11th MAY
Chang & Eng Bunker, Siamese twins (b. 1811)
Ottmar Mergenthaler (b. 1854)
Eleanor Rathbone (b. 1872)
Irving Berlin (b. 1888)
Paul Nash (b. 1889)
Dame Margaret Rutherford (b. 1892)
Martha Graham (b. 1894)
Salvador Dali (b. 1904)
Mikhail Sholokhov (b. OS 1905)
Phil Silvers (b. 1911)
Beryl Bryden (b. 1920)
Marco Ferreri (b. 1928)
Neil Michelsen (b. 1931)
Doug McClure (b. 1935)
Kit Lambert (b. 1935)
Catherine Trotter (d. 1749)
William Pitt the Elder (d. 1778)
Spencer Perceval (d. 1812)
Tom Cribb (d. 1848)
Sir John Herschel (d. 1871)
James Maybrick (d. 1889)
John Cadbury (d. 1889)
Juan Gris (d. 1927)
Frederic Goudy (d. 1947)
Louis Calhern (d. 1956)
Johnny Hodges (d. 1970)
Lester Flatt (d. 1979)
Bob Marley (d. 1981)
Kim Philby (d. 1988)
Noel Redding (d. 2003)
Floyd Patterson (d. 2006)
Constantinople dedicated as new capital of Roman Empire, 330
1st printed book, Diamond Sutra, published, China, 868
Peter Stuyvesant arrives at New Amsterdam (New York), 1647
William & Mary formally accept Parliament's Claim of Rights, 1689
Battle of Fontenoy, War of the Austrian Succession, 1745
Old Vic Theatre opened (as Royal Coburg), London, 1818
Minnesota, the Gopher or North Star State, becomes 32nd State of the Union, 1858
Confederates destroy CSS Virginia to prevent its capture by Union troops, 1862
City of Greater New York created, 1898
Glacier National Park in Montana was created by an act of Congress, 1910
Oxford University resolves to admit women to degrees, 1920
2LO radio station established, Marconi House, Strand, London, 1922
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded, US, 1927
RAF drops 1st bomb on mainland Germany, 1940
Major Allied attack in Italy, 1944
Tubeless auto tyres 1st announced, Akron OH, 1947
Siam becomes Thailand, 1949
Israel admitted to United Nations, 1949
Computer core memory patented, by Jay Forrester, 1951
SS France, world's longest liner, launched, 1960
1st Habitat store opened, Fulham Rd, London, 1964
Rolling Stones record (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Hollywood CA, 1965
Sid Vicious 1st sees Sex Pistols, 1st night of Tuesday residency, 100 Club, 1976
Cats 1st produced, London, 1981
56 die in fire at Bradford City football stadium, 1985
Record 37 reach summit of Everest, 1993
Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses published in paperback, UK, 1994
Deep Blue IBM computer defeats Kasparov to win 6-game chess match, New York NY, 1997
1st coins of Europe's single currency, the euro, produced by mint, France, 1998
Cats closes after 8,949 performances, New London Theatre, 2002

12th MAY
Giovanni Viotti (b. 1759)
Lady (Emma) Hamilton (b. 1765)
Edward Lear (b. 1812)
Florence Nightingale (b. 1820)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (b. 1828)
Jules Massenet (b. 1842)
Gabriel Fauré (b. 1845)
Sir Francis Meynell (b. 1891)
Wilfrid Hyde-White (b. 1903)
Sir Lennox Berkeley (b. 1903)
Katherine Hepburn (b. 1907)
Leslie Charteris (b. 1907)
Thorley Walters (b. 1913)
Joseph Beauys (b. 1921)
Tony Hancock (b. 1924)
Ian Dury (b. 1942)
Alan Ball (b. 1945)
August Schlegel (d. 1845)
Sir Charles Barry (d. 1860)
Bed_ich Smetana (d. 1884)
JK Huysmans (d. 1907)
Amy Lowell (d. 1925)
Peter Henry Emerson (d. 1936)
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (d. 1944)
Erich von Stroheim (d. 1957)
John Masefield (d. 1967)
Martin Lamble (d. 1969)
Vic Feldman (d. 1987)
Howard Sasportas (d. 1992)
John Smith (d. 1994)
Perry Como (d. 2001)
Robert Rauschenberg (d. 2008)
Day of the Barricades, French insurrection, 1588
Gen Sir Arthur Wellesley defeats French, Oporto, 1809
Manitoba enters Confederation as a Canadian province, 1870
Water polo rules drawn up by London Swimming Association, 1870
John Bull 1st published, 1906
20-ton meteor strikes earth, Blackstone VA, 1922
General Strike ends, UK, 1926
Amundsen crosses North Pole in Norge airship, 1926
Goofy makes 1st cartoon appearance, Mickey's Revue, 1932
Alcoholics Anonymous founded by Wiliam Wilson, Akron OH, 1935
Coronation of George VI & Elizabeth, 1937
Complete surrender of Germany in Tunisia, 1943
Amsterdam liberated from German forces, 1945
Blockade of Berlin by USSR ends, 1949
Quadraphonic sound 1st used in concert, Pink Floyd's Games For May, London, 1967
Representation of the People Act lowers voting age to 18, UK, 1969
Mick Jagger marries Bianca Perez Morena de Macias, St Tropez, 1971
A Guarneri violin made in 1738 sold at Sotheby's for record £105,000, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II sails to join Falklands Task Force, 1982
Echo and the Bunnymen's Crystal Day, Liverpool, 1984
Stephen Venables becomes 1st to climb Everest by East Face Route, 1988
Cats becomes London's longest running musical, New London Theatre, 1989
Jackie Mann kidnapped by Revolutionary Justice Organisation, 1530 LT, Beirut, 1989
Simple Truth concert to aid Kurdish refugees held, Wembley, 1991

13th MAY
Dante Alighieri (b. 1265)
Sir Arthur Sullivan (b. 1842)
Peter Henry Emerson (b. 1856)
Georges Braque (b. 1882)
Dame Daphne du Maurier (b. 1907)
Gil Evans (b. 1912)
Joe Louis (b. 1914)
Dewey Phillips (b. 1926)
Rev Jim Jones (b. 1931)
Bruce Chatwin (b. 1940)
Ritchie Valens (b. 1941)
Miles Kington (b. 1941)
Mary Wells (b. 1943)
Carolyn Franklin (b. 1944)
Georges Cuvier (d. 1832)
John Nash (d. 1835)
Frances Hodgkins (d. 1947)
Gary Cooper (d. 1961)
Bob Wills (d. 1975)
Chet Baker (d. 1988)
Laurie Lee (d. 1997)
Gene Sarazen (d. 1999)
Mary, Queen of Scots defeated, Battle of Langside, Glasgow, 1568
1st permanent English settlement founded, Jamestown VA, OS 1607
737 convicts in Capt Phillip's 1st Fleet of 11 ships leave for Australia, 1787
US declares war on Mexico, 1846
Wireless system to overcome atmospheric disturbances announced, Germany, 1909
3 peasant children report seeing vision of Virgin Mary, Fatima, Portugal, 1917
Total collapse of German economy, 1927
Churchill's "Blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech, 1940
German and Italian forces surrender in Africa, 1943
1st test flight of Canberra, 1st UK jet bomber, Warton, 1949
1st schools programmes on TV begin, BBC, 1957
French Army seizes power, Algeria, 1958
Let It Be premiered, London and New York NY, 1970
Sex Pistols signed to Virgin Records, UK, 1977
John-Paul II shot by Nehmet Ali Hagca, St Peter's Square, Rome, 1981
Bruce Springsteen marries Julianne Phillips, Lake Oswego OR, 1985
Chaim Herzog steps down as president, Israel, 1993
Swan Hunter, last shipbuilders on Tyneside, calls in receivers, 1993

14th MAY
Margaret of Valois (b. 1553)
Gabriel Fahrenheit (b. 1686)
Thomas Gainsborough (b. 1727)
George Barrington (b. 1755)
Otto Klemperer (b. 1885)
Sidney Bechet (b. 1897)
Hastings Banda (b. 1898)
Dick Bentley (b. 1907)
Eric Morecambe (b. 1926)
Ché Guevara (b. 1928)
Frederik van Pallandt (b. 1934)
Bobby Darin (b. 1936)
Wilhelm Steinitz (d. 1900)
August Strindberg (d. 1912)
Henry John Heinz (d. 1919)
Sir Rider Haggard (d. 1925)
Lord (Edmund) Allenby of Megiddo (d. 1936)
Sidney Bechet (d. 1959)
Keith Relf (d. 1976)
William Lear (d. 1978)
Jean Rhys (d. 1979)
Rita Hayworth (d. 1987)
Neil Michelsen (d. 1990)
William Randolph Hearst Jr (d. 1993)
Frank Sinatra (d. 1998)
Geoffrey Kendal (d. 1998)
Dame Wendy Hiller (d. 2003)
Battle of Lewes, 1264
Louis XIV, 4, becomes King of France for over 72 years, 1643
UK tax imposed on importing tea into America, 1767
The Oaks 1st run, Epsom, 1779
Edward Jenner makes 1st smallpox vaccine, 1796
Independence of Paraguay proclaimed, 1811
Illustrated London News 1st published, 1842
Patent for making condensed milk applied for by Gail Borden, US, 1853
1st diamonds discovered, South Africa, 1867
Blackpool Tower opened, 1894
Women 1st compete in Olympic Games, Paris, 1900
Royal Flying Corps created, 1912
British Legion founded by Earl Haig, 1921
Nazis and Communists win seats in Reichstag, Germany, 1924
Last BBC programme broadcast from Savoy Hill, London, 1932
Rotterdam city centre destroyed by German bombing, 1940
Netherlands army surrenders to German forces, 1940
Local Defence Volunteers (later Home Guard) formed, UK, 1940
Austria declares independence and abolishes all Nazi decrees, 1945
Israel declared an independent Jewish state following partition of Palestine, 1948
Howlin' Wolf records Moanin' At Midnight at 1st session, Memphis TN, 1951
Warsaw Pact signed, 1955
Field at Runnymede dedicated to John F Kennedy, 1965
Roman Catholic Cathedral opened, Liverpool, 1967
Ulrike Meinhof frees Andraes Baader in armed prison raid, Frankfurt, 1970
Skylab space station launched, Cape Kennedy, 1973
Bobby Moore resigns from football after 1000th match, 1977
Soyuz XL launched bearing 1st Rumanian astronaut, 1981
Chess 1st performed, London, 1986
Alison Hargreaves is 1st woman to climb Everest without oxygen, 1995
Final episode of Seinfeld broadcast, NBC TV, US, 1998
Million Mom March of anti-gun lobbyists takes place, Washington DC, 2000

15th MAY
Claudio Monteverdi (bapt. 1567)
Lord (George) Jeffreys of Wem (b. 1645)
Debendranath Tagore (b. 1817)
L Frank Baum (b. 1856)
Pierre Curie (b. 1859)
Arthur Schnitzler (b. 1862)
Frank Hornby (b. 1863)
Vilhelm Hammershøi (b. 1864)
Edwin Muir (b. 1887)
Arletty (b. 1898)
Richard J Daley (b. 1902)
Joseph Cotten (b. 1905)
James Mason (b. 1909)
Eddy Arnold (b. 1918)
Richard Avedon (b. 1923)
Anthony Shaffer (b. 1926)
Arif Mardin (b. 1932)
Katrin Cartlidge (b. 1961)
Ephraim Chambers (d. 1740)
Richard Wilson (d. 1782)
Edmund Kean (d. 1833)
Emily Dickinson (d. 1886)
Joseph Whitaker (d. 1895)
Sir Robert Menzies (d. 1978)
Frederik van Pallandt (d. 1994)
Eric Porter (d. 1995)
June Carter Cash (d. 2003)
Battle of Hexham, 1464
Mary, Queen of Scots marries James Hepburn, Earl of Boswell, Edinburgh, 1567
Capt Gosnold 1st European to set foot in New England, Cape Cod, 1602
Ashmolean Museum founded, Oxford, 1679
Machine gun for use at sea patented by James Puckle, London, 1718
James Hatfield attempts to assassinate George III, Drury Lane Th, 1800
3rd Royal Opera House opened, Covent Garden, 1858
Department of Agriculture inaugurated, US, 1862
1st Gay Liberation society formed, Munich, 1897
1st UK electric tram service begins, London, 1903
1st long-distance regular air mail service begins, Philadelphia-New York, 1918
Flying Doctor Service begins, Queensland, Australia, 1928
Ellen Church becomes 1st air hostess, Oakland-Cheyenne, 1930
1st broadcast quiz show made, Canada, 1935
Amy Johnson completes record 12 day 15 hr return flight to Cape Town, London, 1936
Nylon stockings launched, US, 1940
E.28/39, 1st UK jet-propelled aircraft, makes maiden flight, Cranwell, 1941
Burma evacuated by UK and Indian troops, 1942
Israel declares itself an independent state and is invaded by S Arab states, 1948
Vienna Treaty signed, 1955
1st UK nuclear bomb exploded, Christmas Island, 1957
Sputnik IV launched, 1960
Faith 7, last of the Mercury missions, launched, 1963
George C Wallace shot and left paralyzed by Arthur Bremer, Laurel MD, 1972
Soviet forces officially begin 9-month process of withdrawal, Afghanistan, 1988
St Mary's Cathedral inaugurated, Middlesbrough, 1988
Lindi St Clair loses "immoral earnings" tax appeal against Inland Revenue, 1990
Edith Cresson becomes 1st woman prime minister, France, 1991
Runaway freight train rolls 70 miles with no one aboard, Ohio, 2001

16th MAY
William H Seward (b. 1801)
David Hughes (b. 1831)
Richard Tauber (b. 1892)
Henry Fonda (b. 1905)
HE Bates (b. 1905)
Woody Herman (b. 1913)
Bernard Braden (b. 1916)
Liberace (b. 1919)
Donald Bradley (Garth Allen) (b. 1925)
Betty Carter (b. 1930)
Pietro da Cortona (d. 1669)
Charles Perrault (d. 1703)
Joseph Fourier (d. 1830)
Felicia Heymans (d. 1835)
Lilli Lehmann (d. 1929)
Joseph B Strauss (d. 1938)
Django Reinhardt (d. 1953)
James Agee (d. 1955)
Andy Kaufman (d. 1984)
Margaret Hamilton (d. 1985)
Jim Henson (d. 1990)
Sammy Davis Jr (d. 1990)
Bull sentenced to death for "furiously killing" boy, Beaupre Abbey, France, 1499
Mary, Queen of Scots sets sail in exile for England, Pt Mary, Solway Firth, 1568
Johnson & Boswell meet, Tom Davie's bookshop, Russell St, 1763
Daughin of France marries Marie Antoinette, France, 1770
Battle of Albuera takes place, Spain, 1811
David Hughes produces 1st satisfactory microphone, 1878
1st electric tram goes into public service, Lichterfelde, nr Berlin, 1881
D1, 1st UK diesel submarine, launched, Barrow, 1908
Remains of neanderthal man found, Jersey, 1911
Deutschland Zeppelin wrecked, Düsseldorf, 1911
Joan of Arc canonised, Rome, 1920
1st Academy Awards film ceremony held, Hollywood, 1929
Daphne Kearley becomes 1st UK air hostess, Croydon-Le Bouget, 1936
WVS (later WRVS) started, 1938
Möhne, Eder & Sorpe dams breached, Dam Busters Raid, 1943
Jim Laker takes 10 wickets for 88 in 46 overs for Surrey, 1956
4 die when Ronan Point tower block collapses, East End, 1968
Venus V crash lands on surface of Venus, 1969
Junko Takei is 1st woman to conquer Everest, 1975
Patti Smith makes UK debut, The Roundhouse, London, 1976
Wheelclamping begins, London, 1983
Elvis Costello marries Caitlin O'Riordan, Dublin, 1986
Robert Fripp marries Toyah Willcox, 1986
BR Thameslink service across London begins, 1988
Broadcasting Standards Council formed, 1988
1st UK Guardian Angels go on duty, London Underground, 1989
Elizabeth II becomes 1st UK monarch to address US Congress, 1991
Radio Caroline begins re-broadcasting for 1 month, Bradwell-on-Sea, 1994
Shoko Asahara arrested in connection with nerve-gas attack on subway, Tokyo, 1995
Mobutu Sese Seko seccedes control to rebel forces, Zaire, 1997

17th MAY
Edward Jenner (b. 1749)
Caroline of Brunswick, Queen of George IV of Gt Britain (b. 1768)
Norman Lockyer (b. 1836)
Erik Satie (b. 1866)
Dorothy Richardson (b. 1873)
Ayatollah Khomeini (b. 1900)
Jean Gabin (b. 1904)
Maureen O'Sullivan (b. 1911)
Roger Woddis (b. 1917)
Birgit Nilsson (b. 1918)
Marshall Applewhite (b. 1931)
Dennis Potter (b. 1935)
Sandro Botticelli (d. 1510)
Matthew (Nosey) Parker (d. 1575)
Samuel Clarke (d. 1729)
Paul Dukas (d. 1935)
Lawrence Welk (d. 1992)
Johnny Guitar Watson (d. 1996)
Rt Rev Lord (Donald) Coggan (d. 2000)
Sharon Sheeley (d. 2002)
Norman Vaughan (d. 2002)
Tony Randall (d. 2004)
Cranmer declares Henry VIII marriage to Anne Boleyn declared invalid, OS 1536
Belts of planet Jupiter 1st recorded, 1630
Joliet and Marquette set out to exlore Mississippi, 1673
Britain declares war on France, 1756
New York Stock Exchange founded, 1792
Independence of Norway proclaimed, 1814
Free Church of Scotland formed, The Disruption, 1843
1st colour photograph exhibited, London, 1861
Thomas Cook produce 1st package holiday (6 days in Paris for 46/-), 1861
1st Kentucky Derby won by Aristides, Churchill Downs, Louisville KY, 1875
Revised Version of New Testament issued, 1881
1st weekly comic, Comic Cuts, issued, London, 1890
Foundation stone of Victoria and Albert Museum laid, 1899
Relief of Mafeking, 1900
1st UK automatic telephone exchange opened, Epsom, 1912
British Summer Time (Daylight Saving Act) introduced, 1916
1st KLM flight made, Amsterdam-London, 1920
Germany invades France, 1940
XR-4 completes 1st cross-country helicopter flight, Stratford CT-Dayton OH, 1942
1st atomic reactor system patented, US, 1960
Kariba Dam opened, Zambesi river, 1960
Bob Dylan and the Band play to some heckling, Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 1966
McClean begins 1st solo Atlantic crossing by rowing boat, St John's, Canada, 1969
33 die in no-warnings UVF bombings, Dublin & Monaghan, 1974
Philips create 1st compact discs, 1978
Stolen coffin of Chaplin found 10 miles from grave, Switzerland, 1978
Nigel Mansell becomes 1st to win opening 5 Formula I races, 1992
Rebecca Stephens becomes 1st UK woman to conquer Everest, 1993
Chirac inaugurated as 5th President of Fifth Republic, France, 1995
Kabila declares himself president of Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), 1997
Labor Party leader Ehud Barak unseats Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, 1999

18th MAY
Omar Khayyam (b. 1048)
Mikhail Bakunin (b. OS 1814)
Wilhelm Steinitz (b. 1836)
Peter Carl Fabergé (b. 1846)
William Heinemann (b. 1863)
Lord (Bertrand) Russell (b. 1872)
Frank Capra (b. 1897)
Fred Perry (b. 1909)
Big Joe Turner (b. 1911)
Richard Brooks (b. 1912)
Perry Como (b. 1912)
Boris Christoff (b. 1914)
Papa John Creach (b. 1917)
Dame Margot Fonteyn (b. 1919)
John-Paul II (b. 1920)
Kai Winding (b. 1922)
Bill Grundy (b. 1923)
Helen Chadwick (b. 1953)
Michael Ryan (b. 1960)
Elias Ashmole (d. 1692)
Georg Böhm (d. 1733)
Pierre Beaumarchais (d. 1799)
George Meredith (d. 1909)
Isaac Albéniz (d. 1909)
Gustav Mahler (d. 1911)
John Nevil Maskelyne (d. 1917)
Ian Curtis (d. 1980)
William Saroyan (d. 1981)
Jill Ireland (d. 1990)
Elizabeth Montgomery (d. 1995)
Alexander Godunov (d. 1995)
Augustus Pablo (d. 1999)
Sir Larry Lamb (d. 2000)
Elvin Jones (d. 2004)
Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine, 1152
Ville Marie (Montreal) founded, Canada, 1642
Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed Emperor, France, 1804
Edwin Budding agrees to manufacture 1st lawnmower, Stroud, 1830
United Free Church of Scotland founded, 1843
Abraham Lincoln nominated for Presidency by Republican Party, Chicago IL, 1860
4th Eddystone Lighthouse, designed by Sir James Douglass, opened, 1882
Emile Berliner 1st demonstrates gramophone, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia PA, 1888
Supreme Court endorses "separate but equal" racial segregation, US, 1896
1st UK automatic telephone exchange opened, Epsom, 1912
Oxford University grants equal status to women professors, 1920
1st Mt Everest reconnaissance party sets off, 1921
Battle of Kohima ends, 1942
Allied Forces capture Monte Cassino, Italy, 1944
Jacqueline Cochran becomes 1st woman to break sound barrier, Rogers Dry Lake CA, 1953
European Convention of Human Rights comes into force, 1954
1st Wimpy Bar opened, introducing fast food to UK, London, 1955
Mods and Rockers clash, Brighton and Margate, 1964
Sheila Scott begins record-breaking round-world flight, 1966
Rolling Stones record We Love You with Lennon & McCartney, Barnes, 1967
Apollo 10 launched bearing 3 astronauts, 1969
India explodes her 1st nuclear bomb, 1974
Sex Pistols perform at the Screen On The Green, Islington, 1976
100 die when Mt St Helena erupts, Washington State, 1980
Morrissey and Marr 1st meet, 384 Kings Rd, Manchester, 1982
The Smiths record their 1st John Peel session, 1983
Treaty introducing German economic and monetary union signed, 1990
Helen Sharman becomes 1st UK astronaut, Baikonur Cosmodrome, 1991
Israeli occupation in Gaza Strip ends as Palestinian authorities take over, 1994
Eric Cantona announces immediate resignation from football, 1997

19th MAY
Charlotte, Consort of George III (b. 1744)
Dame Nellie Melba (b. 1861)
Lady (Nancy) Astor (b. 1879)
Ho Chi-Minh (b. 1890)
Sir Michael Balcon (b. 1896)
Bert Hardy (b. 1913)
Max Perutz (b. 1914)
Malcolm X (b. 1925)
Pol Pot (b. 1928)
Lorraine Hansberry (b. 1930)
Marc (Mark Boxer) (b. 1931)
Mel Calman (b. 1931)
Alma Cogan (b. 1932)
Mickey Newbury (b. 1940)
Joey Ramone (b. 1951)
Nicole Brown Simpson (b. 1959)
St Dunstan (d. 988)
Anne Boleyn (d. 1536)
Charles Montagu (d. 1715)
James Boswell (d. 1795)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (d. 1864)
José Martí (d. 1895)
William Gladstone (d. 1898)
TE Lawrence (d. 1935)
Charles Ives (d. 1954)
Ronald Colman (d. 1958)
Coleman Hawkins (d. 1969)
Ogden Nash (d. 1971)
Sir John Betjeman (d. 1984)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (d. 1994)
Susannah McCorkle (d. 2001)
Treaty of the Malcontents with Prince of Palma signed, 1579
England destroys French fleet, off Cape de la Hogue, 1692
Napoleon institutes Légion d'Honneur, 1802
Sir John Franklin's expedition to Canadian Arctic sets off, Erebus & Terror, UK, 1845
William Hamilton fires a powder-charged pistol at Victoria, 1849
Oscar Wilde released from Pentonville Prison, 1897
Tonga Islands annexed by UK, 1900
Simplon Tunnel from Switzerland-Italy officially opened, 1906
Earth passes through tail of Halley's Comet, 1910
Hitler makes territorial demands on Czechoslovakia, 1938
Sandy MacPherson presents From My Post Bag, 1st radio request programme, UK, 1939
Alan Freed arrested on payola charges, 1960
Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to Kennedy, Madison Square Gardens, 1962
Dave Davies receives stitches after on-stage clash with Mick Avory, Cardiff, 1965
USSR ratifies treaty with US and UK banning nuclear weapons from outer space, 1967
2 million workers go on general strike, France, 1968
UK sends Royal Navy frigates inside Icelandic 50 mile limit, 1973
Sophia Loren jailed for one month for tax evasion, Italy, 1982
1st European sighting of Pallas's sandgrouse, Shetland, 1990
Le Shuttle freight service begins, Channel Tunnel, 1994
Serial child killer Robert Black sentenced to 10 life sentences, 1994
Asteroid JA1 comes within 7 hours of destroying Earth, 1996

20th MAY
Socrates (b. BC 467)
Sir Henry Percy (Harry Hotspur) (b. 1364)
Honoré de Balzac (b. 1799)
John Stuart Mill (b. 1806)
William George Fargo (b. 1818)
Émile Berliner (b. 1851)
Max Euwe (b. 1901)
Margery Allingham (b. 1904)
James Stewart (b. 1908)
Moshe Dayan (b. 1915)
Shorty Long (b. 1940)
Steve Curry (b. 1947)
Christopher Columbus (d. 1506)
Lafayette (d. 1834)
Mary Lamb (d. 1847)
John Clare (d. 1864)
Clara Schumann (d. 1896)
Sir Max Beerbohm (d. 1956)
Gilbert Murray (d. 1957)
Dame Barbara Hepworth (d. 1975)
Gilda Radner (d. 1989)
Michel Gauquelin (d. 1991)
Jon Pertwee (d. 1996)
Wolf Mankowitz (d. 1998)
Lord (Lionel) Murray of Epping Forest (d. 2004)
Battle of Lincoln, 1217
Vasca da Gama arrives, Calicut, India, 1498
Juão da Nova discovers Ascension Island, 1501
Shakespeare's Sonnets published, 1609
Battle of Bautzen, 1813
York Minster damaged by fire, 1840
North Carolina votes to secede from the Union, US, 1861
Confederacy capital moved from Montgomery AL to Richmond VA, 1861
Foundation stone of Royal Albert Hall laid by Victoria, 1867
Last broad gauge train, The Cornishman, leaves Paddington, 1892
Income tax declared unconstitutional in US, 1895
1st Chelsea Flower Show opened, Royal Hospital grounds, 1913
Republic of Cuba established, 1902
Kew Bridge opened (as Edward VII Bridge) by Edward VII, 1903
Saudi Arabia becomes independent, 1927
Charles Lindbergh begins 1st non-stop solo transatlantic flight, Long Island NY, 1927
Amelia Earhart makes 1st female solo transatlantic flight, 1932
1st regular air service between US & Europe begins, PanAm, 1939
German air force invades Crete, 1941
Gary Trebert 1st person arrested from an identikit picture, Paris, 1959
Pete Townshend marries Karen Astley, 1968
200 die in flooding, Romania, 1971
Orient Express runs from Paris-Istanbul for final time, 1977
Soviets 1st allowed to leave country of their own free will, 1991
93 million people watch final episode of Cheers, NBC-TV, US, 1993
East Timor becomes independent, 2002

Last updated: May 30, 2008