Today In History - Tuesday, May 31st

2013


The asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon make their closest approach to Earth for the next two centuries.
2010


In international waters, armed Shayetet 13 commandos, intending to force the flotilla to anchor at the Ashdod port, boarded ships trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, resulting in nine civilian deaths.
2008


Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds.
2005


Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat.
1997


The Confederation Bridge opens, linking Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick.
1991


Bicesse Accords in Angola lay out a transition to multi-party democracy under the supervision of the United Nations' UNAVEM II mission.
1989


A group of six members of the guerrilla group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) of Peru, shoot dead eight transsexuals, in the city of Tarapoto.
1987


Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station starts broadcasting in Greece.
1985


1985 United States-Canadian tornado outbreak: Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) became a Schedule I drug in the United States.
1981


The burning of Jaffna library in Sri Lanka. It is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century.
1977


The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System completed.
1973


The United States Senate votes to cut off funding for the bombing of Khmer Rouge targets within Cambodia, hastening the end of the Cambodian Civil War.
1971


In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the 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 30.
1970


The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide that buries the town of Yungay, Peru; more than 47,000 people are killed.
1962


The West Indies Federation dissolves.
Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
1961


The Union of South Africa becomes the Republic of South Africa.
In Moscow City Court, the Rokotov-Faibishenko show trial begins, despite the Khrushchev Thaw to reverse Stalinist elements in Soviet society.
1943


Zoot Suit Riots begin
1942


World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.
1941


A Luftwaffe air raid on Dublin, Ireland, claims 38 lives.
Anglo-Iraqi War: The United Kingdom completes the re-occupation of Iraq and returns 'Abd al-Ilah to power as regent for Faisal II.
1935


A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan killing 40,000.
1931


7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan: 40,000 dead.
1929


The first talking Mickey Mouse cartoon, "The Karnival Kid", is released.
1927


The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.
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" therein the Soviet Union promises to respect.
1921


Tulsa race riot: civil unrest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official death toll is 39, but recent investigations suggest the actual toll may be much higher.
1916


World War I: Battle of Jutland - The British Grand Fleet under the command of John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe and David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty engage the Imperial German Navy under the command of Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper in the largest naval battle of the war, which proves indecisive.
1911


The hull of the ocean liner RMS Titanic is launched.
The President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution.
1910


Creation of the Union of South Africa.
1909


The National Negro Committee, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, convenes for the first time.
1902


Second Boer War: The Treaty of Vereeniging ends the war and ensures British control of South Africa.
1889


Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people die after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
1884


The arrival at Plymouth of Tāwhiao, King of Maoris, to claim the protection of Queen Victoria
1879


Gilmores Garden in New York, New York, is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street and Madison Avenue.
1866


In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, at a cost of 9 dead and 38 wounded to the Fenian's 19 dead and about 17 wounded.
1864


American Civil War Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor - The Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee engages the Army of the Potomac under Ulysses S. Grant and George Meade.
1862


American Civil War Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines or (Battle of Fair Oaks) - Confederate forces under Joseph E. Johnston & G.W. Smith engage Union forces under George B. McClellan outside Richmond, Virginia.
1859


The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
1854


The civil death procedure is abolished in France.
1813


In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth reach Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains.
1805


French and Spanish forces begin the assault against British forces occupying Diamond Rock.
1795


French Revolution: the Revolutionary Tribunal is suppressed.
1790


Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
At the Constitutional Convention 1787 both James Madison of Virginia and Charles C. Pinckney of South Carolina submitted proposals that would allow Congress the power to grant copyright for a limited time. These proposals are the origin of the Copyright Clause in the United States Constitution, which allows the granting of copyright and patents for a limited time to serve a utilitarian function, namely "to promote the progress of science and useful arts".

The Copyright Act of 1790 was the first federal copyright act to be instituted, though most of the states had passed various legislation securing copyrights in the years immediately following the Revolutionary War. The stated object of the act was the "encouragement of learning," and it achieved this by securing authors the "sole right and liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing and vending" the copies of their "maps, charts, and books" for a term of 14 years, with the right to renew for one additional 14 year term should the copyright holder still be alive. With exception of the provision on maps and charts the Copyright Act of 1790 is copied almost verbatim from the Statute of Anne.
1775


American Revolution: The Mecklenburg Resolves are allegedly adopted in the Province of North Carolina.
1759


The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions.
1678


The Godiva procession through Coventry begins.
1669


Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.
1578


Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich in England to Frobisher Bay in Canada, eventually to mine fool's gold, used to pave streets in London.
King Henry III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge of Paris, France.
1223


Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River - Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus' and Cumans.
526


A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000.
455


Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome.
1279 BC


Ramesses II (The Great) (19th dynasty) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.