It happened today – this day in history – May 22

334BC: The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia at the Battle of the Granicus.

1176: Assassins attempt to kill Saladin near Aleppo.

1370: Jews are expelled and massacred in Brussels.

1455: Opening battle in the Wars of the Roses. Richard of York takes St Albans, capturing Henry VI.

1570: The first atlas ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ is published in Antwerp with 70 maps.

1813: Birth of composer Richard Wagner in Leipzig.

1826: HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage to survey Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

1836: Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio “St Paul” premieres in Dusseldorf.

1840: The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.

1849: Future US President Abraham Lincoln receives a patent for a device to lift a boat over shoals and obstructions.

1859: Birth of author Arthur Conan Doyle in Edinburgh.

1885: Author Victor Hugo dies aged 83.

1888: Leroy Buffington patents a system to build skyscrapers.

1897: The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened.

1902: US President Theodore Roosevelt signs a treaty with Mexico under which both countries agree to submit a long-standing dispute over interest payments to the Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

1906: The Wright Brothers are granted a patent for their “flying machine.

1907: Birth of Laurence Olivier in Dorking.

1916: French troops assault Fort Douaumont but fail to recapture it after hours of dogged fighting during the Battle of Verdun.

1939: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign the “Pact of Steel” in Berlin.

1941: British troops attack Baghdad.

1942: Mexico declares war on Nazi-Germany and Japan.

1946: The first US rocket to reach the edge of space is fired from White Sands Missile Range New Mexico.

1947: The US fires its first ballistic missile.

1957: South Africa’s government approves race separation in universities.

1958: Jerry Lee Lewis arrives at Heathrow Airport to begin his first British tour, along with his new bride, 14-year old third cousin, Myra. Although advised not to mention it, Lewis answered all questions about his private life. The public’s shock over Lewis’ marriage marks the start of a controversy leading to his tour being cancelled after just three of the scheduled 37 shows.

1960: A magnitude 9.4-9.6 earthquake strikes near the city of Valdivia in Chile, the strongest ever recorded, causing multiple tsunamis and killing up to 7,000 people.

1963: AC Milan becomes the first Italian side to win the European Cup, beating Benfica 2-1 at Wembley Stadium.

1966: Dick van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore win at the Emmy Awards.

1967: Egyptian president Gen Gamal Nasser closes the Straits of Tiran to Israel.


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1969: Apollo 10 astronauts Gene Cernan and Thomas Stafford fly the lunar module to within eight miles of the Moon’s surface in rehearsal for a July Moon landing.

1970: The Cricket Council reverses a decision to allow South African cricketers to tour England.

1971: A British soldier is killed by the IRA in Belfast.

1972: US President Richard Nixon is given a modest welcome as he arrives in Moscow for talks with Soviet leaders. On the same day, Ceylon becomes Republic of Sri Lanka as its constitution is ratified. Also, more than 400 women in Derry attack the offices of Sinn Féin in Derry, North Ireland, following the shooting of William Best by the IRA and Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis dies aged 68.

1973: President Richard Nixon confesses his role in the Watergate cover-up.

1977: The final European scheduled run of the Orient Express after 94 years.

1981: Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, is sentenced to life imprisonment for 13 murders and seven attempted murders.

1985: US sailor Michael L Walker is arrested for spying for the USSR.

1988: Singles chart:

  1. With A Little Help From My Friends – Wet Wet Wet
  2. Got To Be Certain – Kylie Minogue
  3. Perfect – Fairground Attraction
  4. Anfield Rap – Liverpool FC
  5. Blue Monday – New Order
  6. Circle In The Sand – Belinda Carlisle
  7. The King Of Rock n Roll – Prefab Sprout
  8. Somewhere In My Heart – Aztec Camera
  9. Divine Emotions – Narada
  10. Theme From S-Express – S-Express
1988: Prince – Lovesexy

Album chart:

  1. Tango In The Night – Fleetwood Mac
  2. Nite Flite – Various Artists
  3. More Dirty Dancing – Original Soundtrack
  4. Lovesexy – Prince
  5. Dirty Dancing – Original Soundtrack
  6. Whitney – Whitney Houston
  7. The First Of A Million Kisses – Fairground Attraction
  8. Popped In Souled Out – Wet Wet Wet
  9. Heaven On Earth – Belinda Carlisle
  10. The Christians – The Christians

1989: Rappers Public Enemy fire Professor Griff after he makes anti-Semitic remarks in the Washington Post.

1990: Microsoft releases Windows 3.0. On the same day, North and South Yemen merge to form the Republic of Yemen.

1991: Wil Sinnott from The Shamen drowns while swimming off the coast of La Gomera in Tenerife where the band were filming a video.

1993: Riddick Bowe TKOs Jesse Ferguson in Round 2 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1998: A federal judge rules that Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

2000: Robbie Williams sets up a children’s charity with the cash he earned from a deal with Pepsi.

2002: Adam Ant (Stuart Goddard) appears at The Old Bailey charged with possession of an imitation firearm after an altercation with a bouncer outside a pub in January. On the same day, a 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.

2004: Manmohan Singh becomes Prime Minister of India. On the same day, the town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide. “Fahrenheit 9/11”, directed by Michael Moore becomes the first documentary to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Manchester United beat Millwall, 3-0 to win the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

2009: White Stripes drummer Meg White marries Jackson Smith at ex-husband and bandmate Jack White’s Nashville home.

2010: The remains of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus are reburied in Frombork Cathedral, Poland, after a 200-year search for his tomb.

2011: Sherlock wins best drama at the BAFTA Television Awards.

2013: British Army Fusilier Lee Rigby is murdered in the street near the Royal Artillery Barracks in London by two Islamic terrorists.

2014: Royal Thai Armed Forces, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha stage a coup in Thailand, suspending the kingdom’s constitution and taking control of the government, the 12th coup since 1932.

2016: A Gibson Dove guitar that Elvis Presley was given by his father sells for $334,000 at an auction in New York. On the same day, “I, Daniel Blake,” directed by Ken Loach wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

2017: A suicide bombing at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert kills 22 and injures 59.

2018: An Australian court finds the Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, guilty of covering up sexual abuse in 1970s, the most senior Catholic priest to be convicted. On the same day, Mark Zuckerberg is questioned by members of the European parliament in Brussels in wake of a Facebook security scandal.

2021: The Eurovision Song Contest is won by Italian metal band Maneskin in Rotterdam.

BIRTHDAYS: Richard Benjamin, actor/director, 84; Ian Underwood, musician (Frank Zappa), 83; (Walter) Menzies Campbell, Baron Campbell of Pittenweem, 81; Bernie Taupin, lyricist, 72; Jerry Dammers, keyboards/songwriter (The Specials) 68; Mary Black, singer-songwriter, 67; Denise Welch, actress/TV presenter, 64; Graham Fellows, comedian, 63; Morrissey (Steven), singer-songwriter, 63; David Schneider, actor/writer, 59; Graham Lineham, comedy writer, 54; Naomi Campbell, model, 52; Katie Price, former glamour model, 44; Ginnifer (Jennifer) Goodwin (Dallas), actress, 43; Maggie Q (Margaret Quigley), actress, 43; Novak Djokovic, tennis champion, 35.