BC 334The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.
337Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome (306-337), dies at age 47.
626Mayan King Itzam Kan Ahk I is born.
748Empress Gensho of Japan dies at age 68.
760The 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet occurs.
853A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys the undefended Damietta in Egypt.
987Louis V le Faineant, King of France (986-987), is poisoned at age 20.
1068Emperor Go-Reizei of Japan dies at age 43.
1130Pope Honorius II dies in Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire.
1176The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempt to murder Saladin near Aleppo, Syria.
1200King John of England and King Philip II of France sign the Treaty of Le Goulet.
1246Henry Raspe is elected anti-king of the Kingdom of Germany, in opposition to Conrad IV.
1254Serbian King, Stefan Uros I, and the Republic of Venice sign a peace treaty.
1370Several Jews are executed or killed and the rest of the Jewish community is banished from Brussels, Belgium.
1377Pope Gregory XI issues five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian, John Wycliffe.
1408Hindu Saint, Annamacharya, is born Annamayya pada kavitha pitaamahudu in Tallapaka, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is the earliest known Indian musician to compose songs called sankirtanas in praise of the god Venkateswara, a form of Vishnu.
1455At the First Battle of St. Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1545Indian ruler, Sher Shah Suri, dies during siege of the Kalinjar fort of Rajputs in Kalinjar, Bundelkhand, at age 69. He was the founder of the Sur Empire in North India, with its capital at Delhi.
1629Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, and Danish King, Christian IV, sign the Treaty of Lübeck to end the Danish intervention in the Thirty Years' War.
1667Pope Alexander VII, (1655-1667), dies in Rome, Papal States, at age 68.
1732Martha Washington, the first First Lady (1789-1797) and wife of President George Washington, dies in Mount Vernon, Virginia, at age 70.
1761The first life insurance policy in the U.S. is issued in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1762Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
1762Trevi Fountain is officially completed and inaugurated by Pope Clemens XIII in Rome, Italy.
1770Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom is born at Buckingham House in London, England.
1772Indian philosopher and reformer, Ram Mohan Roy, is born in Radhanagar, Bengal Presidency, British India. He was the founder of the Brahmo Sabha movement in 1828, which engendered the Brahmo Samaj, an influential socio-religious reform movement. He was known for his efforts to establish the abolishment of sati, the Hindu funeral practicein some parts of Bengal, in which the widow was compelled to sacrifice herself in her husbands funeral pyre. He introduced the word "Hinduism" into the English language in 1816.
1783Physicist, William Sturgeon, is born in Whittington, Lancashire, England. He invented the electromagnet and electric motor.
1799Napoleon makes a statement in support of re-establishing Jerusalem for the Jews.
1803Americas first public library opens in the state of Connecticut.
1804The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially begins as the Corps of Discovery depart from St. Charles, Missouri.
1807A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States, Aaron Burr, on a charge of treason. Burr had apparently schemed to establish an independent nation comprised of Mexico and parts of the Louisiana Territory.
1807Townsend Speakman, of Phildadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the first to sell fruit-flavored, carbonated drinks.
1807Most of Chudleigh, England, is destroyed by fire.
1809On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna, Austria), Napoleon I is repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
1813Composer, (Wilhelm) Richard Wagner, is born in Leipzig, Germany. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music.
1816A mob in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, riots over high unemployment and rising grain costs, and the rioting spreads to Ely the next day.
1819The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 20th.
1826The HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.
1840The transportation of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
1843Thousands 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. They followed what is now known as the Oregon Trail.
1844American painter and printmaker, Mary Stevenson Cassatt, is born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. She would live much of her adult life in France. After her works were rejected by the Salon, Edgar Degas invited her to exhibit with the Impressionists. Her subjects were often the private moments and relationships between women.
1848Slavery is abolished in Martinique.
1849Future President, Abraham Lincoln, is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats over obstacles in a river, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.
1856U.S. Congressman Preston Brooks, of South Carolina, beats U.S. Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the U.S. Senate, because of a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas.
1858The Granadine Confederation (present-day Colombia and Panama) replaces the Republic of New Granada.
1859Writer, Arthur Conan Doyle, is born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated from Edinburgh University with his degree in medicine, and practiced in the city and onboard ships during the Boar War. He is most associated with the series of books he wrote involving his characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
1859Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies dies from a bayonet wound in Caserta, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, at age 49.
1863During the American Civil War, Union forces begin the Siege of Port Hudson, which lasts 48 days, the longest siege in U.S. military history.
1864In the American Civil War, the Union Army's Red River Campaign ends in failure after 10 weeks.
1868The Great Train Robbery occurs near Marshfield, Indiana, as seven members of the Reno Gang get away with $96,000.
1871The U.S. Army closes Fort Kearny soon after the First Transcontinental Railroad is completed.
1872President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act into law, restoring full civil and political rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1877The 3rd Kentucky Derby: Billy Walker, riding Baden-Baden, wins in 2:38.
1885Poet, playwright, and novelist, Victor Hugo, dies of pneumonia in Paris, France, at age 83. His death generated intense national mourning. He was not only revered as a towering figure in literature, but he was also a statesman who shaped the Third Republic and democracy in France. More than two million people joined his funeral procession in Paris, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Panthéon, where he was buried. He shares a crypt with Alexandre Dumas and Émile Zola.
1888Leroy Buffington patents a system to build skyscrapers.
1892Dr. Washington Sheffield invents the collapsible toothpaste tube.
1897The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened in England.
1900The Associated Press organizes in New York City as a non-profit news cooperative.
1906The Wright Brothers register a patent for an aeroplane.
1906The X Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece.
1906Comic actor, Harry Ritz, of The Ritz Brothers, is born Harold Joachim in Newark, New Jersey. Ritz, along with his brothers, influenced comedians such as Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar, Mel Brooks, and Danny Kaye.
1907Actor and director, Laurence Olivier, is born in Surrey, England. His father was a strict Anglican clergyman, but when he saw that the boy had talent, he made him stay in England and study to become an actor. Olivier made his stage debut playing Brutus at a choir school in London. He appeared in the films Rebecca, The Entertainer, Hamlet, and The Jazz Singer.
1914Jazz musician, Sun Ra, is born Herman Sonny Blount in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet, and philosopher known for his experimental music, "cosmic" philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances.
1915The Lassen Peak volcano erupts, only one of two to erupt in the continental U.S. during the 20th century.
1915Three trains collide in the Quintinshill rail disaster near Gretna Green, Scotland, killing 227 people and injuring 246 others.
1922Film critic, Judith Crist, is born Judith Klein in The Bronx, New York. She was a film critic and academic. She appeared regularly on the Today show from 1964 to 1973, and was among the first full-time female critics for a major American newspaper, that being The New York Herald Tribune. She was the founding film critic at New York magazine, and became known to most Americans as a critic at the weekly magazine TV Guide.
1922Television producer, Quinn Martin, is born Irwin Martin Cohn in New York, New York. In 1960, Martin established his own production company, QM Productions. His TV shows include The Fugitive, Twelve O'Clock High, The F.B.I., The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, and Barnaby Jones. He was married to sitcom writer, Madelyn Pugh.
1922Poet and playwright, Lady Isabella Gregory, dies of breast cancer in Bohermore, County Galway, Ireland, at age 80. She is best remembered for her work behind the Irish Literary Revival.
1926Chiang Kai-shek replaces communists in Kuomintang China.
1927An 8.3 earthquake strikes Nan-Shan, China, killing 200,000 people.
1927Actor, Michael Constantine, is born in Pennsylvania. He is best known for the role of the Principal on the TV series Room 222.
1928T. Boone Pickens, CEO of Shamrock and the Mesa Petroleum Company, is born Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. in Holdenville, Oklahoma. He is an American business magnate and financier. He was a well-known takeover operator and corporate raider during the 1980s. As of November 2016, Pickens had a net worth of $500 million.
1930Politician and gay activist, Harvey (Bernard) Milk, is born in Woodmere, New York. He became the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
1931Canned rattlesnake meat goes on sale in Florida.
1933John Mackay makes the first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.
1934Pianist-conductor, Peter Nero, is born Bernard Nierow in Brooklyn, New York. Nero worked with a long list of notable musicians, including Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Diane Schuur, Johnny Mathis, and Elton John.
1938Actor-director, Richard (Samuel) Benjamin, is born in New York, New York. He appeared in the films Goodbye Columbus, Catch-22, Diary of a Mad Housewife, Portnoys Complaint, The Last of Sheila, Westworld, The Sunshine Boys, The Last Married Couple in America, and How to Beat the High Co$t of Living. He was married to actress, Paula Prentiss.
1938Actor, Frank Converse, is born in St. Louis, Missouri. He appeared in many TV shows, including The Mod Squad, Medical Center, Columbo, Starsky and Hutch, Police Woman, The Bionic Woman, Fantasy Island, and Law & Order.
1938Actress, Susan (Elizabeth) Strasberg, is born in New York, New York. She appeared in the films Picnic, Stage Struck, The Trip, Psych-Out, The Sisters, Rollercoaster, The Manitou, In Praise of Older Women, and The Delta Force. She is the daughter of drama coach, Lee Strasberg.
1939Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
1939Actor, Paul (Edward) Winfield, is born in Los Angeles, California. He appeared in the films Brother John, Sounder, Conrack, Hustle, Damnation Alley, The Greatest, Carbon Copy, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Terminator, Big Shots, Presumed Innocent, and Cliffhanger.
1940Actor, Michael Sarrazin, is born Jacques Michel André Sarrazin in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He appeared in the films The Flim-Flam Man, Journey to Shiloh, The Sweet Ride, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Sometimes a Great Notion, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Harry in Your Pocket, For Pete's Sake, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, The Gumball Rally, and The Seduction.
1940CNN News correspondent, Bernard Shaw, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1941During the Anglo-Iraqi War, British troops take Fallujah.
1942The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbands, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, is formed.
1942Mexico enters World War II on the side of the Allies.
1942Actress, Barbara Parkins, is born in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. She is best known for the role of Betty Anderson on the prime time TV soap opera Peyton Place. She appeared in the films Valley of the Dolls, The Mephisto Waltz, The Deadly Trap, Shout at the Devil, and Bear Island.
1943Joseph Stalin disbands the Comintern.
1945U.S. Army Major, Robert B. Staver, recommends that the U.S. evacuate German scientists and engineers to help in the development of rocket technology.
1946The Culinary Institute of America is founded.
1947In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, President Harry S. Truman signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. It grants $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.
1950Celal Bayar is elected President of Turkey.
1950Actress, Ewa Aulin, is born in Landskrona, Sweden. She is best known for the title role in the cult film, Candy, appearing alongside stars such as John Huston, Ringo Starr, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, Richard Burton, and Marlon Brando.
1950Lyicist, Bernie Taupin, is born Bernard John Taupin at Flatters Farmhouse in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England. He became the lifetime songwriting partner of Elton John.
1952The 25th National Spelling Bee: Doris Ann Hall wins, spelling vignette.
1954Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmermann) has his Bar Mitzvah.
1957South Africa's government approves racial separation in universities.
1958Riots in Ceylon are a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.
1958Arriving at London's Heathrow Airport before a tour of the U.K., Jerry Lee Lewis shows the press his new bride, his 14-year-old third cousin, Myra Gale Brown. Against the advice of his manager, Lewis takes questions from a stunned press, who later learn that Myra is actually only 13, and still believes in Santa Claus. Lewis' upcoming 37-day tour is cancelled after only three performances, and the scandal follows him back home, effectively ruining his career.
1959Singer, Morrissey, is born Steven Patrick Morrissey in Davyhulme, Lancashire, England. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the indie rock band, The Smiths, which was active from 1982 to 1987. He then went on to a solo career.
1960A 9.5 earthquake, now known as the Great Chilean earthquake, hits southern Chile. It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
1960All coastal towns between the 37th and 44th parallels are severely damaged by a tsunami that strikes Hilo, Hawaii, at 1:04 a.m.
1961An earthquake rocks New South Wales.
1961Musician, Henry Rollins, is born Henry Lawrence Garfield in Washington, D.C. Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band, Black Flag, from August 1981 until mid-1986. He has appeared in the films The Chase, Johnny Mnemonic, Heat, Lost Highway, and Scenes of the Crime.
1961Actress, Joan Davis, dies of a heart attack in Palm Springs, California, at age 53. She starred in the 1950s sitcom I Married Joan, a take-off of the successful show I Love Lucy. She appeared in the films Hold That Ghost, Sun Valley Serendade, Show Business, Kansas City Kitty, If You Knew Susie, Love That Brute, and The Groom Wore Spurs.
1962Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashes after a bombs explodes.
1962The 14th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: Hallmark Hall of Fame; Best Comedy Series: The Bob Newhart Show; Best Musical or Variety Series: The Garry Moore Show; Best Childrens Program: Young People's Concerts; Best Public Service Program: David Brinkley's Journal; Best Actor: E.G. Marshall; Best Actress: Shirley Booth. The ceremonies are held at the Sheraton-Park Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The host is Bob Newhart.
1963Greek left-wing politician, Grigoris Lambrakis, is shot in an assassination attempt and dies five days later.
1964Lyndon B. Johnson launches the Great Society.
1966The 18th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards announces its winners. Best Dramatic Series: The Fugitive; Best Comedy Series: The Dick Van Dyke Show; Best Musical or Variety Series: The Andy Williams Show; Best Childrens Program: A Charlie Brown Christmas; Best Actor: Bill Cosby; Best Actress: Barbara Stanwyck; Best Comedy Actor: Dick Van Dyke; Best Comedy Actress: Mary Tyler Moore. The ceremonies are held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. The hosts are Danny Kaye and Bill Cosby.
1967Egypt closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.
1967The L'Innovation department store in the center of Brussels, Belgium, burns down. It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 people either dead or missing, and 150 sustaining injuries.
1967The childrens show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, debuts on public TV.
1967Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist, Langston Hughes, dies of prostate cancer in New York, New York, at age 65. He was one of the earliest innovators of the literary art form of jazz poetry. Hughes left school in 1922, began traveling, and settled in Harlem in 1924, during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance. His residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission and the street was renamed "Langston Hughes Place."
1968The nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Scorpion, sinks 400 miles southwest of the Azores with 99 men aboard.
1969Apollo 10's lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles of the Moon's surface.
1970France conducts a nuclear test at Muruora Island.
1970Supermodel, Naomi (Elaine) Campbell, is born in Streatham, London, England. Recruited at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognisable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and the 1990s.
1972Ceylon adopts a new constitution, becomes a Republic, changes its name to Sri Lanka, and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.
1972Over 400 women in Derry, North Ireland, attack the offices of Official Sinn Féin, following the shooting of William Best by the Official Irish Republican Army.
1972Actress, Margaret Rutherford, dies from Alzheimer's disease in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, England, at age 80. She appeared in the films Talk of the Devil, Blithe Spirit, The Happiest Days of Your Life, Her Favourite Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Runaway Bus, Im All Right Jack, The Mouse on the Moon, and Murder Most Foul.
1973President Richard Nixon confesses his role in the Watergate cover-up.
1974The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1978Actress, Ginnifer Goodwin, is born Jennifer Michelle Goodwin in Memphis, Tennessee. She appeared in the films Mona Lisa Smile, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, Walk the Line, and He's Just Not That Into You.
1980Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man.
1980Actress, Marlo Thomas, marries talk show host, Phil Donahue.
1981Yoko Ono accepts a Handal Medallion, New Yorks highest medal of honor, on John Lennons behalf. This city meant a lot to him, she said tearfully. This was our town, and it still is.
1984Entrepreneur, Dustin (Aaron) Moskovitz, is born in Gainesville, Florida. He is co-founder of Facebook (with Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes). In 2012, he was the world's youngest self-made billionaire.
1985U.S. Sailor, Michael L. Walker, is arrested and accused of spying for the USSR.
1987The Hashimpura massacre takes place in Meerut, India.
1987A tornado practically wipes the small southwest Texas community of Saragosa off the map. The tornado destroys 85% of the structures in the town, killing 30 people and injuring 121 others. Trucks are hurled, and autos are thrown through adobe and wood-frame homes.
1990North and South Yemen are unified, creating the Republic of Yemen.
1990Microsoft releases Windows 3.0.
1990Boxer, Rocky Graziano, dies of heart failure in New York, New York, at age 71. He was a professional boxer who held the World Middleweight title. His turbulent and violent life story was the basis of the 1956 Oscar-winning film, Somebody Up There Likes Me (starring Paul Newman), based on his 1955 autobiography of the same title.
1991Roh Jai Bong resigns as Premier of South Korea.
1992Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia join the United Nations.
1994A worldwide trade embargo goes into effect against Haiti to punish its military rulers for not reinstating the country's ousted elected leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1996The Burmese military regime jails 71 supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in a bid to block a pro-democracy meeting.
1998Voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland turn out to cast ballots giving approval to a Northern Ireland peace accord.
1998A federal judge rules that U.S. Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a Grand Jury concerning the scandal involving President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
1998Actor and director, John Derek, dies from cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California, at age 71. He appeared in the films Since You Went Away, I'll Be Seeing You, A Double Life, Knock on Any Door, All the King's Men, The Ten Commnandments, and Exodus.
2000In Sri Lanka, over 150 Tamil rebels are killed over two days of fighting for control in Jaffna.
2001Actress, Jane Fonda, divorces CNN founder, Ted Turner, after 10 years of marriage.
2002A 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.
2003The final manuscript for Beethovens Ninth Symphony sells at auction for $3.47 million.
2004The town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful tornado that kills one resident, and becomes the widest tornado on record with a width of 2.5 miles (a record that wouldn't be broken until the El Reno, Oklahoma, tornado on May 31, 2013).
2005A Presidential election is held in Mongolia, and the result is a victory for Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP).
2005Ray Charles wins eight posthumous Grammy awards for his final album Genius Loves Company.
2006Voice actor, Thurl Ravenscroft, dies of prostate cancer in Fullerton, California, at age 91. He was best known for five decades as the voice of Tony the Tiger saying Theyre grrreat! in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercials.
2008The late-May 2008 tornado outbreak unleashes 235 tornadoes that strike 19 states and one Canadian province.
2009The Credit CARD Act of 2009 is signed into law by President Barack Obama.
2010An Air India Express Boeing 737 goes over a cliff and crashes upon landing at Mangalore, India, killing 158 of the 166 people on board.
2010The remains of Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, are reburied in Frombork Cathedral, Poland, after a 200-year search for his tomb.
2010An Air India Express Boeing 737 goes over a cliff and crashes upon landing at Mangalore, India, killing 158 of the 166 people on board.
2011A catastrophic multiple-vortex tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri, as part of a larger tornado outbreak. The tornado kills 162 people, injures 1,150 others, and causes $2.8 billion in damage. The Joplin tornado would go into the record books as the costliest tornado in U.S. history.
2012Tokyo Skytree is opened to the public. It is the tallest tower in world, and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa.
2014General Prayut Chan-o-cha of the Royal Thai Armed Forces announces a military coup d'état, following six months of political turmoil.
2014An explosion occurs in Urumqi, the capital of China's far-western Xinjiang region, killing in at least 43 people and injuring 91 others.
2015The Republic of Ireland becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.
2016Indonesia's Mount Sinabung erupts, killing at least six people in Sumatra.
2017A terrorist bombing attack takes place during a Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, killing 29 people and injuring 59 others. ISIL claims responsibility and the terrorist is identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who dies at the scene.
2017The birthplace of late President Hugo Chávez is burned by protesters as violence and looting spreads through Barinas, Venezuela, following the death of a protester.
2017Actress, Dina Merrill, dies in East Hampton, New York, at age 93. She had been suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies. She appeared in the films Desk Set, Operation Petticoat, Catch Me If You Can, BUtterfield 8, The Sundowners, The Young Savages, The Courtship of Eddies Father, Ill Take Sweden, A Wedding, True Colors, and The Player.
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