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May 31, 2006

On This Day

May 31, 1790

U.S. Copywrite law was enacted.

May 31, 1809

May 31, Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died in Vienna, Austria on his 77th birthday. When Napoleon’s armies marched into Vienna, the commanding general posted guards in front of Haydn’s house to protect Haydn from trouble, and a young officer was sent to sing for the old man.

May 31, 1868

The 1st Memorial Day parade was held in Ironton, Ohio.

May 31, 1889

A damn across a tributary of the Little Conemaugh River collapsed under pressure from the rain-swollen Lake Conemaugh. Water slammed into Johnstown, Pa., 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and killed 2,209 people in a flood and related fire.

May 31, 1900

U.S. troops arrived in Peking to help put down the Boxer Rebellion.

May 31, 1902

The Boer War ends.

May 31, 1909

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its first conference at the United Charities Building in NYC.

May 31, 1916

The Battle Of Jutland

24 Battleships, 5 Battle Cruisers, 11 Light Cruisers and 63 Destroyers of the German fleet faced off against 28 Battleships, nine Battle Cruisers, 34 Light Cruisers and 80 Destroyers of the British fleet.

Just before four o’clock on the afternoon of May 31, 1916, a British naval force commanded by Vice Admiral David Beatty confronts a squadron of German ships, led by Admiral Franz von Hipper, some 75 miles off the Danish coast. The two squadrons opened fire on each other simultaneously, beginning the opening phase of the greatest naval battle of World War I, the Battle of Jutland.

The Battle of Jutland—or the Battle of the Skagerrak, as it was known to the Germans—engaged a total of 100,000 men aboard 250 ships over the course of 72 hours. The Germans, giddy from the glory of Scheer’s brilliant escape, claimed it as a victory for their High Seas Fleet. At first the British press agreed, but the truth was not so clear-cut. The German navy lost 11 ships, including a battleship and a battle cruiser, and suffered 3,058 casualties; the British sustained heavier losses, with 14 ships sunk, including three battle cruisers, and 6,784 casualties. Ten more German ships had suffered heavy damage, however, and by June 2, 1916, only 10 ships that had been involved in the battle were ready to leave port again (Jellicoe, on the other hand, could have put 23 to sea). On July 4, 1916, Scheer reported to the German high command that further fleet action was not an option, and that submarine warfare was Germany’s best hope for victory at sea.

May 31, 1921

A major race riot broke out in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, the black section of town, was burned. In 1997 Jewell Parker Rhodes wrote the novel "Magic City" based on this event. As many as 10,000 white men and boys attacked the black community and 35 blocks of the black business district were burned with participation by police officers and a local unit of the National Guard. Some 200-300 people were believed to have been killed. In 2000 the Tulsa Race Riot Commission recommended that reparations be paid to survivors of the riots. In 2001 a final state commission recommended that reparations be paid to survivors and their descendants.

May 31, 1940

General Bernard Montgomery left Dunkirk.

Winston Churchill flew to Paris.

May 31, 1955

Supreme Court ordered that states must end racial segregation "with all deliberate speed."

May 31, 1962

Adolf Eichman, the Architect of the Holocoust was hanged in Tel Aviv, Isreal.

In January 1942, Eichmann met with top Nazi officials at the Wansee Conference near Berlin for the purpose of planning a "final solution of the Jewish question," as Nazi leader Hermann Goering put it. The Nazis decided to exterminate Europe's Jewish population. Eichmann was appointed to coordinate the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to the Nazi death camps, where Jews were gassed or worked to death. He carried this duty out with horrifying efficiency, and between three to four million Jews perished in the extermination camps before the end of World War II. Close to two million were executed elsewhere.

May 31, 1982

Jack Dempsey (86), former heavyweight boxing champ, actor, died.

May 31, 1988, 1990, 1994

Three U.S. Presidents in three different years, take significant steps to end the Cold War.

Ronald Reagan in 1988

On the third day of the Moscow superpower summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said maybe it was "time to bang our fists on the table" to complete work on a strategic arms treaty. President Reagan responded: "I'll do anything that works." Reagan received a standing ovation from students at Moscow Univ. following a short speech with questions and answers.

George H.W. Bush in 1990

President Bush and his wife, Barbara, welcomed Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in a ceremony on South Lawn of the White House. The two leaders and their aides then held talks on German reunification.

William Jefferson Clintion in 1994

President Bill Clinton pledged continued cooperation with Russia in a “New World Order,” declaring that the U.S. would no longer point nuclear missiles at Russia, ending the antagonism and fear of “mutually assured destruction” that characterized the half-century-long Cold War between the two superpowers.

May 31, 1995

President Clinton declared he was ready to permit the temporary use of American ground forces in Bosnia to help UN peacekeepers move to safer positions if necessary.

May 31, 1996

Timothy Leary (75) died of prostate cancer.

Leary was a big promoter of LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide. He began using the drug while at Harvard with Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass. He was arrested in 1969 for marijuana possession and sentenced to 10 years, but escaped from captivity. In 1973 he was caught in Afghanistan and returned to prison from which he was paroled in 1976.

May 31, 1997

Rosie Will Monroe (76), WW II icon (Rosie the riveter), died.

May 31, 1999

During a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton asked Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, calling it "a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of what we believe in."

NATO missiles killed at least 26 people in separate attacks. In Novi Pazar an apartment block was struck and 10 people were killed. At least 16 people were killed on the outskirts of Surdulica, when missiles hit a hospital and retirement complex.

May 31, 2000

Clinton proposed to EU allies in Portugal to share key technology on a US missile defense program to calm fears of a nuclear arms race that would leave Europe vulnerable.

Tito Puente, Latin jazz bandleader, died in New York at age 77. He recorded some 119 albums from 1949 to 2000.

May 31, 2001

Microsoft released its new Office XP for Windows software.

In Afghanistan the Taliban barred female foreign-aid workers from driving. The virtue ministry said the activity is harmful for society.

May 31, 2002

A three-judge federal panel in Philadelphia ruled that public libraries cannot be forced to install software that blocks sexually explicit Web sites.

The US State Dept. urged some 60,000 Americans in India to leave over concerns of war between India and Pakistan.

Bulgaria signed an agreement with the US to destroy its Cold War-era missiles. The US planned to pay the costs of destruction.

In Denmark the Parliament voted to stiffen rules on immigration.

May 31, 2003

President Bush visited the site of the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland as he challenged allies to overcome their bitterness and mistrust over the Iraq war and unite in the struggle against terrorism.

American forces arrested 15 members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party as they met at a police college in Baghdad.

Air France planned to ground its last 5 Concorde airplanes. The Air France Concorde, the world's fastest and most luxurious passenger jet, flew from New York to Paris for the last time.

May 31, 2004

In Austria a catamaran filled 27 people overturned on Hinterbruehl Grotto, Europe's largest underground lake, drowning 5 people after the boat's railings formed a cage 5 feet down on the lake floor.

Newbridge Capital, an American private equity firm, became the 1st foreign financial to gain control of a Chinese bank with an 18% stake in Shenzhen Development Bank and majority control of the board.

May 31, 2005

Human Events, a conservative weekly, published a list of what 15 conservative scholars considered to be the 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th century. Here

NATO troops took command of security and reconstruction efforts in western Afghanistan from US forces under a plan that will likely soon put NATO forces into insurgent hot spots.

China said reporter Ching Cheong of The Straits Times, Singapore's main English-language newspaper, has admitted to spying for a foreign intelligence agency. Cheong’s wife said he was arrested April 22 after a source gave him documents about purged former Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who died this year.

French President Jacques Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, a loyalist who was France's voice against the Iraq war, as prime minister.

Pakistan’s Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Senior al-Qaida terrorist suspect Abu Farraj al-Libbi, arrested on May 2, will be sent to the US for prosecution. He is believed to be behind two assassination attempts against Musharraf and could have received the death penalty here.

- Joatmoaf -

May 31, 2006 at 12:01 AM | Permalink


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love the list of books.

Posted by: mlah at Jun 1, 2006 12:15:56 AM