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|<<||Selected anniversaries for May||>>|
|An archive of historical anniversaries that appeared on the Main Page|
2022 day arrangement
- 880 – The Nea Ekklesia church in Constantinople, on which many later cross-in-square Orthodox churches were based, was consecrated.
- 1776 – The secret society known as the Order of Illuminati was founded by Adam Weishaupt and Adolph Freiherr Knigge in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.
- 1884 – Moses Fleetwood Walker (pictured), the last African American in Major League Baseball until Jackie Robinson, played his first game for the Toledo Blue Stockings.
- 1947 – Sicilian separatist Salvatore Giuliano and his gang fired into a crowd of May Day marchers near Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily, killing 11 and wounding 33.
- 2016 – The evacuation of nearly 88,000 people began when a wildfire swept through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, and burned for another 14 months, becoming the costliest disaster in Canadian history.
- 1670 – A royal charter granted the Hudson's Bay Company a monopoly in the fur trade in Rupert's Land (present-day Canada).
- 1878 – A dust explosion at the world's largest flour mill in Minneapolis resulted in 18 deaths.
- 1945 – World War II: General Helmuth Weidling, the German commander of Berlin, surrendered to Soviet forces led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, ending the Battle of Berlin.
- 1982 – Falklands War: HMS Conqueror sank the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano (pictured), the only ship ever to have been deliberately sunk by a nuclear submarine in battle.
- 2014 – Russo-Ukrainian War: Forty-eight people were killed during a confrontation between pro-Russian protesters and pro-Ukrainian unity protesters in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa.
- 1791 – The Great Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth ratified the first codified national constitution in Europe.
- 1845 – A long-running feud between two towns in Wisconsin came to a head when a schooner crashed into a bridge; they later merged to form the city of Milwaukee.
- 1913 – Raja Harishchandra (scene pictured), the first Indian feature-length film, was released.
- 1942 – Second World War: Japanese forces began an invasion of Tulagi and nearby islands in the British Solomon Islands, enabling them to threaten and intercept supply and communication routes between the United States and Australasia.
- 1999 – A Doppler on Wheels team measured the fastest winds recorded on Earth, at 301 ± 20 mph (484 ± 32 km/h), in a tornado near Bridge Creek, Oklahoma.
- 1493 – Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull Inter caetera, establishing a line of demarcation dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal.
- 1776 – American Revolution: The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations became the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown.
- 1942 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Allied naval forces at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other.
- 1982 – Falklands War: HMS Sheffield was struck by an Exocet missile, killing 20 sailors and leading to its sinking six days later—the first Royal Navy ship sunk in action since World War II.
- 2015 – The Parliament of Malta moved from the Grandmaster's Palace to the purpose-built Parliament House (pictured).
- 1891 – Carnegie Hall (interior pictured) in New York City, built by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, officially opened with a concert conducted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
- 1992 – The Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, 202 years after it was first proposed.
- 2019 – Aeroflot Flight 1492 was struck by lightning after leaving Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport and caught fire during the subsequent emergency landing attempt, killing 41 people on board.
- 1801 – French Revolutionary Wars: The 32-gun Spanish frigate El Gamo was captured by the outmanned and outgunned HMS Speedy.
- 1882 – U.S. president Chester A. Arthur signed the Chinese Exclusion Act into law (cartoon pictured), implementing a ban on Chinese immigration to the United States that remained for 61 years.
- 1915 – Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition: SY Aurora, anchored in McMurdo Sound, broke loose during a gale and began a 312-day drift in sea ice.
- 1988 – Widerøe Flight 710 crashed into the fog-covered mountain of Torghatten in Brønnøy, Norway, killing all 36 people on board.
- 2008 – British barrister Mark Saunders was shot dead by police after a five-hour siege at his home in Chelsea, London.
- 1697 – The 13th-century castle of Tre Kronor in Stockholm burned down; plans for the current royal palace were presented within the year.
- 1763 – Pontiac, a Native American chief of the Odawa tribe, led an attempt to seize Fort Detroit from the British, marking the start of Pontiac's War.
- 1940 – A three-day debate began in the House of Commons that resulted in British prime minister Neville Chamberlain being replaced by Winston Churchill (pictured).
- 1999 – Kosovo War: NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the United States bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
- 2009 – Police in Napier, New Zealand, began a 40-hour siege of the home of a former New Zealand Army member who had shot at officers during the routine execution of a search warrant.
- 1821 – Greek War of Independence: At the Battle of Gravia Inn, a 120-man Greek force led by Odysseas Androutsos repulsed an Ottoman army of 8,000 soldiers.
- 1927 – French aviators Charles Nungesser and François Coli aboard the biplane L'Oiseau Blanc took off from Paris, attempting to make the first non-stop flight to New York, only to disappear before arrival.
- 1942 – World War II: The Axis launched a major counteroffensive, turning the tide of the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula.
- 1950 – The Tollund Man (pictured), a naturally mummified corpse, was discovered in a peat bog near Silkeborg, Denmark.
- 1972 – Four members of Black September hijacked Sabena Flight 571 to demand the release of 315 convicted Palestinian terrorists.
- 328 – Athanasius took office as Patriarch of Alexandria.
- 1864 – Second Schleswig War: The Battle of Heligoland (depicted), the last naval engagement fought by squadrons of wooden ships, took place between the Danish and Austro-Prussian fleets.
- 1918 – First World War: Germany repelled Britain's second attempt to blockade the Belgian port of Ostend.
- 1992 – An underground methane explosion occurred at the Westray Mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia, killing all 26 Canadian coal miners who were working at the time.
- 2012 – The pilots of a Sukhoi Superjet, ignoring alerts from the terrain warning system, crashed the aircraft into Mount Salak in Indonesia, resulting in the deaths of all 45 people on board.
- 28 BC – The first precisely dated observation of a sunspot was made by Chinese astronomers of the Han dynasty.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: A small force of Patriots led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga (depicted) in New York, without significant injury or incident.
- 1941 – World War II: German Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the British government.
- 1997 – An earthquake registering 7.3 Mw struck near Qaen, Iran, killing at least 1,567 and leaving around 50,000 others homeless.
- 2017 – Syrian civil war: The Syrian Democratic Forces, assisted by the U.S. military, captured the Tabqa Dam and surrounding countryside, completing the Battle of Tabqa.
- 1745 – War of the Austrian Succession: French forces defeated those of the Pragmatic Allies at the Battle of Fontenoy in the Austrian Netherlands in present-day Belgium.
- 1812 – Spencer Perceval was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons, becoming the only British prime minister to be assassinated.
- 1963 – African Americans rioted in Birmingham, Alabama, in response to two bombings, perceiving local police to be complicit with the perpetrators.
- 1997 – Deep Blue (pictured) defeated Garry Kasparov in six games to become the first chess computer to win a match against a world champion.
- 2011 – An earthquake registering Mw 5.1, the worst to hit the region for more than 50 years, struck near Lorca, Spain.
- 1846 – The Donner Party, an American pioneer group which became known for resorting to cannibalism when they became trapped in the Sierra Nevada, left Independence, Missouri, for California.
- 1863 – American Civil War: The Confederates were routed in the Battle of Raymond, a small battle that had an inordinately large impact on the Vicksburg campaign.
- 1888 – North Borneo was established as a British protectorate.
- 1975 – The Cambodian navy seized the American container ship SS Mayaguez in what they claimed to be Cambodian territorial waters.
- 1982 – The Coppergate Helmet (pictured), the best preserved of the six known Anglo-Saxon helmets, was discovered.
- 1373 – The English mystic Julian of Norwich (statue pictured) recovered from a severe illness during which she experienced a series of intense visions of Christ, which she later described in the first known English-language book written by a woman.
- 1861 – The Australian astronomer John Tebbutt discovered the Great Comet of 1861, through the tail of which the Earth passed later that year.
- 1913 – The Russian inventor Igor Sikorsky flew the self-designed Russky Vityaz, the world's first four-engine fixed-wing aircraft.
- 1972 – The Troubles: A car bomb planted by Ulster loyalists exploded outside a crowded pub in Belfast, Northern Ireland, beginning two days of gun battles between the British Army, the Provisional Irish Republican Army, and the Ulster Volunteer Force.
- 1992 – Li Hongzhi introduced the Falun Gong movement at a public lecture in Changchun, China.
- 1264 – Second Barons' War: King Henry III was defeated at the Battle of Lewes and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.
- 1856 – Major Henry C. Wayne arrived in Indianola, Texas, with 34 camels to form the short-lived United States Camel Corps (pictured).
- 1919 – Sir Harry Hands, the mayor of Cape Town, performed the first public observance of a two-minute silence in remembrance of those killed in World War I.
- 1939 – In Lima, Peru, Lina Medina became the youngest confirmed mother in history, giving birth at the age of five years, seven months and twenty-one days.
- 2008 – On the day of the UEFA Cup Final, violence erupted between football hooligan supporters of both teams and the Greater Manchester Police, resulting in 39 arrests and 39 injured officers.
- 1252 – Pope Innocent IV issued the papal bull Ad extirpanda, authorizing the use of torture on heretics during the Medieval Inquisition.
- 1836 – English astronomer Francis Baily observed Baily's beads (example pictured), a phenomenon during a solar eclipse in which the rugged topography of the lunar limb allows sunlight to shine through.
- 1864 – American Civil War: A small Confederate force, which included cadets from the Virginia Military Institute, forced the Union Army out of the Shenandoah Valley.
- 1972 – The Ryukyu Islands were returned to Japan by the United States, and the U.S. occupation government was abolished.
- 2010 – Three days before her seventeenth birthday, Jessica Watson arrived in Sydney after sailing non-stop and unassisted around the world.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: Allied British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces clashed with French troops at the Battle of Albuera fought south of Badajoz, Spain.
- 1832 – Prospector Juan Godoy discovered a silver outcrop in Chañarcillo, sparking the Chilean silver rush.
- 1925 – The first modern performance of Claudio Monteverdi's opera Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria occurred in Paris.
- 1958 – The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, a supersonic interceptor aircraft, set a world flight airspeed record of 1,404.012 mph (2,259.538 km/h).
- 1975 – Based on the results of a referendum held about one month earlier, the Kingdom of Sikkim (flag pictured) abolished its monarchy and was annexed to become the 22nd state of India.
- 1395 – An outnumbered Wallachian army repulsed invading Ottoman forces at the Battle of Rovine.
- 1902 – The Antikythera mechanism, the oldest known surviving geared mechanism, was discovered among artifacts retrieved from a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera.
- 1947 – After renegotiating a contract with the makers of her signature perfume Chanel No. 5, Coco Chanel (pictured) received a share of wartime profits from its sale, making her one of the richest women in the world.
- 1974 – The Troubles: The Ulster Volunteer Force detonated a series of car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland, killing 34 people and injuring almost 300 more.
May 18: Haitian Flag Day in Haiti (1803); Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Crimean Tatar Genocide in Ukraine and several other countries
- 1302 – Armed insurrectionists massacred the occupying French garrison in Bruges, Flanders, killing approximately 2,000 people.
- 1695 – An earthquake measuring Ms7.8 struck Shanxi Province in northern China, resulting in at least 52,600 deaths.
- 1927 – Disgruntled school board treasurer Andrew Kehoe set off explosives with timers and a rifle (aftermath pictured), causing the Bath School disaster in the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan, killing 44 people in the deadliest mass murder in a school in United States history.
- 1955 – Operation Passage to Freedom, the evacuation of 310,000 Vietnamese civilians, soldiers and non-Vietnamese members of the French Army from communist North Vietnam to South Vietnam following the end of the First Indochina War, ended.
- 2006 – The Parliament of Nepal unanimously voted to strip King Gyanendra of many of his powers.
- 1655 – Anglo-Spanish War: England invaded Spanish Jamaica, capturing it a week later.
- 1743 – French physicist Jean-Pierre Christin published the design of a mercury thermometer using the centigrade scale, with 0 representing the melting point of water and 100 its boiling point.
- 1828 – The United States Congress passed the largest tariff in the nation's history, which resulted in severe economic hardship in the American South.
- 1997 – The Sierra Gorda Biosphere, which encompasses the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, was established as a result of grassroots efforts.
- 2010 – In Bangkok, the Thai military (pictured) concluded a week-long crackdown on widespread protests by forcing the surrender of opposition leaders.
- 1609 – Thomas Thorpe published the first copies of Shakespeare's sonnets, possibly without William Shakespeare's consent.
- 1875 – Representatives from seventeen countries signed the Metre Convention, which set up an institute for the purpose of coordinating international metrology and for coordinating the development of the metric system.
- 1927 – By the Treaty of Jeddah, the United Kingdom recognized the sovereignty of King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia (pictured) over Hejaz and Nejd, which later merged to become Saudi Arabia.
- 1965 – While attempting to land at Cairo International Airport, Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705 crashed for unknown reasons, killing all but 6 of the 121 people on board.
- 2012 – The first of two major earthquakes struck Northern Italy, resulting in seven deaths.
- 1403 – King Henry III of Castile sent an embassy to the Timurid court to discuss a potential alliance against the Ottoman Empire.
- 1911 – Mexican president Porfirio Díaz and the revolutionary Francisco I. Madero signed the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez to end hostilities between each other's forces, concluding the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution.
- 1927 – Aboard the Spirit of St. Louis, American aviator Charles Lindbergh (pictured) completed the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight, flying from Roosevelt Field near New York City to Paris–Le Bourget Airport.
- 1946 – While working with a mass of plutonium known as the demon core, Manhattan Project physicist Louis Slotin accidentally exposed himself to a lethal dose of hard radiation.
- 2014 – A Taiwanese man carried out a stabbing spree on a Taipei Metro train, killing four people and injuring 24 others.
- 1762 – The Trevi Fountain (pictured) in Rome was officially inaugurated by Pope Clement XIII.
- 1897 – The first Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was opened to improve commerce and trade in the East End of London.
- 1905 – Sultan Abdul Hamid II established the Ullah Millet, a separate millet for Aromanians within the Ottoman Empire.
- 1972 – The Dominion of Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka, adopted a new constitution, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth.
- 2002 – Police announced that the skeletal remains of Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy, who had been missing for a year, had been found in Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.
- 1430 – Hundred Years' War: Joan of Arc (pictured) was captured by Burgundian forces at the Siege of Compiègne.
- 1706 – War of the Spanish Succession: The Grand Alliance armies routed the Franco-Spanish-Bavarian army in Ramillies, present-day Belgium.
- 1873 – The North-West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was established to bring law and order to and assert Canadian sovereignty over the Northwest Territories.
- 1934 – During a strike against the Electric Auto-Lite company in Toledo, Ohio, U.S., a fight began between nearly 10,000 strikers and sheriff's deputies, later involving the Ohio National Guard.
- 2008 – The International Court of Justice awarded the Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca to Singapore, resolving a 29-year-old territorial dispute in the Singapore Strait.
- 1567 – The mentally ill King Erik XIV of Sweden and his guards murdered five incarcerated nobles, including some members of the influential Sture family.
- 1738 – At a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate, London, John Wesley (pictured) experienced a spiritual rebirth, leading him to launch the Methodist movement.
- 1948 – Arab–Israeli War: After five days of fighting, Egyptian forces captured the Israeli community of Yad Mordechai after the defenders had abandoned it.
- 1962 – Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
- 2006 – An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film that has been credited for raising international public awareness of climate change and re-energizing the environmental movement, was released.
- 1644 – Ming–Qing transition: Ming general Wu Sangui allowed the invading Manchu to cross the Great Wall of China (pictured), enabling them to capture Beijing and establish the Qing dynasty.
- 1810 – The Primera Junta, the first independent government in Argentina, was established in an open cabildo in Buenos Aires, marking the end of the May Revolution.
- 1944 – The Wehrmacht and their collaborationist allies launched Operation Rösselsprung, a failed attempt to assassinate the Yugoslav Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito.
- 1962 – The Baltimore Steam Packet Company, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, went out of business.
- 2012 – In a test flight, SpaceX's Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station.
- 1644 – Portuguese Restoration War: Portuguese and Spanish forces both claimed victory at the Battle of Montijo.
- 1822 – The deadliest fire in Norwegian history (depicted) occurred at a church in Grue, killing at least 113 people.
- 1897 – The Church of England returned the original manuscript of William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, an account of the Pilgrims and the early years of the Plymouth Colony, to the state of Massachusetts.
- 1940 – Second World War: The Allies began a mass evacuation of British, French and Belgian troops cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk.
- 2002 – Barges being towed destroyed part of a bridge near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, causing vehicles to fall into the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas River.
- 1199 – King John was crowned at Westminster Abbey.
- 1799 – War of the Second Coalition: Austrian forces defeated the French Army of the Danube, capturing the strategically important Swiss town of Winterthur.
- 1917 – Pope Benedict XV (pictured) promulgated the Pio-Benedictine Code, the first official comprehensive codification of Latin canon law.
- 1962 – A fire at a landfill in Centralia, Pennsylvania, spread to an abandoned coal mine, where it continues burning today.
- 2006 – An earthquake registering 6.4 Mw struck near the city of Yogyakarta on the southern side of the Indonesian island of Java, killing more than 5,700 people.
- 585 BC – According to the Greek historian Herodotus, a solar eclipse, accurately predicted by Thales of Miletus, abruptly ended the Battle of Halys between the Lydians and the Medes.
- 1754 – French and Indian War: Led by 22-year-old George Washington, a company of Virginia colonial militiamen ambushed a force of 35 Canadiens at the Battle of Jumonville Glen (depicted).
- 1937 – The rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated with his accession as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- 1998 – The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission carried out five underground nuclear tests, becoming the seventh country in the world to successfully develop and publicly test nuclear weapons.
- 2002 – An independent commission appointed by the Football Association voted two-to-one to allow Wimbledon F.C. to relocate from London to Milton Keynes.
- 1852 – Swedish operatic soprano Jenny Lind concluded a successful concert tour of the United States under the management of showman P. T. Barnum.
- 1918 – World War I: Armenian forces defeated Ottoman troops at the Battle of Sardarabad, halting the Turkish advance and preventing further destruction of the Armenian nation.
- 1953 – The mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (both pictured) became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- 1999 – President Olusegun Obasanjo took office as Nigeria's first elected and civilian head of state after 16 years of military rule.
- 1536 – Jane Seymour (pictured), a former lady-in-waiting, married King Henry VIII, becoming the queen consort of England.
- 1914 – RMS Aquitania, the last surviving four-funnel ocean liner, departed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage to New York City.
- 1943 – The first game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the forerunner of women's professional league sports in the United States, was played.
- 1998 – An earthquake registering 6.5 Mw struck northern Afghanistan, killing at least 4,000 people, destroying more than 30 villages, and leaving 45,000 people homeless in Takhar and Badakhshan Provinces.
- 1795 – French Revolution: The Revolutionary Tribunal (depicted), a court instituted by the National Convention for the trial of political offenders, was suppressed.
- 1921 – The Tulsa race massacre, "the single worst incident of racial violence in American history", began in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- 1961 – The Union of South Africa was dissolved by the Constitution Act and replaced by the Republic of South Africa.
- 1981 – An organized mob of police and government-sponsored Sinhalese paramilitary forces began three days of attacks that led to the burning of the Jaffna Library in Sri Lanka.