Today in History
May 31

1433 Sigismund is crowned emperor of Rome.
1678 The Godiva procession, commemorating Lady Godiva’s legendary ride while naked, becomes part of the Coventry Fair.
1862 At the Battle of Fair Oaks, Union General George B. McClellan defeats Confederates outside of Richmond.
1879 New York’s Madison Square Garden opens its doors for the first time.
1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania is destroyed by a massive flood.
1900 U.S. troops arrive in Peking to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.
1902 The Boer War ends with the Treaty of Vereeniging.
1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) holds its first conference.
1913 The 17th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for direct election of senators, is ratified.
1915 A German zeppelin makes an air raid on London.
1916 British and German fleets fight in the Battle of Jutland.
1928 The first flight over the Pacific takes off from Oakland.
1941 An armistice is arranged between the British and the Iraqis.
1955 The Supreme Court orders that states must end racial segregation “with all deliberate speed.”
1962 Adolf Eichmann, the former SS commander, is hanged near Tel Aviv, Israel.
1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono record “Give Peace a Chance.”
1974 Israel and Syria sign an agreement on the Golan Heights.
1979 Zimbabwe proclaims its independence.
1988 President Ronald Reagan arrives in Moscow, the first American president to do so in 14 years.
Born on May 31
1469 Manuel I, King of Portugal (1495-1521).
1819 Walt Whitman, American poet.
1894 Fred Allen [John Florence Sullivan], American comedian.
1898 Norman Vincent Peale, American religious leader.
1925 Julian Beck, theater manager.
1930 Clint Eastwood, American film actor and director.

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