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On May 31st...
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1634 The colony of Massachusetts Bay annexed Maine colony.
1659 The Netherlands, England, and France signed the Treaty of The Hague.
1669 Samuel Pepys made his last diary entry.
1790 The U.S. copyright law was enacted.
1809 Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died.
1821 Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, the first U.S. Catholic cathedral, was dedicated in Baltimore, Maryland.
1837 The Astor Hotel opened in New York City, New York.
1847 The Rotterdam-Hague Railway opened.
1857 Pope Pius XI was born.
1859 Big Ben rang out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, England, for the first time.
1862 The Battle of Seven Pines (Virginia) began.
1864 The Second Battle of Cold Harbor began.
1866 Circus founder John Ringling was born.
1868 James Moore won the first recorded bicycle race, in Paris, France.
1870 E. J. DeSemdt patented asphalt pavement.
1879 Madison Square Garden opened in New York City, New York.
1880 The League of American Wheelmen was formed in Newport, Rhode Island.
1884 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented "flaked cereal."
1889 The Johnstown (Pennsylvania) Flood occurred.
1890 Harry Hines Woodring, Governor of Kansas and U.S. Secretary of War, was born.
1894 Radio personality Fred Allen was born.
1898 Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, was born.
1900 U.S. troops arrived in Beijing to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.
1904 Actor Don Ameche was born.
1905 Actor Reb Russell was born.
1909 The National Conference on the Negro held its first meeting, at the United Charities Building in New York City, New York.
1910 The Union
of South Africa declared its independence from the United
1911 RMS Titanic was launched.
1912 U.S. Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson was born.
1913 The 17th Amendment, providing for direct election of Senators, was declared raified.
1915 Ralph DePalma won the Indianapolis 500.
1916 The Battle of Jutland was fought in the North Sea.
1919 Howdy Wilcox won the Indianapolis 500.
1920 Gaston Chevrolet won the Indianapolis 500.
South African Indian Congress was formed in Durban, South
1926 The Sesquicentennial Exposition opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1930 Actor Clint Eastwood was born.
1937 Wilbur Shaw won the Indianapolis 500.
Country singer Johnny Paycheck was born.
1943 Football player Joe Namath was born.
1948 Mauri Rose won the Indianapolis 500.
Snead won the PGA Championship atthe Hermitage Country
Club in Richmond, Virginia.
Johnny Parson won a rain-shortened Indianapolis 500.
1954 Bill Vukovich won the Indianapolis 500.
1958 Charles De Gaulle was named Premier-Designate of France.
1961 South Africa declared itself a republic and withdrew from the British Commonwealth.
Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf
Hitler's wish to exterminate Europe's Jewish population,
was executed for his crimes against humanity.
1964 Victor Paz Estenssoro was elected to a third term as President of Bolivia.
1965 Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500.
1967 A. J. Foyt won the Indianapolis 500.
1970 A 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Peru killed approximately 66,000 people.
1974 Israel and Syria signed an agreement concerning the Golan Heights.
1976 The Who set the record for the loudest concert of all time, 120 decibels at 50 meters, at The Valley in Charlton, England.
1977 The Alaska Pipeline
1983 The Philadephia
76ers swept the Los Angeles Lakers in four games to win
the NBA Championship.
1985 Tornadoes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Ontario killed 88 persons and injured more than 1,000.
1987 The Edmonton Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 3, to win the Stanley Cup.
1990 "Seinfeld" premiered on NBC-TV.
1996 Timothy Leary, LSD proponent, died.
1997 The Confederation Bridge, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, opened.
2001 Actress Arlene Francis died.
2005 Former FBI agent W. Mark Felt acknowledged that he was "Deep Throat," the Washington Post source who helped uncover the Watergate scandal.
2012 Egypt formally ended its 31-year state of emergency.
2017 The Madaraka Express, a Chinese-built high speed railway from Mombassa to Nairobi, was opened by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
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This page was last updated on January 16, 2018.