Today in History …
by Robert Joseph Baker | May 30, 2016 12:00 am
Last Updated: May 14, 2016 at 10:06 pm
70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.
1381 – Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.
1416 – The Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.
1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
1434 – Hussite Wars: Battle of Lipany: Effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.
1510 – During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, Ming dynasty rebel leader Zhu Zhifan is defeated by commander Qiu Yue, ending the Prince of Anhua rebellion.
1536 – King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.
1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.
1574 – Henry III becomes King of France.
1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.
1631 – Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.
1635 – Thirty Years’ War: The Peace of Prague is signed.
1642 – From this date all honors granted by Charles I are retrospectively annulled by Parliament.
1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.
1814 – Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition: The Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. Napoleon is exiled to Elba.
1815 – The East Indiaman Arniston is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, in present-day South Africa, with the loss of 372 lives.
1832 – End of the Hambach Festival in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
1832 – The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario is opened.
1834 – Joaquim António de Aguiar issues a law extinguishing “all convents, monasteries, colleges, hospices and any other houses of the regular religious orders” in Portugal, earning him the nickname of “The Friar-Killer”.
1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.
1845 – The Fatel Razack lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first East Indians to the country.
1854 – The Kansas–Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Kansas and Nebraska.
1868 – Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day”) is observed in the United States for the first time (by “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan’s proclamation on May 5).
1876 – Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz is deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murad V.
1883 – In New York City, a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.
1899 – Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.
1911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.
1913 – First Balkan War: The Treaty of London, is signed ending the war. Albania becomes an independent nation.
1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.
1917 – Alexander I becomes king of Greece.
1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
1925 – May Thirtieth Movement: Shanghai Municipal Police Force shoot and kill 13 protesting workers.
1932 – The National Theatre of Greece is founded.
1937 – Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot and kill ten labor demonstrators.
1941 – World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the Nazi swastika.
1942 – World War II: One thousand British bombers launch a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.
1948 – A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon, within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
1959 – The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.
1961 – The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
1963 – A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.
1966 – The former Congolese Prime Minister, Évariste Kimba, and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.
1966 – Launch of Surveyor 1, the first US spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body.
1967 – The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.
1968 – Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.
1971 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.
1972 – The Angry Brigade goes on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout the United Kingdom.
1972 – In Tel Aviv, Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.
1974 – The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.
1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
1998 – A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.
1998 – Nuclear Testing: Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt.
2003 – Depayin massacre: At least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy are killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene, but is arrested soon afterwards.
2005 – American student Natalee Holloway disappears while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba, and caused a media sensation in the United States.
2012 – Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
2013 – Nigeria passes a law banning same-sex marriage.