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1996–Timothy Leary, the counterculture guru of the 1960s, dies of cancer quietly in his sleep at age 75. He urged a generation of American youth to use the drug LSD, so that they could “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” In his later years, Leary had turned his attention to computer science and the Internet, and he had intended to commit suicide as a live online event.



70–Rome captures the first wall of the city of Jerusalem.

455–Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome.

526–A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey), killing 250,000 people.

1495–Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, dies at Berkhamsted Castle, Hertfordshire, England, at age 80. She was the mother of two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III.

1557–Feodor I of Russia is born Theodore Ivanovich in Moscow, Russia. Being unhealthy and, by some reports, intellectually disabled, Feodor was only the nominal ruler, having his duties handed over to his wife's brother and trusted minister, Boris Godunov, who would later succeed Feodor as Tsar.

1578–King Henry III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge of Paris, France.

1621–Sir Francis Bacon is thrown into the Tower of London for one night.

1659–The Netherlands, England, and France sign the Treaty of The Hague.

1665–Jerusalem's Rabbi Sjabtai Tswi proclaims himself Messiah.

1669–Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.

1678–Lady Godiva rides naked through Coventry, England, in a protest of taxes.

1759–The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions.

1790–The U.S. copyright law is enacted.

1790–Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

1809–Austrian composer, Franz Josef Haydn, dies of arteriosclerosis in Vienna, Austria, at age 77. He composed over 100 symphonies, several masses, a series of string quartets, and many stage works.

1813–In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland, and William Wentworth reach Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains.

1819–Poet, Walt Whitman, is born in West Hills, Long Island, New York. He was an essayist, journalist, and humanist. Often called the “Father of Free Verse.” He also was a printer, and then the editor of a newspaper, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. In 1855, he published the first edition of Leaves of Grass at his own expense because no one else wanted to publish it. He sold 10 copies and gave away the rest. In 1862, he went to Washington, D.C., and took a series of bureaucratic jobs, while volunteering in Union hospitals. He was appalled by the conditions he found there, and in 1865, published Drum Taps, his collection of war poems.

1837–The Astor Hotel (the most elaborate in the U.S.) opens in New York City, later becoming the Waldorf-Astoria.

1837–Joseph Grimaldi, the greatest clown and king of pantomime, dies at age 57.

1847–The Rotterdam-Hague Railway opens.

1854–The civil death procedure is abolished in France.

1857–Pope Pius XI, (1922-1939), is born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti in Desio, Lombardy-Venetia, Austrian Empire.

1859–Big Ben, the bell in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London, England, chimes for the first time.

1861–Welfare worker, Emily Perkins Bissell, is born. She started the first Christmas Seal drive in 1907.

1866–Businessman, John (Nicholas) Ringling, is born in McGregor, Iowa. He co-founded Ringling Brothers Circus. He is the most well-known of the seven Ringling brothers, five of whom merged the Barnum & Bailey Circus with their own Ringling Brothers Circus to create a virtual monopoly on traveling circuses.

1870–E.J. DeSemdt patents asphalt pavement.

1879–Gilmores Garden in New York City is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public. It is named after the fourth U.S. President, James Madison.

1884–Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes.

1889–After several days of heavy rain, the South Fork Dam fails 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, resulting in what would become known as the Johnstown Flood, or the Great Flood of 1889. Nearly 5 billion gallons (or 20 million tons) of water from the Lake Conemaugh reservoir descended on Johnstown, killing 2,209 people and causing $17 million in damage. The Johnstown Flood would be the first major disaster relief effort by the new American Red Cross led by Clara Barton. Financial support for the victims came from all over the America and 18 foreign countries.

1894–Comedian, Fred Allen, is born John Florence Sullivan in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His absurdist, topically-pointed radio show (1932-1949) made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the Golden Age of American Radio.

1898–Clergyman, Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, is born in Ohio. His story is told in the film One Man’s Way.

1906–King Alfonso XIII and Victoria von Battenberg are assassinated in Madrid, Spain.

1907–Motorized taxis travel the streets of America for the first time in New York City.

1908–Actor, Don Ameche, is born Dominic Felix Amici in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He appeared in the films Dante’s Inferno, In Old Chicago, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, The Three Musketeers, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, Moon Over Miami, Heaven Can Wait, The Boatniks, Trading Places, Cocoon, Harry and the Hendersons, Coming to America, and Things Change.

1909–The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) holds its first conference.

1910–The Cape of Good Hope becomes part of the Union of South Africa.

1911–The President of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, flees the country during the Mexican Revolution.

1912–Actress, Barbara Pepper, is born in New York, New York. She was a friend of actress, Lucille Ball, and was cast in minor roles in many episodes of the TV sitcom I Love Lucy.

1915–The Indianapolis 500: Ralph DePalma wins in 5:33:55.

1919–The Indianapolis 500: Howdy Wilcox wins in 5:40:42.

1920–The Indianapolis 500: Gaston Chevrolet wins in 5:38:31.

1921–Civil unrest in Tulsa, Oklahoma, leads to riots killing 39 people (recent investigations suggest the actual death toll may be much higher).

1922–Actor, Denholm (Mitchell) Elliott, is born in Ealing, Middlesex, England. He appeared in the films The Ringer, The Holly and the Ivy, King Rat, Alfie, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, A Doll’s House, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Robin and Marian, A Bridge Too Far, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Brimstone and Treacle, The Razor’s Edge, A Room with a View, Maurice, and September.

1923–Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (1949-2005), is born.

1924–The Soviet Union signs an agreement with the Beijing government, referring to Outer Mongolia as an "integral part of the Republic of China," whose "sovereignty" the Soviet Union promises to respect.

1926–The Indianapolis 500: Frank Lockhart wins in 5:12:48.

1927–The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.

1929–The Atlantic City Convention Center opens in Altantic City, New Jersey.

1929–The first talking Mickey Mouse cartoon, The Karnival Kid, is released.

1930–Actor-director, Clint Eastwood, is born in San Francisco, California. He got his start starring in the TV Western series Rawhide. He appeared in the films Play Misty for Me, Two Mules for Sister Sara, Paint Your Wagon, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, Space Cowboys, and The Bridges of Madison County. He is well known for his roles in the Spaghetti Westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). He served one term as Mayor of Carmel, California.

1931–A 7.1 earthquake destroys Quetta, in what is now present-day Pakistan, killing 50,000 people.

1932–Jay Miner, microchip designer, is born.

1934–Actor, Jim Hutton, is born Dana James Hutton in Binghamton, New York. He appeared in the movies The Subterraneans, Where The Boys Are, The Honeymoon Machine, Bachelor in Paradise, The Horizontal Lieutenant, Period of Adjustment, Major Dundee, The Hallelujah Trail, Never Too Late, The Trouble with Angels, Walk, Don’t Run, Who’s Minding the Mint?, The Green Berets, and Hellfighters. He is the father of actor, Timothy Hutton.

1935–A 7.7 earthquake destroys Quetta in present-day Pakistan, killing 40,000 people.

1937–The Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:24:07.

1938–The 14th National Spelling Bee: Marian Richardson wins, spelling sanitarium.

1938–Folksinger, Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul & Mary, is born in New York, New York.

1941–A Luftwaffe air raid on Dublin, Ireland, kills 38 people.

1941–The United Kingdom completes the re-occupation of Iraq and returns 'Abd al-Ilah to power as regent for Faisal II.

1941–The first issue of Parade magazine goes on sale.

1941–Country singer, Johnny Paycheck, is born Donald Eugene Lytle in Greenfield, Ohio. He had a big hit with the song Take This Job and Shove It. In December 1985, Paycheck was convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail for shooting a man at the North High Lounge in Hillsboro, Ohio. Paycheck claimed the act was self-defense. In 1989, after several years spent fighting the conviction, he began serving his sentence, spending 22 months in prison before being pardoned by Ohio Governor, Richard Celeste.

1942–In World War II, Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.

1943–Actress, Sharon Gless, is born in Los Angeles, California. She is best known for the role of Christine Cagney in the TV police drama Cagney & Lacey.

1943–Football player, Joe Namath, is born in Pennsylvania.

1944–Model, Samantha Juste, is born Sandra Slater in Manchester, England. She was known on British TV in the mid-1960s as the "disc girl" on BBC’s Top of the Pops. She was married to musician, Micky Dolenz. Their daughter is actress, Ami Dolenz.

1945–Film director, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, is born in Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria, Germany. He was one of the most important figures in the New German Cinema. Underlying Fassbinder's work was a desire to provoke and disturb. However, his films demonstrate his deep sensitivity to social outsiders and his hatred of institutionalized violence. He ruthlessly attacked both German bourgeois society and the larger limitations of humanity. His films include Love Is Colder Than Death, The American Soldier, The Merchant of Four Seasons, Eight Hours Are Not a Day, Martha, Fox and His Friends, Women in New York, Despair, The Marriage of Maria Braun, and Lola.

1948–The Indianapolis 500: Mauri Rose wins in 4:10:23.

1948–John Bonham, drummer for Led Zeppelin, is born in Birmingham, England.

1949–Actor, Tom Berenger, is born in Chicago, Illinois.

1950–The Indianapolis 500: Johnny Parson wins in 2:46:55. Due to rain, the race was shortened to 345 miles.

1950–Actor, Gregory Harrison, is born in Catalina, California.

1953–Musician, Mitch Weissman, is born. He was one of the first to portray Paul McCartney in the stage play Beatlemania. He was also cast as McCartney for the film version of the show.

1954–The Indianapolis 500: Bill Vukovich wins in 3:49:17.

1954–Singer, Vicki Sue Robinson, is born in Harlem, New York. She had a big disco hit with Turn the Beat Around.

1955–The U.S. Supreme Court orders that all states must end racial segregation with deliberate speed.

1956–After seeing the John Wayne film, The Searchers, Buddy Holly is inspired to write the song, That'll Be the Day, using the Duke’s catch phrase from the movie.

1957–Great Britain conducts an atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.

1958–The U.S. conducts an atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island.

1958–Dick Dale invents "surf music" with his song Let's Go Trippin’.

1960–Comedian, Chris Elliott, is born. He was a regular on Late Night with David Letterman, and appeared in the film Groundhog Day.

1961–President John F. Kennedy visits Charles de Gaulle in Paris, France.

1961–The Union of South Africa becomes the Republic of South Africa.

1961–Chuck Berry opens Berry Park, an amusement park in Wentzville, Missouri. The 30-acre complex features a swimming pool, miniature golf course, ferris wheel, a children's zoo, and a picnic grove with barbecue pits.

1961–Actress, Lea Thompson, is born. She appeared in the films All The Right Moves and Back to the Future.

1962–The West Indies Federation dissolves.

1964–The Dave Clark Five appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. They would appear 11 more times on the American variety program.

1964–Darryl McDaniels, of Run-D.M.C., is born.

1965–The Indianapolis 500: Jim Clark wins in 3:19:05.

1965–Model and actress, Brooke Shields, is born.

1966–Filming begins on the TV comedy series The Monkees.

1967–The Indianapolis 500: A.J. Foyt wins in 3:18:24.

1967–Billy Strayhorn, composer, pianist, and arranger, dies at age 52.

1970–An earthquake hits the Ancash region of Northern Peru, situated in the highest peaks of the Andes. The quake causes a large portion of the Nevado Huascarán mountain to collapse. The avalanche buries the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca, with an estimated death toll of 20,000. A Czech mountaineering team of 15 is also lost in the avalanche.

1971–In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30th.

1973–The U.S. Senate votes to cut off funding for the bombing of Khmer Rouge targets within Cambodia, hastening the end of the Cambodian Civil War.

1974–The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.

1974–Nutritionist, Adelle Davis, dies of multiple myeloma at Palos Verdes Estates, California, at age 70. Her books include You Can Stay Well, Let’s Cook It Right, and Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.

1976–Actor, Colin Farrell, is born in Dublin, Ireland.

1977–The Trans-Alaska oil pipeline is completed.

1977–The as-yet-unpublished tell-all book from Elvis Presley's bodyguards Sonny and Red West, entitled Elvis: What Happened? begins to leak out a chapter at a time to newspapers in England and Australia.

1977–Actor, Eric Christian Olsen, is born.

1977–Movie director, William Castle, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 63. After Alfred Hitchcock released Psycho, Castle jumped on the thriller bandwagon and directed a number of movies along those lines that included Homicidal. He would come up with wild promotion ideas for his movies, tacking an opening of himself speaking to most of his features. His other films include Macabre, House on Haunted Hill, The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, Mr. Sardonicus, Strait-Jacket, and I Saw What You Did.

1980–A chart topper: Coming Up by Paul McCartney.

1981–The Jaffna Library in Sri Lanka is burned.

1983–The 37th NBA Championship: The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers, in 4 games.

1983–Boxer, Jack Dempsey, Heavyweight Boxing Champion (1919-1926), dies of heart failure in New York, New York, at age 87. He became a cultural icon of the 1920s. His aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.

1984–The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1984–The 57th National Spelling Bee: Daniel Greenblatt wins, spelling luge.

1985–Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) becomes a Schedule I drug in the U.S.

1985–Forty-one tornados in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Canada, kill 88 people and injure more than 1,000 others.

1987–The Stanley Cup: The Edmonton Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers, 4 games to 3.

1989–Jim Wright, Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives, resigns.

1989–A group of six members of the guerrilla group, Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) of Peru, shoot and kill eight transsexuals in the city of Tarapoto.

1990–The pilot episode of the TV series, Seinfeld, debuts as “The Seinfeld Chronicles” on NBC-TV.

1990–The 63rd National Spelling Bee: Amy Marie Dimak wins, spelling fibranne.

1991–The oldest bride, Minnie Munro, age 102, marries Dudley Reid, age 83, in Australia.

1993–Performing dog, Spuds Mackenzie, dies.

1994–The U.S. announces it is no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.

1996–Timothy Leary, the counterculture guru of the 1960s, dies of cancer quietly in his sleep at age 75. He urged a generation of American youth to use the drug LSD, so that they could “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” In his later years, Leary had turned his attention to computer science and the Internet, and he had intended to commit suicide as a live online event.

1996–Neela Sanjiva Reddy, President of India (1977-1982), dies.

2000–Musician, Tito Puente, dies at age 77.

2001–The 74th National Spelling Bee: Sean Conley wins, spelling succedaneum.

2001–Television personality, Arlene Francis, dies at age 94. She was a regular on the panel of the TV game show What’s My Line?

2002–The NBA Championship: The New Jersey Nets beat the Boston Celtics, 4 games to 2.

2005–W. Mark Felt tells Vanity Fair that he is the anonymous source called “Deep Throat” in the Watergate scandal.

2005–Strawberry Field, the orphanage in Liverpool, England, which inspired The Beatles' song, Strawberry Fields Forever, is closed by the Salvation Army after almost 70 years. John Lennon played on the orphanage grounds as a young boy.

2009–Millvina Dean, last living survivor of the Titanic disaster, dies at age 97.

2012–85th National Spelling Bee: Snigdha Nandipati wins, spelling guetapens.

2013–The asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon make their closest approach to Earth for the next two centuries.

2013–Actress, Jean Stapleton, dies of natural causes in New York, New York, at age 90. She is best known for the role of Edith Bunker on the TV series All in the Family.

2014–Actress, Martha Hyer, dies of natural causes in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at age 89. She appeared in the films Yukon Gold, Riders to the Stars, Sabrina, Lucky Me, Francis in the Navy, The Delicate Delinquent, Mister Cory, My Man Godfrey, Battle Hymn, Houseboat, Some Came Running, The Best of Everything, Bikini Beach, The Carpetbaggers, The Sons of Katie Elder, and The Happening.

2016–The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules (12-3) that a warrant is not required for police to obtain a person's cell phone location data from wireless carriers.

2016–In an interview with the German broadsheet, Frankfurter Allgemeine, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama says that Germany has taken too many refugees and "from a moral standpoint" refugees should "only be accommodated temporarily" with the goal of them returning home to rebuild their countries.

2016–A Global Slavery Index report estimates the number of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, in debt bondage, or forced labor to be 45.8 million. India is reported to have the highest number at an estimated 18.4 million slaves, and North Korea the highest ratio, 4.4 percent of its population.

2016–Glenn Beck’s syndicated radio program is temporarily suspended by satellite radio SiriusXM, after a guest on the show (conservative commentator Brad Thor) suggested that citizens might have to remove Donald Trump from office if he’s elected president..


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