ON THIS DAY: May 31, 2017

May 31st is

Macaroon Day

Save Your Hearing Day

Senior Health and Fitness Day

Speak in Sentences Day

World MS Day *

World No-Tobacco Day *

MORE! Walt Whitman, Chien-Shiung Wu and Buddy Holly, click



Judaism – Shavout (The Jewish people renew their acceptance of the Torah, which was given at Mount Sinai, seven weeks after Passover – customary to stay up on the first night reading Torah, and to recite the Yizkor memorial service on the second day)

Brunei –
Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day

Malaysia – Labuan and Sabah:
Harvest Festivals

Spain –
Primavera Sound Music Festival
Castilla-La Mancha:
Día de la Región de Castilla-La Mancha

On This Day in HISTORY

1279 BC – Rameses II (‘the Great’) becomes Pharaoh of Egypt

1443 – Margaret Beaufort born, English Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of Henry VII, and founder of St. John’s & Christ’s colleges

1578 – Henry III of France lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge in Paris

1669 – Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary

1683 – Jean-Pierre Christin born, French physicist, mathematician, and astronomer, invented the Celsius thermometer

1790 – The United States enacts its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790

1795 – The Revolutionary Tribunal, originally instituted by the National Convention during the French Revolution for the trial of political offenders, but which condemned thousands, many innocent, to the guillotine, is suppressed

1819 – Walt Whitman born, influential 19th century American poet, ‘father of free verse’ – Leaves of Grass

1824 – Jessie Ann Benton Frémont born, American author and activist, outspoken opponent of slavery, known for her writings about her life with her husband, John C. Frémont, in California and Arizona

1852 – Julius Richard Petri born, German microbiologist, inventor of the Petri dish

1854 – Mary Hannah Fulton born, American physician and medical missionary to China, established the Hackett Medical College for Women in Guangzhou, China

1859 – The Great Clock, with its famous bell Big Ben, of the Palace of Westminster, home to the British Houses of Parliament, starts keeping time

1860 – Walter Sickert born in Germany, English painter and printmaker

Self-Portrait by William Sickert, circa 1920s

1862 – Cynthia W. Alden born, American author and journalist, worked for the New York Tribune and the Ladies Home Journal, founder of the Sunshine Society, a group which sent cards and letters to shut-ins, then expanded their mission to establish a sanatorium and a school for blind children, and advocated for legislation to provide care for blind children in 18 states

1874 – The original Madison Square Garden opens; it is demolished in 1890, and replaced with a much more elaborate structure, designed by noted architect Stanford White, on the same site, which in turn is demolished in 1926 to make way for the New York Life Building. The third version of Madison Square Garden is built on a new site which is not on Madison Square; there are sight line and ventilation problems, and demolition begins in 1968. The current Madison Square Garden sits atop Pennsylvania Station, opening on February 11, 1968

1884 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applies for a patent for “flaked cereal” – his brother W.K. Kellogg founds the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company in 1906, which will become the Kellogg Company

1890 – Hilla Rebay born, German-American abstract artist, co-founder and director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

1901 – Alfredo Antonini born in Italy; Italian-American conductor and composer

1902 – The Treaty of Vereeniging is signed, ending the Second Boer War between the British Empire, and the Boers of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State

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

1912 – Chien-Shiung Wu born in China, American experimental physicist; worked on the Manhattan Project, where she contributed to the development of the process for separating uranium metal into uranium-235 and uranium-238 isotopes by gaseous diffusion; the ‘Wu Experiment’ provided the practical confirmation needed by her colleagues Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang to contradict the hypothetical law of conservation of parity, and won Lee and Yang the 1957 Nobel Prize in physics; first woman instructor at Princeton University Physics Department

1913 – U.S. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan certifies the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which alters the process of electing U.S. Senators to direct election (“one person, one vote”), and changes how vacancies will be filled from appointment by state legislatures, to temporary appointments, which can be made by a state governor if granted by the state’s legislature, until a special election can be called

1917 – “Darktown Strutters’ Ball” is released by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

1924 – Patricia Harris born, American politician and ambassador; first African-American woman to serve in U.S. presidential cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and also the first to serve as a U.S. Ambassador (to Luxembourg)

1928 – Two Australian pilots, Charles Kingsford-Smith and Charles Ulm, and two Americans, navigator Harry Lyon and radio operator James Warner, take off in their Fokker F.VIIb/3m, the Southern Cross, from Oakland CA for an aerial crossing of the Pacific Ocean to Brisbane, Australia

1947 – Communists seize power in Hungary

1955 – After the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, many all-white schools remain segregated, so the court in Brown v. Board of Education II orders the states to make plans to integrate their schools “with all deliberate speed” and gives federal district courts the power to supervise the process of desegregation and assure that progress is made, and to punish schools that refuse to integrate; the vagueness of “all deliberate speed” was used as an excuse in many school districts for doing nothing to integrate their schools

1956 – Buddy Holly writes “That’ll Be the Day”

1961 – South Africa becomes an independent republic, leaving the British Commonwealth

1962 – Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” is executed for his crimes against humanity near Tel Aviv, Israel. His last words before he was hanged: “I hope that all of you will follow me.”

1974 – The Separation of Forces Agreement Between Israel and Syria is signed by senior military officers of both sides in Geneva, Switzerland, creating a buffer zone on the Golan Heights separating Israeli and Syrian forces

1977 – The last weld on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is completed; it covers 800 miles and cost $8 billion to build, and requires 70,000 workers overall

1979 – The restored Radio City Music Hall re-opens

1979 – Zimbabwe declares its independence

1980 – The theme from M*A*S*H (“Suicide is Painless”) is #1 on the UK singles chart, 10 years after it was first written, when BBC Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds champions it

1990 – The sitcom Seinfeld debuts on NBC-TV

1991 – Angola’s two warring factions sign a peace treaty, ending a 16-year civil war

1994 – The U.S. announces it is no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union

1995 – Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, on the Presidential campaign trail, singles out Time Warner for “the marketing of evil” – the work of rap artists in movies and music – but later admitted that he had not seen or heard much of what he had been criticizing, and keeps $21,000 in political contributions made to him by Time Warner, from profits he characterized as Rap “Blood Money”

2005 – Former FBI official W. Mark Felt reveals himself in Vanity Fair as “Deep Throat,” the secret Washington Post source who helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal

2008 – World No-Tobacco Day * is part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative

2009 – Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late-term abortions, is shot and killed while attending services at his church in Wichita, Kansas; his murderer is convicted and sentenced to life in prison

2009 – The first World MS Day (Multiple Sclerosis) * is sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF)


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
This entry was posted in History, Holidays, On This Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.