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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.
- 878 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The city of Syracuse was captured by the Aghlabids as part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily.
- 1851 – The Congress of Colombia passed a law abolishing slavery in the country, to take effect at the beginning of the new year.
- 1917 – The Imperial War Graves Commission was established by royal charter to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of British Empire military forces.
- 1946 – Working with a mass of plutonium known as the "demon core" (recreation pictured), Manhattan Project physicist Louis Slotin accidentally exposed himself to a lethal dose of hard radiation.
- 1991 – Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.
- 853 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The Byzantine navy began a raid on the Nile Delta port city of Damietta, whose garrison was absent at the time.
- 1766 – An earthquake registering an estimated 7.1 Ms struck Constantinople and was followed by a tsunami that caused significant damage.
- 1844 – In Shiraz, Iran, the Báb declared himself to be a messenger of God to Mullá Husayn, leading to the foundation of Bábism, considered to be a precursor to the Baháʼí Faith.
- 1958 – Ethnic riots mostly targeting the minority Sri Lankan Tamils broke out in Ceylon, resulting in at least 158 deaths over the next few days.
- 2014 – Prayut Chan-o-cha (pictured), the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Army, launched a coup d'état against the caretaker government following six months of political crisis.
- 1555 – Gian Pietro Carafa became Pope Paul IV, beginning a tumultuous four-year papacy during which the Papal States suffered a serious military defeat.
- 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.
- 1895 – Backed by Samuel J. Tilden, the Astor Library and the Lenox Library agreed to merge and form the New York Public Library (building pictured).
- 1951 – Delegates of the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of the newly established People's Republic of China signed the Seventeen Point Agreement, affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.
- 1974 – The Airbus A300, the first twin-engined wide-body airliner, went into service with Air France.
- 1689 – The Act of Toleration became law, granting freedom of worship to English nonconformists under certain circumstances, but deliberately excluding Catholics.
- 1873 – Patrick Francis Healy (pictured) became the president of Georgetown University; he was posthumously regarded as the first black president of a predominantly white university in the United States.
- 1913 – Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia married Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, one of the last great social events of European royalty before World War I began fourteen months later.
- 1941 – Second World War: The German battleship Bismarck sank the British battlecruiser Hood at the Battle of the Denmark Strait.
- 1991 – The Israel Defense Forces began Operation Solomon, a covert operation to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
- 1644 – Ming–Qing transition: Ming general Wu Sangui allowed the invading Manchu to pass through the Great Wall of China (pictured), allowing them to capture Beijing.
- 1816 – The English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge published one of his most famous poems, Kubla Khan.
- 1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore premiered at the Opera Comique in London.
- 1961 – In an address to Congress, U.S. president John F. Kennedy announced his support for the Apollo program, with "the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth".
- 2011 – The final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated daytime talk show in U.S. television history, was broadcast.
- 946 – King Edmund I of England was murdered at Pucklechurch on the feast day of St Augustine.
- 1637 – Pequot War: Allied Puritan and Mohegan forces attacked a fortified Pequot village in the Connecticut Colony, killing between 400 and 700 people.
- 1822 – The deadliest fire in Norwegian history (depicted) occurred at a church in Grue, killing at least 113 people.
- 1967 – The Beatles' eighth studio album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was released.
- 1991 – Shortly after leaving Bangkok, an engine thrust reverser on Lauda Air Flight 004 deployed without being commanded, causing the aircraft to break apart and killing all 223 people on board.
- 1096 – The largest of the Rhineland massacres took place in Mainz, where at least 1,100 Jews were killed by the People's Crusade.
- 1915 – HMS Princess Irene (pictured) exploded and sank off Sheerness, United Kingdom, with the loss of 352 lives.
- 1967 – Australians voted overwhelmingly for the number of Indigenous Australians to be included in population counts for constitutional purposes and for the federal government to make laws for their benefit.
- 2001 – Members of the Islamist separatist group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped 20 tourists in Palawan, Philippines, triggering a hostage crisis that lasted over a year.
- 621 – Tang forces led by Li Shimin defeated and captured Dou Jiande at the Battle of Hulao in the civil war that followed the collapse of the Sui dynasty.
- 1644 – English Civil War: Royalist troops stormed and captured the Parliamentarian stronghold of Bolton, leading to a massacre of defenders and local residents.
- |1905 – Japanese forces led by Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō destroyed the Russian Baltic Fleet in the Battle of Tsushima, the decisive naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War.
- 1937 – The rise of Neville Chamberlain culminated with his accession as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- 1999 – After 21 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci's mural painting The Last Supper (pictured), in Milan, Italy, was returned to display.
- 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.