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On May 31st...
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1634 The colony of Massachusetts Bay annexed Maine colony.
1790 The U.S. copyright law was enacted.
1809 Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died.
1821 Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, the first U.S. Catholic cathedral, was dedicated in Baltimore.
1857 Pope Pius XI was born.
1859 Big Ben rang out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, England, for the first time.
1862 The Battle of Seven Pines began.
1864 The Second Battle of Cold Harbor began.
1866 Circus founder John Ringling was born.
1870 E. J. DeSemdt patented asphalt pavement.
1884 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patented "flaked cereal."
1889 The Johnstown Flood occurred.
1890 Harry Hines Woodring, Governor of Kansas and U.S. Secretary of War, was born.
1894 Radio personality Fred Allen was born.
1898 Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, was born.
1900 U.S. troops arrived in Beijing to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.
1904 Actor Don Ameche was born.
1905 Actor Reb Russell was born.
1910 The Union
of South Africa declared its independence from the United
1911 RMS Titanic was launched.
1912 U.S. Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson was born.
1913 The 17th Amendment, providing for direct election of Senators, was proclaimed.
1916 The Battle of Jutland was fought in the North Sea.
1923 Prince Rainier of Monaco was born.
1930 Actor Clint Eastwood was born.
Country singer Johnny Paycheck was born.
1943 Football player Joe Namath was born.
1949 Actor Tom Berenger was born.
1950 Actor Gregory Harrison was born.
1961 The country of South Africa became a republic.
1962 Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler's wish to exterminate Europe's Jewish population, was executed for his crimes against humanity.
1964 Victor Paz Estenssoro was elected to a third term as President of Bolivia.
1965 Actress Brooke Shields was born.
1977 The Alaska Pipeline was completed.
1983 Boxer Jack Dempsey died.
1996 Timothy Leary, LSD proponent, died.
2001 Actress Arlene Francis died.
2005 Former FBI agent W. Mark Felt acknowledged that he was "Deep Throat," the Washington Post source who helped uncover the Watergate scandal.
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This page was last updated on May 29, 2017.