It happened today – this day in history – May 31

1279BC: Ramesses II becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

1495: Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV and Richard III, dies aged 80.

1621: Sir Francis Bacon is imprisoned in the Tower of London for one night.

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

1669: The last entry in Samuel Pepys’s diary.

1727: France, Britain & Netherlands sign accord of Paris.

1809: Death of composer Franz Joseph Haydn aged 77.

1836: HMS Beagle anchors in Simons Bay, Cape of Good Hope.

1860: Birth of painter Walter Sickert in Munich.

1879: Madison Square Garden opens in New York.

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

1891: Work begins on the Trans-Siberian railway

1900: British troops occupy Johannesburg. On the same day, US troops arrive in Beijing, to help put down Boxer Rebellion.

1902: Treaty of Unity signed, Britain annexes Transvaal and the Boer War ends.

1907: The first taxis begin running in New York city.

1910: The Union of South Africa declares its independence from the UK.

1911: The RMS Titanic is launched at Belfast.

1915: A Zeppelin makes an air raid on London.

1916: The Battle of Jutland: Largest naval battle of World War I between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet which killed 8,645 seamen.

1921: A large-scale race riot breaks out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which up to 200 African Americans are killed.

1937: German warships bombard Almeria, Spain.

1940: Winston Churchill flies to Paris where French Marshal Philippe Petain says he is willing to make a separate peace with Germany.

1941: The Luftwaffe bombs Dublin in neutral Ireland.

1942: The Luftwaffe bombs Canterbury.

1947: Communists seize power in Hungary.

1949: Sam Snead beats fellow American Johnny Palmer to win the PGA golf championship.

1955: Britain proclaims an emergency crisis due to a rail strike.

1961: South Africa becomes a republic and leaves the Commonwealth

1965: British racing driver Jim Clark becomes the first foreigner in 49 years to win the Indianapolis 500.

1966: Filming begins on the TV series The Monkees.

1967: Bayern Munich beat Glasgow Rangers 1-0 in Nuremberg to win the European Cup Winner’s Cup.

1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono record Give Peace A Chance in their hotel room in Montreal while staging a bed-in.

1970: An earthquake off the coast of Peru sets off the world’s deadliest avalanche, killing up to 70,000 people.

1974: Israel and Syria sign an agreement concerning the Golan Heights.

1976: The Who’s performance at Charlton Athletic Football Ground goes into the Guinness Book of Records as the loudest performance by a rock band at 120 decibels.

1983: Boxing legend Jack Dempsey dies aged 86.

1984: Viv Richards hits 189 not out in 170 balls for the West Indies against England.

1993: Creation Records boss Alan McGee sees Oasis play at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow while killing time after missing a train and immediately signs them.

1998: Geri Halliwell announces she has quit The Spice Girls.

2000: Soul singer Johnnie Taylor dies of a heart attack in Texas shortly after his 62nd birthday.

2004: Cartoon “Peppa Pig” premieres on Channel 5.

2005: Former East 17 singer Brian Harvey was in a critical condition in a London hospital after falling under the wheels of his Mercedes convertible outside his home in Walthamstow. On the same day, former FBI high ranking official Mark Felt is revealed as “Deep Throat” source during the Watergate investigations of 1973/74.

2008: Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m with 9.72 seconds.

2009: Death of female impersonator Danny La Rue aged 81.

2014: “Gangnam Style” by South Korean artist Psy, becomes the first video to reach 2 billion views on YouTube.

2018: Zinédine Zidane announces his resignation as Real Madrid manager.

2019: Singer, songwriter Roky Erickson died age 71. On the same day, Twilight star Robert Pattinson is announced as the new Batman.

BIRTHDAYS: Clint Eastwood, actor/director, 90; John Prescott, former Labour MP, 82; Terry Waite, former envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lebanese hostage, 81; Sharon Gless, actress, 77; Paulinho da Costa, percussionist, 72; Tom Berenger, actor, 71; Karl Bartos, drummer (Kraftwerk), 68; Tommy Emmanuel, guitarist, 65; Lea Thompson, actress, 59; Steve White, drummer (Paul Weller) 55; Brooke Shields, actress, 55; Colin Farrell, actor 44; June Sarpong, TV personality, 43; Reggie Yates, TV presenter, 37.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]