geologist and paleontologist (d. 1977)
  • 1896 – Felix Martin Julius Steiner, German Heer and Waffen-SS officer (d. 1966)
  • 1898 – Scott O’Dell, American author (d. 1989)
  • 1900 – Hans Frank, German Nazi war criminal (d. 1946)
  • 1908 – John Bardeen, American physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1991)
  • 1910 – Margaret Wise Brown, American author (d. 1952)
  • 1910 – Sir Hugh Casson, British architect and painter (d. 1999)
  • 1910 – Scatman Crothers, American actor and musician (d. 1986)
  • 1910 – Artie Shaw, American clarinetist and bandleader (d. 2004)
  • 1912 – Jean Françaix, French composer (d. 1997)
  • 1912 – Betty Astell, English actress (d. 2005)
  • 1912 – John Payne, American actor (d. 1989)
  • 1913 – Ruth Fernandez legendary singer from Puerto Rico
  • 1917 – Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist
  • 1918 – Denis Compton, English cricketer (d. 1997)
  • 1919 – Betty Garrett, American actress and dancer
  • 1920 – Helen O’Connell, American singer (d. 1993)
  • 1921 – James Blish, American author (d. 1975)
  • 1921 – Humphrey Lyttelton, English musician
  • 1923 – Alicia de Larrocha, Spanish pianist
  • 1923 – Walter Wolfrum, German fighter pilot
  • 1925 – Joshua Lederberg, American molecular biologist, Nobel laureate
  • 1925 – Mac Wiseman, American musician
  • 1928 – Jeannie Carson, English actress and comedian
  • 1928 – Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Nigel Davenport, English actor
  • 1928 – Pauline Julien, French Canadian singer (d. 1998)
  • 1929 – Ulla Jacobsson, Swedish actress (d. 1982)
  • 1930 – Friedrich Achleitner, German poet
  • 1931 – Barbara Barrie, American actress
  • 1933 – Joan Collins, English actress
  • 1934 – Robert Moog, American inventor (d. 2005)
  • 1936 – Ingeborg Hallstein, German opera singer
  • 1936 – Charles Kimbrough, American actor
  • 1938 – Peter Preston, English journalist and author
  • 1939 – Reinhard Hauff, German film director
  • 1939 – Michel Colombier, French composer and songwriter (d. 2004)
  • 1942 – K. Raghavendra Rao, Indian film director
  • 1942 – Gabriel Liiceanu, Romanian philosopher
  • 1943 – General Norman Johnson, American singer (Chairmen of the Board)
  • 1944 – John Newcombe, Australian tennis player
  • 1945 – Padmarajan, Indian film director (d. 1991)
  • 1946 – Frederik de Groot, Dutch actor
  • 1946 – H. Paul Shuch, American SETI scientist
  • 1947 – Bernard Comrie, English linguist
  • 1947 – Ann Hui, Hong Kong film director
  • 1948 – Reggie Cleveland, Canadian baseball player
  • 1951 – Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player
  • 1951 – Antonis Samaras, Greek politician
  • 1952 – Anne-Marie David, French singer
  • 1952 – “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, American boxer
  • 1955 – Luka Bloom, Irish singer/songwriter
  • 1956 – Ursula Plassnik, Austrian politician
  • 1956 – Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer
  • 1956 – Buck Showalter, American baseball player and manager
  • 1957 – Baltimora, Northern Irish singer (d. 1995)
  • 1958 – Mitch Albom, American writer
  • 1958 – Drew Carey, American actor, comedian, and game show host
  • 1958 – François Feldman, French singer
  • 1962 – Imran Anwar, Pakistani Internet pioneer and American TV personality
  • 1962 – Karen Duffy, American actress
  • 1963 – Wally Dallenbach Jr., American race car driver and announcer
  • 1963 – Gregg “Opie” Hughes, American radio personality (The Opie and Anthony Show)
  • 1964 – Allan Kayser, American actor
  • 1964 – Ruth Metzler-Arnold, member of the Swiss Federal Council
  • 1965 – Tom Tykwer, German film director
  • 1966 – Graeme Hick, English cricketer
  • 1967 – Anna Ibrisagic, Swedish politician
  • 1967 – Phil Selway, English drummer (Radiohead)
  • 1970 – Yigal Amir, Israeli assassin of Yitzhak Rabin
  • 1970 – Bryan Herta, American race car driver
  • 1970 – Blake Schwendiman, American author
  • 1972 – Rubens Barrichello, Brazilian formula one driver
  • 1974 – Ken Jennings, American game show contestant
  • 1974 – Matt Hindle, Canadian bobsledder
  • 1974 – Jewel, American singer
  • 1974 – Mónica Naranjo, Spanish singer
  • 1974 – Charlie Yeung, Hong Kong actress and singer
  • 1975 – Kim Sung-soo, South Korean actor
  • 1976 – Kelly Monaco, American actress
  • 1976 – Ricardinho, Brazilian footballer
  • 1977 – Ilia Kulik, Russian figure skater
  • 1978 – Mike González, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Carolyn Moos, American model and professional basketball player
  • 1978 – Scott Raynor, American drummer (formerly of blink-182)
  • 1979 – Brian Campbell, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Kirk Saarloos, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Rasual Butler, American basketball player
  • 1980 – Theofanis Gekas, Greek footballer
  • 1981 – Gwenno Saunders, Former Welsh dancer, now singer with The Pipettes
  • 1982 – Cyrill Gloor, Swiss footballer
  • 1982 – Malene Mortensen, Danish singer
  • 1982 – Tristan Prettyman, American musician
  • 1983 – Cristiano Bilanzola, Canadian musician and film-maker
  • 1983 – Heidi Range, English singer (Sugababes)
  • 1983 – Alex Shelley, American professional wrestler
  • 1984 – Adam Wylie, American actor
  • 1985 – Ross Wallace, Scottish footballer
  • 1986 – Ruben Zadkovich, Australian soccer player
  • 1988 – Morgan Pressel, American golfer

May 23 – Deaths:

  • 1125 – Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1081)
  • 1304 – Jehan de Lescurel, French poet and composer
  • 1498 – Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious reformer and ruler of Florence (b. 1452)
  • 1523 – Ashikaga Yoshitane, Japanese shogun (b. 1466)
  • 1524 – Ismail I, Shah of Persia (b. 1487)
  • 1662 – John Gauden, English bishop and writer (b. 1605)
  • 1670 – Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1610)
  • 1691 – Adrien Auzout, French astronomer (b. 1622)
  • 1701 – Captain Kidd, Scottish pirate (b. 1645)
  • 1752 – William Bradford, English-born printer (b. 1663)
  • 1754 – John Wood, the Elder, English architect (b. 1704)
  • 1783 – James Otis, American lawyer and patriot (b. 1725)
  • 1786 – Móric Benovský, Slovak officer and explorer, King of Madagaskar (b. 1746)
  • 1813 – Geraud Duroc, French general (b. 1772)
  • 1825 – Ras Gugsa of Yejju, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1841 – Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologian (b. 1765)
  • 1846 – Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, Polish politician (b. 1778)
  • 1855 – Charles Robert Malden, English explorer (b. 1797)
  • 1857 – Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician (b. 1789)
  • 1868 – Kit Carson, American trapper, scout, and Indian agent (b. 1809)
  • 1886 – Leopold von Ranke, German historian (b. 1795)
  • 1893 – Anton von Schmerling, Austrian statesman (b. 1805)
  • 1895 – Franz Ernst Neumann, German mineralogist and physicist (b. 1798)
  • 1906 – Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian writer (b. 1828)
  • 1908 – François Coppée, French poet and novelist (b. 1842)
  • 1920 – Svetozar Boroevic, Austrian field marshal (b. 1856)
  • 1934 – Clyde Barrow, American outlaw (b. 1909)
  • 1934 – Bonnie Parker, American outlaw (b. 1910)
  • 1937 – John D. Rockefeller, American entrepreneur (b. 1839)
  • 1945 – Heinrich Himmler, Nazi official (b. 1900)
  • 1965 – Earl Webb, American baseball player (b. 1897)
  • 1966 – Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (b. 1902)
  • 1967 – Lionel Groulx, French Canadian priest and historian (b. 1878)
  • 1975 – Moms Mabley, American comedian (b. 1894)
  • 1981 – Gene Green, American baseball player (b. 1933)
  • 1981 – Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (d. 1911)
  • 1981 – George Jessel, American actor (b. 1898)
  • 1981 – David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • 1986 – Sterling Hayden, American actor (b. 1916)
  • 1989 – Georgy Tovstonogov, Russian theatre director (b. 1915)
  • 1991 – Wilhelm Kempff, German pianist and composer (b. 1895)
  • 1992 – Giovanni Falcone, Italian judge (b. 1939)
  • 1994 – Ray Candy, American professional wrestler (b. 1951)
  • 1996 – Patrick Cargill, English actor (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Owen Hart, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1965)
  • 2002 – Sam Snead, American golfer (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Jean Yanne, French actor and director (b. 1933)
  • 2004 – Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Clifford Antone, American businessman (b. 1949)
  • 2006 – Lloyd Bentsen, American politician (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Frits Bernard, American activist (b. 1920)
  • 2006 – Kazimierz Górski, Polish footballer (b. 1921)

May 23-Holidays

  • World Turtle Day
  • Discordianism: Day of Disunity
  • Aaron the Illustrious in the Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Saint Desiderius
  • Saint Guibert of Gemblours

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On This Day in History May 22

May 22 – Events:

  • 334 BC – The Greek army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.
  • 1176 – Murder attempt by the Hashshashin (Assassins) on Saladin near Aleppo.
  • 1377 – Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.
  • 1455 – Wars of the Roses: At the First Battle of St. Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
  • 1762 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
  • 1807 – A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
  • 1809 – Second and last Day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
  • 1819 – The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20.
  • 1840 – The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
  • 1842 – Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discover Howe Caverns, when they stumble upon a large gaping hole in the ground.
  • 1843 – Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory. It was part of the Great Migration, and they followed what is now known as the Oregon Trail.
  • 1848 The abolition of slavery in Martinque.
  • 1856 – Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas”).
  • 1872 – Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
  • 1903 – Launch of the White Star Liner, SS Ionic.
  • 1906 – The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opens in Athens.
  • 1906 – Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine.”
  • 1915 – Lassen Peak (California) erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain to erupt other than Mount St. Helens in the continental US during the 20th century.
  • 1915 – Five trains collide in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246; the accident is found to be the result of non-standard operating practices during a shift change at a busy junction.
  • 1933 – Emilian Dobrescu was born on this day in Romania
  • 1936 – Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) is founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.
  • 1939 – World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
  • 1942 – Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.
  • 1942 – The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed.
  • 1942 – World War II: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps as a flight instructor.
  • 1947 – Cold War: In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece.
  • 1960 – An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hits southern Chile. It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
  • 1962 – Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after bombs explode.
  • 1963 – Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis, who will die five days afterwards.
  • 1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.
  • 1967 – The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels, Belgium, burns down. It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, which results in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
  • 1968 – The nuclear-powered submarine the 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 thus becoming a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 1990 – North and South Yemen are unified to create the Republic of Yemen.
  • 1990 – The Windows 3.0 operating system is released by Microsoft.
  • 1992 – After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time.
  • 1995 – Bangladesh Shahityacharcha Kendro established.
  • 1997 – Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
  • 1998 – Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton.
  • 2002 – In Washington, DC, the remains of the missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park.
  • 2002 – American civil rights movement: A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
  • 2003 – In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
  • 2004 – Felipe, Prince of Asturias, of the Spanish Royal Family marries Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.
  • 2004 – The U.S. town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. It also killed one local resident.
  • 2006 – Results from the Montenegrin independence referendum, 2006 are announced. 55.4% of voters voted to become independent from the Serbia and Montenegro Union.

May 22 – Birthdays:

  • 1381 – Saint Rita of Cascia, Italian Saint (d. 1457)
  • 1622 – Louis de Buade de Frontenac, Governor of New France (d. 1698)
  • 1715 – François-Joachim de Pierre de Bernis, French cardinal and statesman (d. 1794)
  • 1724 – Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer (d. 1772)
  • 1770 – Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (d. 1840)
  • 1772 – Ram Mohan Roy, Hindu reformer (d. 1833)
  • 1808 – Gérard de Nerval, French writer (d. 1855)
  • 1813 – Richard Wagner, German composer (d. 1883)
  • 1823 – Solomon Bundy, American politician (d. 1889)
  • 1823 – Isabella Glyn Dallas, British Shakepearean actress (d. 1889)
  • 1841 – Catulle Mendès, French poet (d. 1909)
  • 1844 – Mary Cassatt, American artist (d. 1926)
  • 1849 – Louis Perrier, Swiss politician (d. 1913)
  • 1859 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer (d. 1930)
  • 1874 – Daniel François Malan, Prime Minister of South Africa (d. 1959)
  • 1879 – Warwick Armstrong, Australian cricketer (d. 1947)
  • 1879 – Alla Nazimova, Ukrainian-born actress, scriptwriter, and producer (d. 1945)
  • 1885 – Giacomo Matteotti, Italian politician (d. 1924)
  • 1885 – Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral (d. 1957)
  • 1891 – Eddie Edwards, American jazz trombonist (d. 1963)
  • 1900 – Yvonne de Gaulle, wife of Charles de Gaulle (d. 1979)
  • 1901 – Maurice J. Tobin, 56 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1953)
  • 1902 – Al Simmons, American baseball player (d. 1956)
  • 1903 – Yves Rocard, French physicist (d. 1992)
  • 1904 – Paul Viiding, Estonian poet (d. 1962)
  • 1907 – Hergé, Belgian comic book creator (d. 1983)
  • 1907 – Sir Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor and director (d. 1989)
  • 1908 – Rattana Pestonji, Thai filmmaker (d. 1970)
  • 1908 – Horton Smith. American golfer (d. 1963)
  • 1910 – Johnny Olson, American game show announcer (d. 1985)
  • 1911 – Anatol Rapoport, Russian-born mathematical psychologist, and pianist (d. 2007)
  • 1912 – Herbert C. Brown, English-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1914 – Vance Packard, American author (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Sun Ra, American musician (d. 1993)
  • 1917 – Georg Tintner, Austrian-born conductor (d. 1999)
  • 1917 – Nathan Davis, American actor
  • 1917 – Daniel Nagrin, American modern dancer and choreographer
  • 1920 – Thomas Gold, Austrian astrophysicist (d. 2004)
  • 1922 – Quinn Martin, American television producer (d. 1987)
  • 1924 – Charles Aznavour, French singer, actor, and composer
  • 1925 – James King, American tenor (d. 2005)
  • 1925 – Jean Tinguely, Swiss artist (d. 1991)
  • 1927 – George Andrew Olah, Hungarian-born chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1927 – Phil Tucker, American director
  • 1930 – John Barth, American writer
  • 1930 – Harvey Milk, American politician and civil rights activist (d. 1978)
  • 1930 – Kenny Ball, British musician
  • 1934 – Peter Nero, American musician
  • 1936 – M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – Richard Benjamin, American actor
  • 1938 – Susan Strasberg, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1940 – Bernard Shaw, American television journalist
  • 1940 – Michael Sarrazin, Canadian actor
  • 1941 – Paul Winfield, American actor (d. 2004)
  • 1941 – Sir Menzies Campbell, UK Politician, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
  • 1941 – Martha Langbein, German athlete
  • 1942 – Theodore Kaczynski, American terrorist (The Unabomber)
  • 1942 – Calvin Simon, American musician (P Funk)
  • 1942 – Barbara Parkins, Canadian actress
  • 1943 – Tommy John, American baseball player
  • 1943 – Betty Williams, Northern Irish political activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
  • 1943 – Gesine Schwan, German politician and science professor
  • 1946 – Howard Kendall, English footballer and football manager
  • 1946 – George Best, Northern Irish footballer (d. 2005)
  • 1950 – Alekos Alavanos, Greek politician
  • 1950 – Bernie Taupin, English songwriter
  • 1952 – Bernhard Brinkmann, German politician
  • 1953 – Doris Barnett, German politician
  • 1953 – Cha Bum-Kun, Korean footballer
  • 1955 – Jimmy Lyon, American guitarist (Eddie Money)
  • 1955 – Dale Winton, UK radio DJ and television presenter
  • 1955 – Jerry Dammers, English musician (The Specials)
  • 1956 – Al Corley, American actor and producer
  • 1957 – Lisa Murkowski, American politician
  • 1957 – Gary Sweet, Australian actor
  • 1958 – Eric Carlson, American guitarist (The Mentors)
  • 1959 – Steven Morrissey, English singer
  • 1960 – Hideaki Anno, Japanese director
  • 1962 – Brian Pillman, American professional wrestler (d. 1997)
  • 1964 – Ashley Renee, American fetish model
  • 1966 – Kenny Hickey, American guitarist (Type O Negative)
  • 1966 – Jose Mesa, Dominican baseball player
  • 1968 – Kevin Carolan, American actor and comedian
  • 1970 – Naomi Campbell, English model and actress
  • 1970 – Pedro Diniz, Brazilian Formula One driver
  • 1971 – Manuel Ortiz, Mexican professional wrestler
  • 1972 – Annabel Chong, Singapore actress
  • 1972 – Anna Belknap, American Actress, CSI NY
  • 1973 – Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Danish actor
  • 1973 – Danny Tiatto, Australian footballer
  • 1973 – Julián Tavárez, Dominican baseball player
  • 1974 – John Bale, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Sean Gunn, American actor
  • 1974 – A. J. Langer, American actress
  • 1975 – Janne Niinimaa, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1975 – Tracy Brookshaw, American professional wrestler and valet
  • 1975 – Salvador Ballesta, Spanish Footballer.
  • 1977 – Alastair Ralphs, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Irish hurler
  • 1977 – Dre Bly, American Football Player
  • 1978 – Ginnifer Goodwin, American actress
  • 1978 – Katie Price, British model
  • 1979 – Nadia Khan, TV Presenter
  • 1979 – Maggie Q, American actress
  • 1980 – Rhett Fisher, actor/musician (lead singer for Manic Mind)
  • 1980 – Steven Baker, Australian rules footballer
  • 1980 – Chad Tracy, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Bryan Danielson, American professional wrestler
  • 1981 – Jürgen Melzer, Austrian tennis player
  • 1982 – Apolo Anton Ohno, American short track speed skater
  • 1982 – John Bobek, American actor
  • 1983 – John Hopkins, Anglo-American motorcycling racer
  • 1984 – Joe Lauzon, American Mixed-Martial Arts fighter
  • 1985 – Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1985 – Tranquillo Barnetta, Swiss footballer
  • 1987 – Novak Ðokovic, Serbian tennis player
  • 1992 – Chinami Tokunaga, Japanese singer

May 22 – Deaths:

  • 337 – Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor (b. 272)
  • 748 – Empress Gensho of Japan (b. 680)
  • 1068 – Emperor Go-Reizei of Japan (b. 1025)
  • 1455 – Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, English politician (killed in battle)
  • 1455 – Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset, English commander (killed in battle) (b. 1406)
  • 1457 – Saint Rita of Cascia, Italian saint (b. 1381)
  • 1538 – John Forrest, English Franciscan friar (martyred) (b. 1471)
  • 1540 – Francesco Guicciardini, Italian historian (b. 1483)
  • 1666 – Gaspar Schott, German scientist (b. 1608)
  • 1667 – Pope Alexander VII (b. 1599)
  • 1745 – François-Marie, 1st duc de Broglie, French military leader (b. 1671)
  • 1746 – Thomas Southerne, Irish dramatist (b. 1660)
  • 1760 – Israel ben Eliezer, Polish-born mystical rabbi (b. 1700)
  • 1772 – Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (b. 1687)
  • 1795 – Ewald Friedrich, Count von Hertzberg, Prussian statesman (b. 1725)
  • 1851 – Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist (b. 1755)
  • 1859 – King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies (b. 1810)
  • 1868 – Julius Plücker, German mathematician and physicist (b. 1801)
  • 1885 – Victor Hugo, French author (b. 1802)
  • 1901 – Gaetano Bresci, Italian-American anarchist (b. 1869)
  • 1910 – Jules Renard, French author (b. 1864)
  • 1932 – Lady Gregory, Irish playwright (b. 1852)
  • 1939 – Ernst Toller, German author (b. 1893)
  • 1939 – Jiri Mahen, Czech author (b. 1882)
  • 1965 – Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom (b. 1882)
  • 1966 – Tom Goddard, English cricketer (b. 1900)
  • 1967 – Langston Hughes, American writer (b. 1902)
  • 1972 – Cecil Day-Lewis, Irish poet and writer (b. 1904)
  • 1972 – Margaret Rutherford, English actress (b. 1892)
  • 1974 – Lefty Grove, American Baseball Player (b. 1900)
  • 1983 – Albert Claude, Belgian biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b.  1899)
  • 1988 – Giorgio Almirante, Italian politician (b. 1914)
  • 1989 – Steven DeGroote, South African classical pianist (b. 1953)
  • 1990 – Rocky Graziano, American boxer (b. 1922)
  • 1992 – Zellig Harris, American linguist (b. 1909)
  • 1997 – Alfred Hershey, American biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1908)
  • 1998 – José Enrique Moyal, mathematical physicist (b. 1910)
  • 2003 – Ousmane Zongo, Burkinabé shooting victim
  • 2004 – Richard Biggs, American actor (b. 1960)
  • 2004 – Mikhail Voronin, Russian gymnast (b. 1945)
  • 2005 – Charilaos Florakis, Greek politician, long-time General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (b. 1914)
  • 2005 – Julia Randall, American poet (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Thurl Ravenscroft, American voice actor and singer (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Lee Jong-wook, Korean Director-General of the World Health Organization (b. 1945)
  • 2006 – Heather Crowe, Canadian activist (b. 1945)

May 22 – Holidays:

  • World Biodiversity Day.
  • Republic of Yemen – National Day.
  • National Maritime Day in the United States

 

 

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On This Day in History May 21

May 21 – Events:

  • 878 – Syracuse is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.
  • 879 – Pope John VIII gives blessings to duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of Croatian state
  • 996 – Sixteen-year-old Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1260 – Kublai Khan of the Mongol Empire sends his envoy Hao Jing and two other advisors to the Chinese Song Dynasty court of Emperor Lizong of Song; while attempting to negotiate with the Song in order to resolve their conflict, Hao Jing and his fellow emissaries were imprisoned by order of the high Chinese chancellor, Jia Sidao.
  • 1502 – The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova.
  • 1554 – Royal Charter of Derby School at Derby, England
  • 1674 – the nobility elects John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
  • 1725 – The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I. It  would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
  • 1758 – Mary Campbell is abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War.
  • 1851 – Abolition of slavery in Colombia, South America.
  • 1856 – Lawrence, Kansas is captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson – Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.
  • 1871 – French Government 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.
  • 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.
  • 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria, who knights its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.
  • 1894 – 22-year-old French Anarchist Émile Henry is executed by guillotine.
  • 1904 – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) founded in Paris.
  • 1917 – Great Atlanta fire of 1917.
  • 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 – Amelia Earhart, because of bad weather, lands in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1934 – Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint each 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 hand. Her story soon became one of Japan’s most notorious scandals.
  • 1937 – a Soviet station becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
  • 1941 – World War II: 950 miles off the coast of Brazil, the freighter SS Robin Moor becomes the first United States ship sunk by a German U-boat.
  • 1945 – United States screen legend Humphrey Bogart marries actress Lauren Bacall.
  • 1951 – opening of the Ninth Street Show otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition was a gathering of a number of notable artists, and it was the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively knownas the New York School.
  • 1956 – Nuclear testing: Shot Redwing-Cherokee is successfully detonated at Bikini Atoll at the Pacific Proving Grounds in the Marshall Islands. With a yield of 3.8 megatons, it is the first aircraft deliverable hydrogen bomb tested by the United States.
  • 1958 – United Kingdom Postmaster General Ernest Marples announces that from December, Subscriber Trunk Dialling will be introduced in the Bristol area.
  • 1961 – American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
  • 1972 – Michelangelo’s Pietà, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is damaged by a vandal.
  • 1979 – White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
  • 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back premieres.
  • 1981 – Pierre Mauroy becomes Prime Minister of France.
  • 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.
  • 1994 – The Democratic Republic of Yemen secedes from the Republic of Yemen.
  • 1996 – The MV Bukoba sinks in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1,000.
  • 1996 – The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas are executed.
  • 1998 – In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.
  • 1998 – Soeharto, Indonesian dictator who had been ruling for 32 years, resigned.
  • 2001 – French Taubira law which officially recognize the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
  • 2003 – An earthquake hits northern Algeria, killing more than 2,000 people.
  • 2004 – Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbs Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu’s record from the previous year.
  • 2004 – Stanislav Petrov is awarded the World Citizen Award for averting a potential World War III in 1983.
  • 2006 – The Republic of Montenegro holds a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro; Montenegrin people choose independence by the majority of 55%.
  • 2006 – The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor takes gold in the World Championship, becoming the first nation to hold both the World and Olympic titles separately in the same year.

May 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1471 – Albrecht Dürer, German painter (d. 1528)
  • 1527 – King Philip II of Spain (d. 1598)
  • 1653 – Eleonora Maria Josefa of Austria, queen consort of Poland and Lthuania (d. 1697)
  • 1664 – Giulio Alberoni, Italian cardinal (d. 1754)
  • 1688 – Alexander Pope, English poet (d. 1744)
  • 1755 – Alfred Moore, American judge (d. 1810)
  • 1763 – Joseph Fouché, French statesman (d. 1820)
  • 1775 – Lucien Bonaparte, French politician, soldier and academic (d. 1840)
  • 1780 – Elizabeth Fry, British social reformer (d. 1845)
  • 1792 – Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis, French scientist (d. 1843)
  • 1827 – William P. Sprague, American politician from Ohio (d. 1899)
  • 1832 – Elizabeth Storrs Mead, American educator (d. 1917)
  • 1835 – František Chvostek, Moravian physician (d. 1884)
  • 1843 – Charles Albert Gobat, Swiss politician (d. 1914)
  • 1844 – Henri Rousseau, French artist (d. 1910)
  • 1850 – Giuseppe Mercalli, Italian volcanologist (d. 1914)
  • 1851 – Léon Bourgeois, French statesman, Nobel laureate (d. 1925)
  • 1853 – Jacques Marie Eugène Godefroy Cavaignac, French politician (d. 1905)
  • 1860 – Willem Einthoven, Dutch inventor, Nobel laureate (d. 1927)
  • 1863 – Archduke Eugen of Austria, Austrian field marshal (d. 1954)
  • 1864 – Princess Stephanie of Belgium (d. 1945)
  • 1873 – Hans Berger, German neuroscientist (d. 1941)
  • 1878 – Glenn Curtiss, American aviation pioneer (d. 1930)
  • 1880 – Tudor Arghezi, Romanian writer (d. 1967)
  • 1885 – Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg, wife of Prince William of Wied (d.1936)
  • 1898 – Armand Hammer, American physician (d. 1990)
  • 1901 – Horace Heidt, American band leader (d. 1986)
  • 1901 – Sam Jaffe, American film producer (d. 2000)
  • 1901 – Suzanne Lilar, Belgian essayist, novelist and playwright (d. 1992)
  • 1902 – Earl Averill, baseball player (d. 1983)
  • 1902 – Marcel Lajos Breuer, Hungarian-born architect (d. 1981)
  • 1903 – Manly Wade Wellman, American author (d. 1986)
  • 1904 – Robert Montgomery, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1904 – Fats Waller, American pianist (d. 1943)
  • 1909 – François-Albert Angers, Quebec economist (d. 2003)
  • 1912 – Monty Stratton, baseball player (d. 1982)
  • 1913 – Gina Bachauer, Greek pianist (d. 1976)
  • 1916 – Tinus Osendarp, Dutch runner (d. 2002)
  • 1916 – Harold Robbins, American novelist (d. 1997)
  • 1917 – Raymond Burr, American actor (d. 1993)
  • 1918 – Dennis Day, American singer and comedian (d. 1988)
  • 1920 – Anthony Steel, British actor (d. 2001)
  • 1921 – Andrei Sakharov, Russian physicist (d. 1989)
  • 1923 – Armand Borel, Swiss mathematician (d. 2003)
  • 1923 – Ara Parseghian, American football coach
  • 1924 – Peggy Cass, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1926 – Robert Creeley, American poet (d. 2005)
  • 1928 – Tom Donahue, American disc jockey (freeform radio) (d. 1975)
  • 1930 – Malcolm Fraser, Australian politician
  • 1933 – Maurice André, French trumpeter
  • 1934 – Bengt I. Samuelsson, Swedish biochemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1936 – Günter Blobel, German biologist, Nobel laureate
  • 1939 – Heinz Holliger, Swiss musician
  • 1941 – Martin Carthy, English musician
  • 1941 – Ronald Isley, American singer (The Isley Brothers)
  • 1942 – Danny Ongais, American race car driver
  • 1943 – Hilton Valentine, British guitarist (The Animals)
  • 1944 – Mary Robinson, President of Ireland
  • 1944 – Marcie Blane, American singer
  • 1945 – Ernst Messerschmid, German astronaut
  • 1947 – Bill Champlin, American singer
  • 1947 – Jonathan Hyde, Australian-born actor
  • 1948 – Leo Sayer, English musician
  • 1951 – Al Franken, American comedian
  • 1952 – Mr. T, American actor
  • 1954 – Marc Ribot, American musician
  • 1955 – Paul Barber, British field hockey player
  • 1955 – Stan Lynch, American drummer
  • 1957 – Bruce Buffer, American Mixed Martial Arts Announcer
  • 1957 – Nadine Dorries, British politician
  • 1957 – Judge Reinhold, American actor
  • 1957 – Renée Soutendijk, Dutch actress
  • 1959 – Nick Cassavetes, American actor
  • 1960 – Jeffrey Dahmer, American serial killer (d. 1994)
  • 1960 – Kent Hrbek, American baseball player
  • 1963 – Richard Appel, American writer
  • 1963 – Kevin Shields, Musician (My Bloody Valentine)
  • 1964 – Danny Bailey, English footballer
  • 1964 – Danny Lee Clark, American football player and American Gladiator “Nitro”
  • 1964 – Nancy Daus, American professional wrestler (d. 2007)
  • 1964 – Carolyn Lawrence, American actress
  • 1966 – Lisa Edelstein, American actress
  • 1967 – Chris Benoit, Canadian professional wrestler (d. 2007)
  • 1968 – Julie Vega, Filipino child actress and singer (d. 1985)
  • 1968 – Matthias Ungemach, German rower
  • 1969 – Masayo Kurata, Japanese voice actress
  • 1970 – Carl Veart, Australian former footballer
  • 1972 – Adriano Cintra, Brazilian musician (CSS)
  • 1972 – The Notorious B.I.G., American rapper (d. 1997)
  • 1972 – Alesha Oreskovich, American model
  • 1973 – Noel Fielding, British comedian
  • 1974 – Fairuza Balk, American actress
  • 1974 – Havoc, American rapper (Mobb Deep)
  • 1975 – Lee Gaze, Welsh guitarist
  • 1976 – Deron Miller, American rock musician
  • 1976 – Kardinal Offishall, Canadian rapper
  • 1977 – Quinton Fortune, South African footballer
  • 1977 – Ricky Williams, American football player
  • 1978 – Briana Banks, German-American pornographic actress
  • 1978 – Jamaal Magloire, Canadian professional basketballer
  • 1978 – Adam Gontier, Canadian singer Three Days Grace
  • 1979 – Damián Ariel Álvarez, Argentinian footballer
  • 1979 – Jesse Capelli, Canadian pornographic actress
  • 1979 – Jamie Hepburn, Member of the Scottish Parliament
  • 1979 – Scott Smith, mixed martial arts fighter
  • 1980 – Chris Raab, American actor
  • 1981 – Belladonna, American pornographic actress
  • 1981 – Max, German singer
  • 1984 – Brandon Fields, National Football League punter
  • 1984 – Lorena Ayala, Spanish-Dutch model and beauty queen
  • 1985 – Andrew Miller, Major League Baseball player
  • 1985 – Kano, British rapper
  • 1985 – Mutya Buena, English singer (ex-Sugababes)
  • 1986 – Myra, Mexican-American singer
  • 1987 – Ashlie Brillault, American actress
  • 1992 – Olivia Olson, American singer and actress

May 21 – Deaths:

  • 987 – King Louis V of France
  • 1254 – Conrad IV of Germany (b. 1228)
  • 1481 – King Christian I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (b. 1426)
  • 1512 – Pandolfo Petrucci, ruler of Siena
  • 1524 – Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, English soldier
  • 1542 – Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer
  • 1607 – John Rainolds, English scholar (b. 1549)
  • 1639 – Tommaso Campanella, Italian theologian (b. 1568)
  • 1647 – Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, Dutch poet (b. 1581)
  • 1650 – James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, Scottish royalist (b. 1612)
  • 1664 – Elizabeth Poole, Puritan businesswoman
  • 1670 – Niccolo Zucchi, Italian astronomer (b. 1586)
  • 1686 – (N. S.) Otto von Guericke, German scientist (b. 1602)
  • 1690 – John Eliot, English Puritan missionary (b. 1604)
  • 1719 – Pierre Poiret, French mystic (b. 1646)
  • 1724 – Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, English statesman (b. 1661)
  • 1742 – Lars Roberg, Swedish physician (b. 1664)
  • 1771 – Christopher Smart, English poet (b. 1722)
  • 1786 – Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Swedish chemist (b. 1742)
  • 1790 – Thomas Warton, English poet (b. 1728)
  • 1844 – Giuseppe Baini, Italian composer (b. 1775)
  • 1862 – John Drew, Irish-born American actor (b. 1827)
  • 1879 – Arturo Prat, Chilean naval officer (b. 1848)
  • 1894 – Emile Henry, French anarchist (b. 1872)
  • 1894 – August Kundt, German physicist (b. 1839)
  • 1895 – Franz von Suppé, Austrian composer (b. 1819)
  • 1911 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (b. 1857)
  • 1915 – Leonid Gobyato, Russian general (b. 1875)
  • 1919 – Yevgraf Fyodorov, Russian mathematician (b. 1853)
  • 1920 – Venustiano Carranza, 54th President of Mexico (b. 1859)
  • 1929 – Archibald Primrose, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1847)
  • 1935 – Jane Addams, American social worker, Nobel laureate (b. 1860)
  • 1949 – Klaus Mann, German writer (b. 1906)
  • 1952 – John Garfield, American actor (b. 1913)
  • 1957 – Aleksandr Vertinsky, Russian singer (b. 1889)
  • 1964 – James Franck, German-born physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1882)
  • 1965 – Geoffrey de Havilland, British aircraft designer (b. 1882)
  • 1970 – E. L. Grant Watson, Australian biologist (b. 1885)
  • 1973 – Vaughn Monroe, American musician (b. 1911)
  • 1981 – Patsy O’Hara, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • 1981 – Raymond Mccreesh, Irish hunger striker (b. 1957)
  • 1984 – Ann Little, American actress (b. 1891)
  • 1985 – Julie Vega, Philippine Actress (b. 1968)
  • 1988 – Sammy Davis, Sr., American dancer (b. 1900)
  • 1991 – Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (b. 1944)
  • 1996 – Paul Delph, American musician and producer (b. 1957)
  • 1996 – Lash LaRue, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 1999 – Karnail “Bugz” Pitts, American rapper (D12) (b. 1979)
  • 2000 – Barbara Cartland, English author (b. 1901)
  • 2000 – Sir John Gielgud, British actor (b. 1904)
  • 2000 – Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (b. 1956)
  • 2002 – Niki de Saint Phalle, French artist (b. 1930)
  • 2003 – Frank D. White, American politician (b. 1933)
  • 2003 – Alejandro de Tomaso, Argentine-Italian racing driver and car manufacturer (b. 1928)
  • 2005 – Howard Morris, American comic actor and director (b. 1919)
  • 2006 – Cherd Songsri, Thai film director (b. 1931)
  • 2006 – Katherine Dunham, American dancer (b. 1909)
  • 2006 – Spencer Clark, American racecar driver (b. 1987)
  • 2006 – Billy Walker, American singer (b. 1929)

May 21 – Holidays:

  • Navy Day (Día de las Glorias Navales) in Chile.
  • Dia de la Afrocolombianidad marks the abolition of slavery in Colombia.
  • Independence Day is celebrated in Montenegro.
  • Liturgical feasts:
    • Roman Catholic :
      • Saint Constantine the Great
      • Saint Charles-Eugène de Mazenod
      • Saint Goderik
      • Saint Mireille
  • Eastern Orthodox:
    • Saints Constantine and Helena
    • Equal-to-the-Apostles

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On This Day in History May 20

May 20 – Events:

  • 325 – The First Council of Nicaea – the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church – is held.
  • 526 – An earthquake kills about 300,000 people in Syria and Antiochia.
  • 685 – The Battle of Dunnichen or Nechtansmere is fought between a Pictish army under King Bridei III and the invading Northumbrians under King Ecgfrith, who are decisively defeated.
  • 1217 – The Second Battle of Lincoln is fought near Lincoln, England, resulting in the defeat of Prince Louis of France by William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.
  • 1293 – King Sancho IV of Castile creates the Study of General Schools of Alcalá.
  • 1498 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrives at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India.
  • 1521 – Battle of Pampeluna: Ignatius Loyola seriously wounded in the battle.
  • 1570 – Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issues the first modern atlas.
  • 1609 – Shakespeare’s Sonnets 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.
  • 1690 – England passes the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of Roman Catholic James II.
  • 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.
  • 1835 – Otto is named the first modern king of Greece.
  • 1845 – HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sail from the River Thames in England, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage. All hands are lost.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The state of Kentucky proclaims its neutrality, which will last until September 3 when Confederate forces enter the state.
  • 1862 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act into law.
  • 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.
  • 1882 – The Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy is formed.
  • 1883 – The eruption of Krakatoa begins, leading ultimately to the volcano’s destruction three months later.
  • 1891 – History of cinema: First public display of Thomas Alva Edison’s prototype kinetoscope (shown at Edison’s Laboratory for a convention of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs).
  • 1896 – The six ton chandelier of the Palais Garnier falls on the crowd resulting in the death of one and the injury of many others.
  • 1902 – Cuba gains independence from the United States. Tomás Estrada Palma becomes the first President of Cuba.
  • 1910 – Krazy Kat and Ignatz first appear in ‘The Dingbat Family’ comic strip.
  • 1916 – The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting (“Boy with Baby Carriage”).
  • 1916 – The small town of Codell, Kansas is struck by a tornado. Incredibly, the same town was also hit in 1917 and 1918 on the exact same date.
  • 1920 – The Weimarer Nationalversammlung, the national assembly of Germany’s Weimar Republic, is permanently dissolved.
  • 1920 – Montreal Quebec station XWA broadcasts the first regularly scheduled radio programming in North America.
  • 1927 – By the Treaty of Jedda, the United Kingdom recognizes the sovereignty of King Ibn Saud in the Kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • 1927 – At 07:52 Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, on the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, touching down at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 22:22 the next day.
  • 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 – Holocaust: The first prisoners arrive at a new concentration camp at Auschwitz.
  • 1941 – World War II: Battle of Crete – German paratroops invade Crete.
  • 1949 – In the United States of America, the Armed Forces Security Agency (predecessor to the National Security Agency) is established.
  • 1949 – Kuomintang regime declare Taiwan is under the martial law.
  • 1954 – Chiang Kai-shek is selected for another term as President of the Republic of China by the National Assembly.
  • 1965 – PIA Flight 705, a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 720 – 040 B crashes while descending to land at Cairo International Airport, killing 119 of the 125 passengers and crew.
  • 1969 – The Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam ends.
  • 1980 – In a Referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a 60% vote the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada.
  • 1983 – First publications of the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo individually.
  • 1984 – The first line of the Miami Metrorail in Miami, Florida opens.
  • 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.
  • 1995 – In a second Referendum in Quebec, the population rejects by a slight majority the proposal from its government to move towards independence from Canada.
  • 1996 – Gay 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.
  • 1999 – T.J. Solomon injures 6 people in Heritage High School shooting.
  • 2002 – The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976).

May 20 – Birthdays:

  • 1315 – Bonne of Luxembourg, wife of John II of France (d. 1349)
  • 1470 – Pietro Bembo, Italian cardinal (d. 1547)
  • 1554 – Paolo Bellasio, Italian composer (d. 1594)
  • 1593 – Salomo Glassius, German theologian (d. 1656)
  • 1660 – Andreas Schlüter, German sculptor (d. 1714)
  • 1663 – William Bradford, British-born printer (d. 1752)
  • 1706 – Seth Pomeroy, American gunsmith and soldier (d. 1777)
  • 1726 – Francis Cotes, English painter (d. 1770)
  • 1737 – William Petty Fitzmaurice, British statesman (d. 1805)
  • 1759 – William Thornton, West Indian-born architect (d. 1828)
  • 1768 – Dolley Madison, First Lady of the United States (d. 1849)
  • 1769 – Andreas Vokos Miaoulis, Greek admiral and politician (d. 1835)
  • 1772 – Sir William Congreve, English inventor (d. 1828)
  • 1799 – Honoré de Balzac, French novelist (d. 1850)
  • 1806 – John Stuart Mill, English philosopher (d. 1873)
  • 1818 – William Fargo, co-founder of Wells, Fargo & Company (d. 1881)
  • 1822 – Frédéric Passy, French economist, Nobel laureate (d. 1912)
  • 1830 – Hector Malot, French writer (d. 1907)
  • 1838 – Jules Méline, French statesman (d. 1925)
  • 1851 – Emil Berliner, German-born recording pioneer (d. 1929)
  • 1860 – Eduard Buchner, German chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1917)
  • 1882 – Sigrid Undset, Norwegian author, Nobel laureate (d. 1949)
  • 1883 – King Faisal I of Iraq (d. 1933)
  • 1894 – Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, Indian Hindu sage, Jivanmukta (d. 1994)
  • 1895 – R. J. (Reginald Joseph) Mitchell, British aircraft designer (d. 1937)
  • 1897 – Diego Abad de Santillán, Spanish anarchist (d. 1983)
  • 1899 – Alexander Deyneka, Ukrainian painter (d. 1969)
  • 1899 – John Marshall Harlan II, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1971)
  • 1901 – Max Euwe, Dutch chess player (d. 1981)
  • 1906 – Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1989)
  • 1908 – James Stewart, American actor (d. 1997)
  • 1911 – Gardner Fox, American writer (d. 1986)
  • 1913 – William Hewlett, American engineer (d. 2001)
  • 1914 – Corneliu Coposu, Romanian politician (d. 1995)
  • 1914 – Hideko Maehata, Japsnese swimmer (d. 1995)
  • 1915 – Moshe Dayan, Israeli general (d. 1981)
  • 1916 – Trebisonda Valla, Italian athlete (d. 2006)
  • 1916 – Alexei Petrovich Maresiev, Russian flying ace (d. 2001)
  • 1917 – Guy Favreau, French Canadian lawyer (d. 1967)
  • 1917 – Bergur Sigurbjörnsson, Icelandic politician (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Gerhard Barkhorn, German fighter pilot (d. 1983)
  • 1919 – George Gobel, American comedian (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Betty Driver, English singer and actress
  • 1921 – Wolfgang Borchert, German writer (d. 1947)
  • 1921 – Hal Newhouser, American baseball player (d. 1998)
  • 1925 – Chester Ludgin, American baritone (d. 2003)
  • 1926 – Bob Sweikert, American race car driver (d. 1956)
  • 1926 – John Lucarotti, TV writer (d. 1994)
  • 1927 – Bud Grant, American football coach
  • 1927 – Franciszek Macharski, Polish Cardinal
  • 1927 – David Hedison, American actor
  • 1928 – Jack Kevorkian, Suicide doctor
  • 1930 – Sam Etcheverry, American football player and coach
  • 1931 – Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
  • 1936 – Anthony Zerbe, American actor
  • 1938 – Marinella, Greek singer and actress
  • 1940 – Stan Mikita, Slovak-born ice hockey player
  • 1940 – Sadaharu Oh, Japanese baseball player
  • 1940 – Shorty Long, American musician (d. 1969)
  • 1941 – Goh Chok Tong, Singaporean Senior Minister
  • 1941 – John Strasberg, American actor
  • 1941 – Manuel Isaias Lopez, Mexican child psychiatrist
  • 1942 – Carlos Hathcock, American Marine sniper (d. 1999)
  • 1942 – Jill Jackson, American singer
  • 1943 – Al Bano, Italian singer
  • 1944 – Joe Cocker, British singer
  • 1944 – Boudewijn de Groot, Dutch singer
  • 1944 – Dietrich Mateschitz, Austrian businessman
  • 1945 – Vladimiro Montesinos, Peruvian politician
  • 1946 – Cher, American singer
  • 1947 – Greg Dyke, British broadcast executive
  • 1949 – Dave Thomas, Canadian comedian & actor
  • 1950 – Yvon Lambert, French Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1950 – Reinaldo Merlo, Argentine footballer
  • 1951 – Mike Crapo, American politician
  • 1952 – Roger Milla, Cameroonian footballer
  • 1953 – Robert Doyle, Australian politician
  • 1954 – Guy Hoffman, drummer and vocalist (Violent Femmes)
  • 1955 – Zbigniew Preisner, Polish film composer
  • 1956 – Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Norwegian author
  • 1956 – Dean Butler, American actor
  • 1956 – William Michaelian, Novelist, short story writer, and poet
  • 1958 – Ron Reagan, American talk show host
  • 1958 – Jane Wiedlin, American singer (The Go-Go’s)
  • 1959 – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, American singer
  • 1959 – Bronson Pinchot, American actor
  • 1960 – John Billingsley, American actor
  • 1960 – Chuck Brodsky, American musician
  • 1960 – Tony Goldwyn, American actor
  • 1961 – Clive Allen, English footballer
  • 1962 – Mike Jeffries, American soccer coach
  • 1963 – David Wells, American baseball player
  • 1963 – Karl Beattie, English television director and producer
  • 1965 – Ted Allen, American television host
  • 1966 – Mindy Cohn, American actress
  • 1966 – Dan Abrams, American TV reporter
  • 1967 – Gabriele Muccino, Italian film director
  • 1967 – Ramzi Yousef, Terrorist
  • 1967 – Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece
  • 1968 – Timothy Olyphant, American actor
  • 1968 – Waisale Serevi, Fijian rugby union and rugby sevens footballer
  • 1970 – Brian Gerard James, American professional wrestler
  • 1970 – Louis Theroux, British television presenter
  • 1971 – Šárka Kašpárková, Czech athlete
  • 1971 – Tony Stewart, American race car driver
  • 1972 – Tina Hobley, British television actress
  • 1972 – Busta Rhymes, American singer and rapper
  • 1975 – Isaac Gálvez, Spanish cyclist (d. 2006)
  • 1975 – Mark Zupan, American quadriplegic rugby player
  • 1976 – Ramón Hernández, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1976 – Tomoya Satozaki, Japanese baseball player
  • 1977 – Matt Czuchry, American actor
  • 1977 – Leonardo Noeren Franco, Argentine footballer
  • 1977 – Miriam Parrish, American television actress
  • 1977 – Vesa Toskala, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1981 – Iker Casillas, Spanish footballer
  • 1981 – Calico Cooper, American actress and dancer
  • 1981 – Lindsay Taylor, American basketball player
  • 1981 – Mark Winterbottom, Australian racing driver
  • 1982 – Petr Cech, Czech footballer
  • 1982 – Imran Farhat, Pakistani cricketer
  • 1983 – Jr. NTR, Indian film actor
  • 1986 – Kyle Patrick, American singer

May 20 – Deaths:

  • 685 – King Ecgfrith of Northumbria (b. 645)
  • 1277 – Pope John XXI (b. 1215)
  • 1285 – John II of Jerusalem, King of Cyprus (b. 1259)
  • 1444 – Saint Bernardino of Siena, Italian Franciscan missionary (b. 1380)
  • 1503 – Lorenzo de Medici, Italian patron (b. 1463)
  • 1506 – Christopher Columbus, Italian explorer (b. 1451)
  • 1550 – Ashikaga Yoshiharu, Japanese shogun (b. 1510)
  • 1622 – Osman II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1604)
  • 1648 – King Wladislaus IV of Poland (b. 1595)
  • 1677 – George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol, British statesman (b. 1612)
  • 1713 – Thomas Sprat, English writer (b. 1635)
  • 1717 – John Trevor, British statesman (b. 1637)
  • 1722 – Sébastien Vaillant, French botanist (b. 1669)
  • 1732 – Thomas Boston, Scottish church leader (b. 1676)
  • 1782 – William Emerson, British mathematician (b. 1701)
  • 1793 – Charles Bonnet, Swiss naturalist (b. 1720)
  • 1825 – Papaflessas, Greek priest and government official (b. 1788)
  • 1834 – Gilbert du Motier, French statesman (b. 1757)
  • 1841 – Joseph Blanco White, British theologian (b. 1775)
  • 1873 – Sir George-Étienne Cartier, French-Canadian statesman (b. 1814)
  • 1896 – Clara Schumann, German pianist and composer (b. 1819)
  • 1909 – Ernest Hogan, blackface comedian and musician (b. 1859)
  • 1917 – Philipp von Ferrary, Italian philatelist (b. 1850)
  • 1917 – Valentine Fleming, Scottish politician (b. 1887)
  • 1940 – Verner von Heidenstam, Swedish writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1859)
  • 1946 – Jacob Ellehammer, Danish inventor (b. 1871)
  • 1947 – Philipp Lenard, Austrian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1862)
  • 1949 – Randolph West, American biochemist, known for the Dakin-West reaction (b. 1890)
  • 1956 – Max Beerbohm, English theater critic (b. 1872)
  • 1961 – Josef “Pips” Priller, German fighter ace (b. 1915)
  • 1971 – Waldo Williams, Welsh poet (b. 1904)
  • 1973 – Jarno Saarinen, Finnish motorcycle racer (b. 1945)
  • 1975 – Barbara Hepworth, British sculptor (b. 1903)
  • 1976 – Zelmar Michelini, Uruguayan politician, member of the Christian-Democrat party, and Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz “disappeared”
  • 1978 – Bjarne Brustad, Norwegian composer (b. 1895)
  • 1989 – John Hicks, English economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1904)
  • 1989 – Gilda Radner, American comedian and actress (b. 1946)
  • 1992 – Roger Keith Coleman, American convict
  • 1996 – Jon Pertwee, British actor (b. 1919)
  • 2000 – Jean Pierre Rampal, French flutist (b. 1922)
  • 2000 – Malik Sealy, American basketball player (b. 1970)
  • 2001 – Renato Carosone, Italian musician (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist (b. 1941)
  • 2005 – Paul Ricoeur, French philosopher (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – William Seawell, United States Army Brigadier General (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Norman Von Nida, Australian golfer (b. 1914)

May 20 – Holidays:

  • National Day in Cameroon
  • East Timor National Day.
  • Saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Bernardine of Siena
    • Saint Lucifer
    • Saint Austregisilus
    • Saint Ivo of Chartres
    • Abercius and Helena

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On This Day in History May 19

May 19 – Events:

  • 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 kidnapped during his first voyage).
  • 1536 – Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery.
  • 1568 – Queen Elizabeth I of England has Mary Queen of Scots arrested.
  • 1604 – The town of Montreal is founded.
  • 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 declaring England a Commonwealth is passed by the Long Parliament. England would be a republic for the next eleven years.
  • 1749 – King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
  • 1780 – New England’s Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 AM.
  • 1802 – The Légion d’Honneur is founded by Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • 1828 – U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
  • 1848 – Mexican-American War: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – Mexico ratifies the treaty thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of five other modern-day U.S. states to the USA for USD $15 million.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ends.
  • 1897 – Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.
  • 1913 – Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du printemps” premiers in Paris. The audience riots.
  • 1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating what  was later termed the Turkish War of Independence. The anniversary of this event is the official date of commemoration of the Pontic Greek Genocide in Greece and Cyprus.
  • 1921 – The Emergency Quota Act passes the U.S. Congress establishing national quotas on immigration
  • 1922 – Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union is established.
  • 1943 – World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the cross-English Channel landing (D-Day would later be delayed over a month due to bad weather).
  • 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 data).
  • 1962 – A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s infamous rendition of Happy Birthday.
  • 1971 – Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
  • 1991 – Croatians vote for independence at their independence referendum.

May 19 – Birthdays:

  • 1593 – Jacob Jordaens, Flemish painter (d. 1678)
  • 1700 – José de Escandón, Spanish colonial governor (d. 1770)
  • 1724 – Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (d. 1779)
  • 1744 – Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (d. 1818)
  • 1762 – Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher (d. 1814)
  • 1773 – Arthur Aikin, English mineralogist (d. 1854)
  • 1795 – Johns Hopkins, American philanthropist (d. 1873)
  • 1797 – Maria Isabel of Portugal, queen of Spain (d. 1818)
  • 1827 – Paul-Armand Challemel-Lacour, French statesman (d. 1896)
  • 1861 – Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera singer (d. 1931)
  • 1862 – Mikhail Nesterov, Russian painter (d. 1942)
  • 1870 – Albert Fish, American serial killer (d. 1936)
  • 1874 – Gilbert Laird Jessop, English cricketer (d. 1955)
  • 1879 – Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-born politician (d. 1964)
  • 1880 – Sir Albert Richardson, English architect (d. 1964)
  • 1881 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of Turkey (d. 1938)
  • 1882 – Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran (d. 1967)
  • 1890 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese leader (d. 1969)
  • 1891 – Oswald Boelcke, German World War I pilot (d. 1916)
  • 1897 – Frank Luke, American World War I pilot (d. 1918)
  • 1898 – Julius Evola, Italian philosopher (d. 1974)
  • 1906 – Bruce Bennett, American athlete and actor (d. 2007)
  • 1908 – Percy Williams, Canadian athlete (d. 1982)
  • 1909 – Nicholas Winton, British Humanitarian
  • 1914 – Max Perutz, Austrian-born molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 2002)
  • 1914 – Go Seigen, Japanese Go player
  • 1914 – Alex Shibicky, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Abraham Pais, Dutch-born American physicist (d. 2000)
  • 1921 – Yuri Kochiyama, American civil rights activist
  • 1921 – Karel van het Reve, Dutch writer (d. 1999)
  • 1921 – Daniel Gélin, French actor (d. 2002)
  • 1924 – Sandy Wilson, British composer
  • 1925 – Malcolm X, American civil rights activist (d. 1965)
  • 1925 – Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator (d. 1998)
  • 1925 – Guy Provost, French Canadian actor (d. 2004)
  • 1926 – Swami Kriyananda, Indian teacher and author
  • 1928 – Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars (d. 1982)
  • 1928 – Dolph Schayes, American basketball player and coach
  • 1929 – John Stroger Chicago politician
  • 1930 – Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright (d. 1965)
  • 1931 – Eric Tappy, Swiss tenor
  • 1931 – Bob Anderson, British racing driver (d. 1967)
  • 1932 – Alma Cogan, English singer (d. 1966)
  • 1932 – Paul Erdman, American economist and author (d. 2007)
  • 1932 – Claude Blanchard, Quebec comedian, actor and singer (d. 2006)
  • 1934 – Jim Lehrer, American television journalist
  • 1934 – Ruskin Bond, Indian author
  • 1937 – Pat Roach, English actor and wrestler (d. 2004)
  • 1938 – Madge Hindle, English actress
  • 1938 – Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader, UDT President in the exterior (d. 1989)
  • 1939 – Livio Berruti, Italian athlete
  • 1939 – James Fox, English actor
  • 1939 – Nancy Kwan, Hong Kong actress
  • 1939 – Dick Scobee, American astronaut (d. 1986)
  • 1940 – Mickey Newbury, American musician
  • 1940 – Jan Janssen, Dutch cyclist
  • 1941 – Nora Ephron, American screenwriter
  • 1942 – Gary Kildall, American computer programmer (d. 1994)
  • 1942 – Robert Kilroy-Silk, British politician/television presenter
  • 1944 – Peter Mayhew, British-American actor
  • 1945 – Pete Townshend, English musician (The Who)
  • 1946 – André the Giant, French professional wrestler (d. 1993)
  • 1946 – Claude Lelièvre, Belgian commissioner for children’s rights
  • 1947 – Michele Placido, Italian actor and director
  • 1947 – Paul Brady, Northern Ireland singer/songwriter
  • 1947 – David Helfgott, Australian pianist
  • 1948 – Grace Jones, Jamaican singer and actress
  • 1949 – Archie Manning, American football player
  • 1949 – Dusty Hill, American blues rock singer/bassist (ZZ Top)
  • 1951 – Joey Ramone, American musician (The Ramones) (d. 2001)
  • 1952 – Bert van Marwijk, Dutch football manager
  • 1953 – Victoria Wood, British comic actress
  • 1953 – Dawud M. Mu’Min, American convicted murderer (d. 1997)
  • 1953 – Shavarsh Karapetyan, Soviet Armenian finswimmer
  • 1954 – Phil Rudd, Australian drummer (AC/DC)
  • 1956 – James Gosling, Canadian computer programmer
  • 1956 – Steven Ford, American actor
  • 1957 – Bill Laimbeer, American basketball player and coach
  • 1959 – Nicole Brown Simpson, Ex-wife of O.J. Simpson and murder victim. (d. 1994)
  • 1963 – Filippo Galli, former Italian footballer
  • 1963 – Yazz, British singer
  • 1964 – Miloslav Mecír, Slovakian former tennis player
  • 1966 – Polly Walker, British actress
  • 1966 – Marc Bureau, French Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1968 – Kyle Eastwood, American jazz musician; son of Clint Eastwood
  • 1970 – Mario Dumont, Quebec politician (Action démocratique du Québec)
  • 1970 – Choi Kyung-Ju, South Korean professional golfer
  • 1971 – Dionicio Castellanos, Mexican professional wrestler
  • 1972 – Jenny Berggren, Swedish singer (Ace of Base)
  • 1974 – Andrew Johns, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1975 – London Fletcher, American football player
  • 1975 – Masanobu Ando, Japanese actor
  • 1975 – Josh Paul, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Pretinha, Brazilian footballer
  • 1976 – Ed Cota, American basketball player
  • 1976 – Kevin Garnett, American basketball player
  • 1977 – Manuel Almúnia, Spanish footballer
  • 1977 – Brandon Inge, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Marcus Bent, English footballer
  • 1979 – Barbara Nedeljakova, Slovak actress (Hostel)
  • 1979 – Diego Forlán, Uruguayan footballer
  • 1979 – Andrea Pirlo, Italian footballer
  • 1980 – Drew Fuller, American actor/model
  • 1980 – Tony Hackworth, English footballer
  • 1981 – Georges St. Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts Fighter
  • 1981 – Luciano Figueroa, Argentine footballer
  • 1981 – Klaas-Erik Zwering, Dutch swimmer
  • 1981 – Nate Cole, American singer/songwriter (formerly of Plus One, now in Castledoor)
  • 1982 – Kevin Amankwaah, English footballer
  • 1982 – Pål Steffen Andresen, Norwegian footballer
  • 1983 – Eve Angel, Hungarian model/porn star
  • 1983 – Jessica Fox, British actress
  • 1984 – Marcedes Lewis, American football player
  • 1986 – Eric Lloyd, American actor
  • 1986 – Mario Chalmers, NCAA Basketball player
  • 1987 – David Edgar, Canadian footballer
  • 1988 – Lily Cole, English model/actress
  • 1991 – Jordan Pruitt, American singer

May 19 – Deaths:

  • 804 – Alcuin, English monk (b. 735)
  • 988 – Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 909)
  • 1102 – Stephen, Count of Blois (b. c. 1045)
  • 1125 – Vladimir Monomakh, Russian prince (b. 1053)
  • 1296 – Pope Celestine V (b. 1215)
  • 1319 – Louis d’Évreux, son of Philip III of France (b. 1276)
  • 1389 – Dmitri Donskoi, Grand Prince of Muscovy (b. 1350)
  • 1526 – Emperor Go-Kashiwabara of Japan (b. 1464)
  • 1531 – Jan Laski, Polish statesman and diplomat (b. 1456)
  • 1536 – Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England
  • 1601 – Costanzo Porta, Italian composer
  • 1610 – Thomas Sanchez, Spanish theologian (b. 1550)
  • 1637 – Isaac Beeckman, Dutch scientist and philosopher (b. 1588)
  • 1715 – Charles Montagu, Chancellor of the Exchequer (b. 1661)
  • 1786 – John Stanley, English composer (b. 1712)
  • 1795 – Josiah Bartlett, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1729)
  • 1795 – James Boswell, Scottish biographer (b. 1740)
  • 1798 – William Byron, 5th Baron Byron, English dueler (b. 1722)
  • 1821 – Camille Jordan, French politician (b. 1771)
  • 1825 – Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon, French political philosopher (b. 1760)
  • 1864 – Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author (b. 1804)
  • 1876 – Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, Dutch politician (b. 1801)
  • 1885 – Peter W. Barlow, English engineer (b. 1809)
  • 1895 – José Martí, Cuban independence leader (b. 1853)
  • 1898 – William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1809)
  • 1904 – Auguste Molinier, French historian (b. 1851)
  • 1907 – Benjamin Baker, English engineer (b. 1840)
  • 1912 – Boleslaw Prus, Polish writer (b. 1847)
  • 1915 – John Simpson Kirkpatrick stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during World War I (b. 1892)
  • 1918 – Raoul Lufbery, French-American World War I fighter pilot and flying ace (b. 1885)
  • 1935 – T. E. Lawrence, English soldier known as Lawrence of Arabia (b. 1888)
  • 1943 – Kristjan Raud, Estonian painter (b. 1865)
  • 1945 – Philipp Bouhler, German nazi leader (b. 1889)
  • 1946 – Booth Tarkington, American novelist (b. 1869)
  • 1954 – Charles Ives, American composer (b. 1874)
  • 1958 – Archie Scott-Brown, English race car driver (b. 1927)
  • 1958 – Ronald Colman, English actor (b. 1891)
  • 1965 – Tui Malila, world’s oldest tortoise (b. 1773 or 1777)
  • 1969 – Coleman Hawkins, American musician (b. 1901)
  • 1971 – Ogden Nash, American poet (b. 1902)
  • 1983 – Jean Rey, President of the European Commission (b. 1902)
  • 1984 – John Betjeman, English poet and Poet Laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1986 – Jimmy Lyons, American musician (b. 1931)
  • 1987 – James Tiptree, Jr, American author (b. 1915)
  • 1989 – CLR James, West Indian writer and journalist (b. 1901)
  • 1994 – Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, First Lady of the United States (b. 1929)
  • 1994 – Luis Ocaña, Spanish cyclist (b. 1945)
  • 1998 – Sosuke Uno, Japanese prime minister (b. 1922)
  • 1999 – James Blades, English percussionist (b. 1901)
  • 1999 – Candy Candido, American actor (b. 1913)
  • 2000 – Yevgeny Khrunov, cosmonaut (b. 1933)
  • 2001 – Susannah McCorkle, American singer (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – John Gorton, nineteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1911)
  • 2002 – Walter Lord, American writer (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – Mary Dresselhuys, Dutch actress (b. 1907)
  • 2005 – Henry Corden, American actor and voice artist (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Freddie Garrity, English lead singer from the band Freddie and the Dreamers (b. 1940)
  • 2007 – Dean Eyre, New Zealand politician (b. 1914)

May 19-Holidays

  • Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day in Turkey (1919).
  • Feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Ciarán mac Colga
    • Dunstan
    • Peter Celestine
    • Ives
    • Emiliana
    • Pudentiana
    • Theophilus of Corte

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On This Day in History May 18

May 18 – Events:

  • 1152 – Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • 1268 – The Principality of Antioch, a crusader state, falls to the Mamluk Sultan Baibars in the Battle of Antioch.
  • 1302 – Bruges Matins, the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by members of the local Flemish militia.
  • 1498 – Vasco da Gama reaches the port of Calicut, India
  • 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 North America making slavery illegal.
  • 1765 – Fire destroys a large part of Montreal, Quebec.
  • 1783 – First United Empire Loyalists reach Parrtown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada after leaving the United States.
  • 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 – Las Piedras Battle: first great military triumph of the revolution of the Río de la Plata in Uruguay leaded by Jose Artigas.
  • 1848 – Opening of the first German National Assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt, Germany.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg begins.
  • 1869 – Surrender and dissolution of the Ezo Republic to Japan.
  • 1869 – The Public Credit Act is signed by Ulysses S. Grant, one of his first actions as President of the United States.
  • 1876 – Wyatt Earp starts work in Dodge City, Kansas.
  • 1896 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal is constitutional.
  • 1896 – Khodynka Tragedy: a mass panic on Khodynka Field in Moscow during the festivities of the coronation of Russian Tsar Nicholas II resulted in the deaths of 1,389 people.
  • 1897 – Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker is published.
  • 1900 – The United Kingdom proclaims a protectorate over Tonga.
  • 1910 – The Earth passes through the tail of Comet Halley.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Selective Service Act of 1917 is passed, giving the President the power of conscription.
  • 1926 – Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears while visiting a Venice, California, beach.
  • 1927 – The Bath School Disaster: Forty-five people are killed by bombs planted by a disgruntled school-board member in Michigan.
  • 1933 – New Deal: President Franklin Delano 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 (“Fallschirmjäger”) evacuate Monte Cassino.
  • 1944 – Deportation of Crimean Tatars by the Soviet Union government.
  • 1944 – World War II: SS troops burn down six villages in the Brkini hills in south western Slovenia.
  • 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.
  • 1958 – An F-104 Starfighter sets a world speed record of 1,404.19 mph (2,259.82 km/h).
  • 1959 – Launching of the National Liberation Committee of Côte d’Ivoire in Conakry, Guinea.
  • 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 launched.
  • 1974 – Nuclear test: Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.
  • 1974 – Completion of the Warsaw radio mast, the tallest construction ever built at the time. It later collapses on August 8, 1991.
  • 1980 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage.
  • 1980 – Gwangju Massacre: Students in Gwangju, South Korea begin demonstrations, calling for democratic reforms.
  • 1983 – In Ireland, the Government launched a crackdown, with the leading Dublin pirate Radio Nova being put off the air.
  • 1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record – 515.3km/h
  • 1991 – Helen Sharman from Sheffield becomes the first Briton to orbit in Space.
  • 1991 – Northern Somalia declares independence from the rest of Somalia as the Republic of Somaliland but is unrecognized by the international community.
  • 1992 – The Archivist of the United States officially announces the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1998 – United States v. Microsoft: The United States Department of Justice and 20 U.S. states file an antitrust case against Microsoft.
  • 2006 – The post Loktantra Andolan government passes a landmark bill curtailing the power of the monarchy and making Nepal a secular country.

May 18 – Birthdays:

  • 1048 – Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet and philosopher (d. 1131)
  • 1186 – Konstantin of Rostov, Prince of Novgorod (d. 1218)
  • 1474 – Isabella d’Este, Marquise of Mantua (d. 1539)
  • 1610 – Stefano della Bella, Italian printmaker (d. 1664)
  • 1616 – Johann Jakob Froberger, German composer (d. 1667)
  • 1662 – George Smalridge, English bishop of Bristol (d. 1719)
  • 1692 – Joseph Butler, English bishop and philosopher (d. 1752)
  • 1711 – Ruder Josip Boškovic, Croatian atomic theorist (d. 1787)
  • 1778 – Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (d. 1854)
  • 1785 – John Wilson, Scottish writer (d. 1854)
  • 1797 – Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (d. 1854)
  • 1850 – Oliver Heaviside, English physicist (d. 1925)
  • 1851 – James Budd, Governor of California (d. 1908)
  • 1868 – Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov, Nicholas II, Last Emperor of Russia (d. 1918)
  • 1872 – Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, English mathematician, writer and philosopher, Nobel laureate (d. 1970)
  • 1876 – Hermann Müller, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1931)
  • 1882 – Babe Adams, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1883 – Eurico Gaspar Dutra, President of Brazil (d. 1974)
  • 1883 – Walter Gropius, German architect (d. 1969)
  • 1887 – Jeanie MacPherson, American actress and screenwriter (d. 1946)
  • 1889 – Thomas Midgley, American chemist and inventor (d. 1944)
  • 1891 – Rudolf Carnap, German philosopher (d. 1970)
  • 1892 – Ezio Pinza, Italian-born bass (d. 1957)
  • 1897 – Frank Capra, American film producer, director, and writer (d. 1991)
  • 1901 – Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Meredith Willson, American composer (d. 1984)
  • 1904 – Jacob K. Javits, American politician (d. 1986)
  • 1905 – Hedley Verity, English cricketer (d. 1943)
  • 1907 – Carl Mydans, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1909 – Fred Perry, British former tennis player (d. 1995)
  • 1911 – Big Joe Turner, American blues singer (d. 1985)
  • 1912 – Richard Brooks, American film director, writer and producer (d. 1992)
  • 1912 – Perry Como, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1912 – Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 2003)
  • 1913 – Jane Birdwood, British anti-Semitic activist (d. 2000)
  • 1913 – Charles Trenet, French singer and songwriter (d. 2001)
  • 1913 – Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, Fifth President of India (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer (d. 1982)
  • 1918 – George Welch, American pilot and war hero (d. 1954)
  • 1918 – Massimo Girotti, Italian actor (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer (d. 1991)
  • 1920 – Pope John Paul II (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Lucia Mannucci, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1922 – Gerda Boyesen, Norwegian-born body psychotherapist (d. 2005)
  • 1922 – Bill Macy, American actor
  • 1922 – Kai Winding, Danish-born musician (d. 1983)
  • 1923 – Hugh Shearer, Prime Minister of Jamaica (d. 2004)
  • 1923 – Jean-Louis Roux, French Canadian actor and artistic director
  • 1924 – Priscilla Pointer, American actress
  • 1924 – Jack Whitaker, American sportscaster
  • 1926 – Dirch Passer, Danish actor (d. 1980)
  • 1928 – Pernell Roberts, American actor
  • 1929 – Jack Sanford, American baseball player (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Don Martin, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • 1931 – Robert Morse, American actor
  • 1933 – Bernadette Chirac, French politician
  • 1934 – Dwayne Hickman, American actor and television executive
  • 1937 – Brooks Robinson, American baseball player
  • 1937 – Jacques Santer, Luxembourg statesman
  • 1939 – Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)
  • 1939 – Gordon O’Connor, Canadian politician
  • 1941 – Lobby Loyde, Australian guitarist and songwriter (d. 2007)
  • 1942 – Albert Hammond, British musician and composer
  • 1942 – Nobby Stiles, English footballer
  • 1943 – James Reiher, American professional wrestler
  • 1944 – W. G. Sebald, German-born writer (d. 2001)
  • 1946 – Bruce Gilbert, English musician (Wire)
  • 1946 – Frank Hsieh, former Premier of Taiwan
  • 1946 – Reggie Jackson, American baseball player
  • 1946 – Andreas Katsulas, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1947 – John Bruton, ninth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland
  • 1949 – Rick Wakeman, English composer and musician (Yes)
  • 1949 – Bill Wallace, Canadian musician (The Guess Who)
  • 1950 – Thomas Gottschalk, German television show host
  • 1950 – Mark Mothersbaugh, American composer, musician, and singer (Devo)
  • 1952 – Diane Duane, American writer
  • 1952 – George Strait, American musician
  • 1952 – Jeana Yeager, American aviator
  • 1955 – Chow Yun-Fat, Hong Kong actor
  • 1957 – Michael Cretu, German musician (Enigma)
  • 1958 – Toyah Willcox, English actor and singer
  • 1959 – Jay Wells, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Jari Kurri, Finnish ice hockey player
  • 1960 – Yannick Noah, French tennis player
  • 1962 – Mike Whitmarsh, American Volleyball Player
  • 1962 – Nanne Grönvall, Swedish singer
  • 1962 – Sandra Cretu, German singer
  • 1962 – Mike Darnell, American television executive
  • 1965 – Ingo Schwichtenberg, German drummer (d. 1995)
  • 1966 – Michael Tait, American musician (dc Talk, Tait)
  • 1967 – Heinz-Harald Frentzen, German F1 driver
  • 1969 – Martika, Cuban-American singer
  • 1970 – Tina Fey, American writer/actress
  • 1971 – Brad Friedel, American soccer player
  • 1971 – Nobuteru Taniguchi, Japanese racing driver
  • 1972 – Turner Stevenson, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Dario Franchitti, American racecar driver (Indy Racing League)
  • 1975 – John Higgins, Scottish snooker player
  • 1975 – Jack Johnson, American musician
  • 1975 – Peter Iwers, Swedish bass player (In Flames)
  • 1976 – Oleg Tverdovsky, Ukrainian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Lee Hendrie, English footballer
  • 1977 – Danny Mills, English footballer
  • 1978 – Ricardo Carvalho, Portuguese footballer
  • 1979 – Mariusz Lewandowski, Polish footballer
  • 1979 – Michal Martikán, Slovak slalom canoeist
  • 1979 – Julián Speroni, Argentine footballer
  • 1980 – Jeff Roehl, American football player
  • 1980 – Ali Zafar, Pakistani singer and model
  • 1980 – Aileen Campbell, Scottish Politician
  • 1981 – Mahamadou Diarra, Malian footballer
  • 1982 – Jason Brown, English-born footballer
  • 1982 – Eric West, American singer and actor
  • 1983 – Gary O’Neil, English footballer
  • 1983 – Luis Terrero, Dominican baseball player
  • 1983 – Vince Young, American football player
  • 1984 – Scarlett Keegan, Playboy Playmate
  • 1984 – Joakim Soria, Mexican baseball player
  • 1984 – Niki Terpstra, Dutch cyclist
  • 1986 – Ryan Lamb, English rugby union player
  • 1987 – Luisana Lopilato, Argentine actress and model
  • 1988 – Ryan Cooley, Canadian television actor
  • 1991 – Michael Edwards, Lacrosse player
  • 1992 – Spencer Breslin, American actor
  • 1997 – Alana Etheridge, American actress

May 18 – Deaths:

  • 1450 – Sejong the Great of Joseon, ruler of Korea (b. 1397)
  • 1550 – John, Cardinal of Lorraine, French churchman (b. 1498)
  • 1551 – Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter (d. 1486)
  • 1584 – Ikeda Motosuke, Japanese samurai commander (b. 1559)
  • 1675 – Stanislaw Lubieniecki, Polish astronomer (b. 1623)
  • 1675 – Jacques Marquette, French Jesuit missionary and explorer (b. 1637)
  • 1692 – Elias Ashmole, English antiquarian (b. 1617)
  • 1733 – Georg Böhm, German organist (b. 1761)
  • 1780 – Charles Hardy, British governor of Newfoundland
  •  1781 – Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian Indian revolutionary, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, Túpac Amaru (b. 1742)
  • 1799 – Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, French playwright (b. 1732)
  • 1800 – Alexander Suvorov, Russian general (b. 1729)
  • 1807 – John Douglas, Scottish Anglican bishop and man of letters (b. 1721)
  • 1808 – Elijah Craig, American minister and inventor (b. 1738?)
  • 1829 – Maria Josepha of Saxony, queen consort of Spain (b. 1803)
  • 1844 – Richard McCarty, American politician (b. 1780)
  • 1889 – Isabella Glyn Dallas, Scottish Shakepearean actress (b. 1823)
  • 1900 – Jean Gaspard Felix Ravaisson-Mollien, French philosopher (b. 1813)
  • 1909 – George Meredith, English novelist and poet (b. 1828)
  • 1909 – Isaac Albéniz, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1860)
  • 1910 – Pauline Garcia-Viardot, French mezzo-soprano and composer (b. 1821)
  • 1910 – Eliza Orzeszkowa, Polish novelist (b.1841)
  • 1911 – Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer (b. 1860)
  • 1922 – Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran, French physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1845)
  • 1927 – Andrew Kehoe, American mass murderer (b. 1872)
  • 1941 – Werner Sombart, German economist and sociologist (b. 1863)
  • 1955 – Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator and activist (b. 1875)
  • 1956 – Maurice Tate, English cricketer (b. 1895)
  • 1963 – Ernie Davis, American football player (b. 1939)
  • 1967 – Andy Clyde, American actor (b. 1892)
  • 1971 – Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Russian mathematician (b. 1908)
  • 1973 – Jeannette Rankin, first U.S. Congresswoman (b. 1880)
  • 1975 – Leroy Anderson, American composer (b. 1908)
  • 1980 – Ian Curtis, English musician, singer and lyricist (Joy Division) (b. 1956)
  • 1980 – Harry Truman, victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1896)
  • 1980 – David A. Johnston, a U.S. Volcanoligist was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b.  1949)
  • 1980 – Reid Blackburn, a photojournalist for National Geographic was also a victim of Mount St. Helens eruption (b. 1952)
  • 1981 – Arthur O’Connell, American actor (b. 1908)
  • 1981 – William Saroyan, American author (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Daws Butler, American voice actor (b. 1916)
  • 1990 – Jill Ireland, English actress (b. 1936)
  • 1992 – Skip Stephenson, American TV personality (b. 1940)
  • 1992 – Marshall Thompson, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1995 – Elisha Cook, Jr., American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Alexander Godunov, Russian ballet dancer and actor (b. 1949)
  • 1995 – Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress (b. 1933)
  • 1997 – Bridgette Andersen, American actress (b. 1975)
  • 1999 – Augustus Pablo, Jamaican singer (b. 1954)
  • 1999 – Betty Robinson, American runner (b. 1911)
  • 2000 – Stephen M. Wolownik, Russian musician and arranger (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • 2003 – Anna Santisteban, Puerto Rican beauty contest organizer (b. 1914)
  • 2003 – Barb Tarbox, Canadian anti-smoking crusader (b. 1961)
  • 2004 – Elvin Jones, American jazz drummer (b. 1927)
  • 2004 – Serge Turgeon, Quebec actor and union leader (b. 1946)
  • 2006 – Andrew Martinez, U.C. Berkeley’s “Naked Guy” (b. 1972)
  • 2006 – Marissa Cooper, fictional character on FOX’s “The O.C.” (b. 1988)
  • 2007 – Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, French physicist (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Yoyoy Villame, Philippine novelty singer and movie actor (b. 1932)

May 18 – Holidays:

  • International Museum Day
  • Baltic Fleet Day in Russia
  • Renascence, Unity and Poetry Day of Makhtumkuli in Turkmenistan
  • Festival of the god Pan in Ancient Greece
  • Festival of Faunus in Ancient Rome
  • Liturgical feast day of the following saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Eric of Sweden
    • Saint Dioscorus
    • St. Felix of Cantalice
    • Pope John I
    • Venantius of Camerino
    • Feast day of Saint Alexandra in the Eastern Orthodox Church
    • Flag Day in Haiti

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On This Day in History May 17

May 17 – Events:

  • 1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, is executed for treason.
  • 1590 – Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
  • 1642 – Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (1612–1676) founds the Ville Marie de Montréal.
  • 1673 – Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploring the Mississippi River.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Continental Congress bans trade with Canada.
  • 1792 – The New York Stock Exchange is formed.
  • 1809 – Napoleon I of France 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 the Danish Crown Prince Christian Frederik is elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
  • 1849 – A fire threatens to burn St. Louis, Missouri, to the ground.
  • 1860 – German football club TSV 1860 München is founded
  • 1863 – Rosalía de Castro publishes Cantares Gallegos, her first book in the Galician language.
  • 1865 – The International Telegraph Union (the later International Telecommunication Union) is established.
  • 1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
  • 1895 – The first Omonoia station of the Athens metro is inaugurated in Greece.
  • 1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve Mafeking.
  • 1902 – Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
  • 1915 – The last British Liberal Party government (Herbert Henry Asquith) falls.
  • 1918 – Almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin are arrested.
  • 1919 – Committee of One Thousand forms to oppose Winnipeg General Strike.
  • 1919 – War Department (UK) orders use of National Star Insignia on all airplanes.
  • 1927 – U.S. Army aviation pioneer, Major Harold Geiger, died in the crash of his Airco DH.4 de Havilland plane at Olmstead Field, Pennsylvania.
  • 1933 – Vidkun Quisling and Johan Bernhard Hjort form Nasjonal Samling — the national-socialist party of Norway.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1940 – World War II: The old city centre of the Dutch town of Middelburg is bombed by the  German Luftwaffe, to force the surrender of the Dutch armies in Zeeland.
  • 1943 – The United States Army contracts with the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School to develop the ENIAC.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.
  • 1954 – The United States Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
  • 1963 – Bruno Sammartino defeats Nature Boy Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. It begins the longest heavyweight championship reign in pro wrestling history.
  • 1967 – Six-Day War: President Abdul 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.
  • 1970 – Thor Heyerdahl sets sail from Morocco on the papyrus boat Ra II to sail the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1973 – Watergate scandal: Hearings begin in the United States Senate and are televised.
  • 1974 – Police in Los Angeles, California, raid the Symbionese Liberation Army’s headquarters, killing six members, including Camilla Hall.
  • 1974 – Thirty-three people are killed by terrorist bombings in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland.
  • 1980 – General Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea 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 the town of Chuschi, Ayacucho starting the Internal conflict in Peru.
  • 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 – An Iraqi fighter jet fires two missiles into the U.S. warship USS Stark (FFG-31), killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.
  • 1992 – In Thailand, the so-called Black May begins. Thai police and protestors start attacking one another. By midnight, the current Thai government declares a state of emergency, and military troops open fire.
  • 1994 – Malawi holds its first multiparty elections.
  • 1995 – After 18 years as the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac takes office as President of France.
  • 1997 – Troops of Laurent Kabila march into Kinshasa.
  • 1998 – David Wells of the New York Yankees pitches the 15th perfect game in baseball history against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.
  • 1999 – Ehud Barak is elected prime minister of Israel.
  • 2000 – Philippines. Explosion rocks Glorietta 2 injuring 13 persons, mostly teenagers. According to local authorities, the homemade bomb was placed in front of a toilet beside a video arcade.
  • 2004 – Massachusetts becomes the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage
  • 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.

May 17 – Birthdays:

  • 1155 – Jien, Japanese poet and historian (d. 1225)
  • 1443 – Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of  England
  • 1551 – Martin Delrio, Flemish theologian and occultist (d. 1601)
  • 1628 – Archduke Ferdinand Charles of Austria, Regent of the Tyrol (d. 1662)
  • 1682 – Bartholomew Roberts, AKA Black Bart, notorious Welsh pirate (d. 1722)
  • 1706 – Andreas Felix von Oefele, German historian and librarian (d. 1780)
  • 1718 – Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat and politician (d. 1778)
  • 1743 – Seth Warner, American revolutionary leader (d. 1784)
  • 1749 – Edward Jenner, English medical researcher (d. 1823)
  • 1758 – John St Aubyn, British fossil collector (d. 1839)
  • 1768 – Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales (d. 1821)
  • 1768 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general (d. 1854)
  • 1794 – Anna Brownell Jameson, British writer (d. 1860)
  • 1821 – Sebastian Kneipp, German naturopathist (d. 1897)
  • 1836 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian chess player (d. 1900)
  • 1836 – Virginie Loveling, Belgian writer and poet (d. 1923)
  • 1844 – Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (d. 1918)
  • 1866 – Erik Satie, French composer (d. 1925)
  • 1868 – Horace Elgin Dodge, American automobile manufacturer (d. 1920)
  • 1873 – Henri Barbusse, French novelist and journalist (d. 1935)
  • 1873 – Dorothy Richardson, English writer (d. 1957)
  • 1879 – Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (d. 1926)
  • 1886 – Alfonso XIII of Spain (d. 1941)
  • 1888 – Tich Freeman, English cricketer (d. 1965)
  • 1891 – Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife (d. 1959)
  • 1897 – Odd Hassel, Norwegian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1898 – Alfred Joseph Casson, Canadian painter (d. 1992)
  • 1900 – Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian Muslim cleric (d. 1989)
  • 1901 – Werner Egk, German composer (d. 1983)
  • 1903 – Cool Papa Bell, baseball player (d. 1991)
  • 1904 – Jean Gabin, French actor (d. 1976)
  • 1906 – Zinka Milanov, Croatian soprano (d. 1989)
  • 1911 – Lisa Fonssagrives, Swedish-born supermodel (d. 1992)
  • 1911 – Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish actress (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Hans Ruesch, Swiss racing driver (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Birgit Nilsson, Swedish soprano (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Antonio Aguilar, Mexican singer and actor (d. 2007)
  • 1919 – Merle Miller, American biographer (d. 1986)
  • 1921 – Dennis Brain, English French horn player (d. 1957)
  • 1921 – Bob Merrill, American composer and lyricist (d. 1998)
  • 1931 – Marshall Applewhite, American cult leader (d. 1997)
  • 1935 – Dennis Potter, English writer (d. 1994)
  • 1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director
  • 1937 – Hazel R. O’Leary, United States Secretary of Energy
  • 1938 – Jason Bernard, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1939 – Gary Paulsen, American author
  • 1940 – Alan Kay, American computer scientist
  • 1941 – David Cope, American composer and author
  • 1942 – Taj Mahal, American musician
  • 1943 – Johnny Warren, Australian Footballer (d. 2004)
  • 1943 – Vicky Moscholiou, Greek singer (d. 2005)
  • 1945 – Tony Roche, Australian tennis player
  • 1946 – Udo Lindenberg, German musician
  • 1946 – F. Paul Wilson, American novelist
  • 1948 – Dick Gaughan, Scottish musician, singer and songwriter
  • 1949 – Bill Bruford, English musician (Yes)
  • 1950 – Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian politician
  • 1951 – Simon Hughes, British politician
  • 1952 – Howard Hampton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario
  • 1955 – Bill Paxton, American actor and film director
  • 1956 – Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer
  • 1956 – Bob Saget, American actor
  • 1956 – Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist
  • 1957 – Pascual Pérez, Major league pitcher
  • 1958 – Paul Di’Anno, English singer (Iron Maiden)
  • 1959 – Marcelo Loffreda, Argentine rugby player and coach
  • 1959 – Jim Nantz, American broadcaster
  • 1960 – Lou DiBella, American boxing promoter
  • 1961 – Enya, Irish singer and songwriter
  • 1962 – Craig Ferguson, Scottish actor and comedian
  • 1962 – Lise Lyng Falkenberg, Danish writer
  • 1963 – Page McConnell, American musician and songwriter (Phish)
  • 1964 – Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (d. 1999)
  • 1965 – Richard Baumhammers, American spree killer
  • 1965 – Trent Reznor, American musician (Nine Inch Nails)
  • 1969 – Thom Filicia, American television personality
  • 1969 – Alan Doyle, Canadian musician (Great Big Sea)
  • 1970 – Jordan Knight, American singer (New Kids on the Block)
  • 1970 – Angelica Agurbash, Belarusian singer, actress and model
  • 1970 – Matt Lindland, American mixed martial arts fighter
  • 1971 – Shaun Hart, Australian footballer
  • 1971 – Princess Máxima of the Netherlands
  • 1973 – Josh Homme, American musician and songwriter
  • 1973 – Matthew McGrory, American actor (d. 2005)
  • 1973 – Sasha Alexander, American television actress
  • 1973 – Steve Barakatt, Canadian composer
  • 1974 – Andrea Corr, Irish singer (The Corrs)
  • 1974 – Wiki González, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1974 – Eddie Lewis, American football (soccer) player
  • 1974 – Sendhil Ramamurthy, American actor
  • 1975 – Cheick Kongo, French martial artist
  • 1975 – Jonti Picking, British cartoonist
  • 1975 – Kostas Sommer, Greek actor
  • 1975 – Laura Voutilainen, Finnish singer
  • 1975 – Alex Wright, German professional wrestler
  • 1976 – José Guillén, Dominican baseball player
  • 1976 – Lee-Hom Wang, American-born Taiwanese musician, singer, songwriter, and composer
  • 1978 – John Foster, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Paddy Kenny, Irish goalkeeper
  • 1978 – Carlos Pena, Dominican baseball player
  • 1979 – Wayne Thomas, English footballer
  • 1980 – Davor Džalto, Serbian art historian
  • 1980 – Dallas Taylor, American Vocalist (Underoath)
  • 1981 – Beñat Albizuri, Spanish cyclist
  • 1981 – R.J. Helton, American Idol finalist
  • 1981 – Shiri Maimon, Israeli singer
  • 1981 – Leon Osman, English footballer
  • 1981 – Giannis Taralidis, Greek footballer
  • 1982 – Tony Parker, French-American basketball player
  • 1983 – Channing Frye, American basketball player
  • 1983 – Nicky Hofs, Dutch footballer
  • 1984 – Christine Robinson, Canadian water polo player
  • 1984 – Christian Bolaños, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1986 – Tahj Mowry, American actor
  • 1988 – Nikki Reed, American actress

May 17 – Deaths:

  • 1189 – Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Japanese general (b. 1159)
  • 1336 – Emperor Go-Fushimi of Japan (b. 1288)
  • 1365 – Louis VI the Roman, Duke of Bavaria and Elector of Brandenburg (b. 1328)
  • 1395 – Constantine Dragas, Serbian ruler of a semi-independent realm
  • 1464 – Thomas de Ros, 10th Baron de Ros, English politician (executed) (b. 1427)
  • 1510 – Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter (b. 1445)
  • 1521 – Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, English politician (b. 1478)
  • 1536 – George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, English diplomat
  • 1575 – Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1504)
  • 1626 – Juan Pujol, Catalan composer (b. 1570)
  • 1643 – Giovanni Picchi, Italian composer
  • 1727 – Catherine I of Russia (b. 1684)
  • 1729 – Samuel Clarke, English philosopher (b. 1675)
  • 1765 – Alexis Claude Clairault, French mathematician (b. 1713)
  • 1797 – Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (b. 1719)
  • 1801 – William Heberden, English physician (b. 1710)
  • 1809 – Leopold Auenbrugger, Austrian physician (b. 1722)
  • 1822 – Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, French-Russian statesman (b. 1766)
  • 1829 – John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1745)
  • 1838 – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomat (b. 1754)
  • 1838 – René Caillé, French explorer (b. 1799)
  • 1839 – Archibald Alison, Scottish author (b. 1757)
  • 1868 – Isami Kondo, Shinsengumi Commander (b. 1834)
  • 1875 – John C. Breckinridge, Vice President of the United States (b. 1821)
  • 1879 – Asa Packer, railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh Valley Railroad (b. 1805)
  • 1886 – John Deere, American blacksmith and manufacturer (b. 1804)
  • 1888 – Giacomo Zanella, Italian poet (b. 1820)
  • 1916 – Boris Borisovich Galitzine, Russian physicist (b. 1862)
  • 1917 – Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke, ruler of Sarawak (b. 1829)
  • 1919 – Guido von List, German occult author (b. 1848)
  • 1927 – Major Harold Geiger, U.S. Army aviation pioneer (b. 1884)
  • 1935 – Paul Dukas, French composer (b. 1865)
  • 1936 – Panagis Tsaldaris, twice Greek prime minister (b. 1868)
  • 1937 – Guillame Furrét, Portuguese playwright and political activist (b. 1863)
  • 1938 – Jakob Ehrlich, Austrian politician and zionist (b. 1877)
  • 1947 – George William Forbes, Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1869)
  • 1963 – John Wilce, physician and former head football coach at the Ohio State University (b.  1888)
  • 1974 – Ernest Nash, German born archaeologist (b. 1898)
  • 1985 – Abe Burrows, songwriter, composer, and writer (b. 1910)
  • 1987 – Gunnar Myrdal, Swedish economist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1898)
  • 1992 – Lawrence Welk, American musician (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Hector “Toe” Blake, Canadian ice hockey player and NHL coach (b. 1912)
  • 1996 – Kevin Gilbert, American singer, composer and instrumentalist (b. 1966)
  • 1996 – Scott Brayton, American race car driver (b. 1959)
  • 1999 – Bruce Fairbairn, Canadian record producer and musician (b. 1949)
  • 2000 – Donald Coggan, 101st Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1909)
  • 2001 – Frank G. Slaughter, American novelist and physician (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – Dave Berg, American cartoonist (b. 1920)
  • 2002 – Sharon Sheeley, American songwriter (b. 1940)
  • 2002 – Davey Boy Smith, English professional wrestler (b. 1962)
  • 2002 – Ladislao Kubala, Hungarian-Spanish footballer (b. 1927)
  • 2003 – Frank “Pop” Ivy, American and Canadian football coach (b. 1916)
  • 2004 – Jørgen Nash, Danish artist (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Tony Randall, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Ezzedine Salim, leader of Iraqi Governing Council (b. 1943)
  • 2005 – Frank Gorshin, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 2006 – Cy Feuer, American playwright (b. 1911)
  • 2006 – Eric Forth, British Member of Parliament (b. 1944)
  • 2006 – Captain Nichola Goddard, Canadian soldier (b. 1980)
  • 2007 – Lloyd Alexander, author (b. 1924)

May 17 – Holidays:

  • Día das Letras Galegas (Galician Literature Day) — holiday in Galicia, honoring the Galician language.
  • Norwegian Constitution Day or Syttende Mai.
  • Bahá’í Faith — Feast of ‘Azaamat (Grandeur) — First day of the fourth month of the Bahá’í calendar.
  • International Day Against Homophobia aka IDAHO.
  • Ascension in 2007
  • World Telecommunication Day
  • Saints in the Roman Catholic Church:
    • Saint Adrian of Alexandria
    • Saint Dietmar
    • Saint Montanus
    • Saint Paschal Baylon or Pascal Baylon
    • Saint Pamphamer
    • Saint Pamphalon
    • Saint Solochon
    • Saint Victor

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