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31st May: Find Out What Happened On This Day In History

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31st May is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 214 days remain until the end of the year. Today also marks World No Tobacco Day. Find out some important events that occurred on this day, 31st May, in history.


Historical events

1279 BC — Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (19th Dynasty).

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

1531 — “Women’s Revolt” in Amsterdam: wool house in churchyard aborted.

1578 — Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich, England, to Frobisher Bay, Canada. He eventually mines fools gold famously used to pave the streets of London.

1592 — Sir Walter Raleigh’s secret marriage to a lady-in-waiting was uncovered on this day. It ruined his career, but things were to get much worse.

1621 — Statesman and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon imprisoned in the Tower of London for one night.

1665 — Jerusalem’s rabbi Sjabtai Tswi proclaims himself Messiah.

1669 — Citing poor eyesight, English civil servant Samuel Pepys records the last event in his famous diary.

1759 — The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theatre productions.

1790 — The US copyright law enacted.

1790 — Alferez Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


31st May in the 19th Century

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

1821 — Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, the first US Catholic cathedral, is dedicated in Baltimore.

1868 — The first Memorial Day parade held in Ironton, Ohio.

1868 — Dr James Moore (UK) wins the first recorded bicycle race, (2k) velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris.

1870 — Congress passes the first Enforcement Act (rights of blacks).

1870 — E J DeSemdt patents the asphalt pavement.

1878 — The US Congress accepts a decrease in dollar circulation.

1879 — The first electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition.

1879 — Madison Square Garden opens in New York, named after the fourth US President James Madison.

1884 — Dr John Harvey Kellogg patents “flaked cereal”.

1893 — Whitcomb Judson, Chicago, patents a hookless fastening (zipper).


31st May in the 20th Century

1907 — Taxis first begin running in NYC.

1908 — Miss Pottelsberghe de la Pottery is the first aeroplane passenger (Belgium).

1910 — Cape of Good Hope becomes part of Union of South Africa.

1910 — Union of South Africa declares its independence from the United Kingdom.

1911 — RMS Titanic launches in Belfast. The captain of the Titanic is Edward Smith.

1917 — Japan Builds Up War Machine. The country spends nearly $130 million dollars on expanding their naval might during World War I at the same time that America and European nations expanded their naval forces. Due to Japan’s inability to import large guns from England at this time, the country faced difficulties in building their own.

1935 — 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Quetta in Balochistan, British Raj (Pakistan) killing an estimated 50,000 people.

1937 — The first quadruplets to finish college (Baylor University).

1940 — Winston Churchill flies to Paris to meet with French Marshal Philippe Pétain who announces he is willing to make a separate peace with Germany.

1941 — German occupiers forbids Jews the access to beaches and swimming pools.

1943 — “Archie” comic s***p the first broadcast on radio.

1957 — Great Britain performs a nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric).

1958 — D**k Dale invents “surf music” with “Let’s Go Trippin”.

1961 — Union of South Africa becomes a republic, leaves Commonwealth.

1965 — Jim Clark becomes the first foreigner in 49 years to win Indianapolis 500 – 3:19:05.370 (242.506 km/h).


More dates

1965 — 12th National Film Awards (India): “Charulata” wins the Golden Lotus.

1968 — Film star James Stewart retires from the US Air Force after 27 years of service.

1969 — John Lennon and Yoko Ono record “Give Peace a Chance”.

1969 — Stevie Wonder releases the single “My Cherie Amour” which goes on to become a soul classic.

1975 — “Fight the Power” single released by The Isley Brothers (Billboard Song of the Year 1975).

1976 — The Who set the record for the loudest concert of all time, 120 decibels at 50 metres, at The Valley in Charlton.

1985 — Guatemala adopts its constitution.

1989 — The first International Rock Awards.

1989 — The first presentation of rock ‘n’ roll Elvis awards.

1990 — 63rd National Spelling Bee: Amy Marie Dimak wins spelling fibranne.

1996 — Mark Van Thillo and Abigail Alling, former biospherian win $100,000 lawsuit against Biospheric Development for Space Biospheres Ventures.

1998 — Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) announces she wants to quit the popular Spice Girls over differences between other members of the group.


31st May in the 21st Century

2004 — “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, the 3rd film based on the books by J. K. Rowling is released in UK cinemas.

2004 — British children’s cartoon “Peppa Pig” created by Astley Baker Davies premieres on Channel 5.

2005 — Mark Felt, former FBI high ranking official revealed as “Deep Throat” source during Watergate investigations in “Vanity Fair” article.

2007 — Rihanna releases her breakthrough album “Good Girl Gone Bad”.

2008 — Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7m/s) 9.72 seconds.

2012 — Egypt formally ends its 31-year state of emergency.

2014 — Psy’s “Gangnam Style” becomes the first video to reach 2 billion views on YouTube.

2015 — Harriette Thompson aged 92 and 65 days becomes the oldest woman to complete a marathon (Suja Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego).

2017 — Comedienne Kathy Griffin fired from CNN after photo of her holding bloody head resembling Donald Trump by Tyler Shields posted.

2018 — Actor Matt LeBlanc announces he is leaving TV show “Top Gear”.

2018 — Danish government bans garments that cover the face. It includes the niqab and burqa.

2018 — Uganda’s parliament imposes a tax on social media to stop gossip.

2018 — TV personality and model Kim Kardashian West meets US President Trump at the White House to discuss prison reform.

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