May 30th in History

This day in history

May 30 is the 150th day of the year (151st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 215 days remaining until the end of the year.



In AD 70,  Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.

In 1381,  Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.

In 1416,  The Council of Constance, called by Emperor Sigismund, a supporter of Antipope John XXIII, burns Jerome of Prague following a trial for heresy.

In 1431,  Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc, nicknamed “The Maid of Orléans” , is considered a heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle, a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan said she received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted in only nine days. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII’s coronation at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory.

On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction which was allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English, and then put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age.

Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France, along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Remi, St. Petronilla, St. Radegund and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Joan of Arc has been a popular figure in literature, painting, sculpture, and other cultural works since the time of her death, and many famous writers, filmmakers and composers have created works about her. Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc have continued in films, theatre, television, video games, music, and performances to this day.

In 1434,  Hussite Wars: Battle of Lipany: Effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.

In 1498, Christopher Columbus set sail with six ships from Sanlucar in Spain on his third voyage of exploration to discover the South Americas.

In 1510,  During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, Ming dynasty rebel leader Zhu Zhifan is defeated by commander Qiu Yue, ending the Prince of Anhua rebellion.

In 1536,  King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.

In 1539,  In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.

In 1574,  Henry III becomes King of France.

In 1588,  The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

Marlowe-Portrait-1585.jpgIn 1593, Christopher Marlowe, English playwright who heavily influenced Shakespeare and wrote “Tamburlaine the Great,” was killed in a fight in a London tavern. Marlowe’s plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching protagonists. A warrant was issued for Marlowe’s arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason was given for it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain “vile heretical conceipts”. On 20 May he was brought to the court to attend upon the Privy Council for questioning. There is no record of their having met that day, however, and he was commanded to attend upon them each day thereafter until “licensed to the contrary.” Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether the stabbing was connected to his arrest has never been resolved.

In 1631,  Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.

In 1635,  Thirty Years’ War: The Peace of Prague is signed.

In 1642,  From this date all honors granted by Charles I are retrospectively annulled by Parliament.

Arabella Churchill.jpgIn 1730,  Arabella Churchill, English mistress of James II of England (b. 1648)  and the mother of four of his children (surnamed FitzJames Stuart, that is “son of James Stuart”) dies. She began her relationship with James, then Duke of York, around 1665, while he was still married to Anne Hyde. Arabella became the duchess’s lady-in-waiting in that year, and gave birth to two children during Anne’s lifetime. Churchill was described as a “tall creature, pale-faced, and nothing but skin and bone.” She often displayed the quick wit and lively intelligence which bound James to her through ten years and four children. Some time after 1674, she married Charles Godfrey and had three more children. They lived happily together for 40 years. Godfrey died in 1714, at the age of 67.

Nicolas de Largillière, François-Marie Arouet dit Voltaire (vers 1724-1725) -001.jpgIn 1778,  Voltaire, French philosopher and author (b. 1694) dies. He was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

In 1783, Benjamin Towne of Philadelphia published the first daily newspaper in the U.S., “The Pennsylvania Evening Post“.

In 1806,  Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel after Dickinson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy.

In 1814,  Napoleonic Wars: War of the Sixth Coalition: The Treaty of Paris (1814) is signed returning French borders to their 1792 extent. Napoleon is exiled to Elba.

In 1815,  The East Indiaman Arniston is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, in present-day South Africa, with the loss of 372 lives.

In 1832,  End of the Hambach Festival in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

In 1832,  The Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario is opened.

In 1834,  Joaquim António de Aguiar issues a law extinguishing “all convents, monasteries, colleges, hospices and any other houses of the regular religious orders” in Portugal, earning him the nickname of “The Friar-Killer”.

In 1842,  John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.

In 1845,  The Fatel Razack lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first East Indians to the country.

In 1848, Who wants to be a multi-millionaire? Mexico apparently did as under a treaty signed in February 1848 and ratified on this day by Mexico, the United States gained possession the territories of New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. In exchange, Mexico received a payment of 15 million dollars.

In 1854,  The Kansas–Nebraska Act becomes law establishing the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

In 1858, Hudson’s Bay Co rights to Vancouver Island revoked.

In 1862, Battle of Booneville MS – captured. Gen Beauregard evacuates Corinth, Miss.

In 1868,  Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day“) is observed in the United States for the first time (by “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the RepublicJohn A. Logan‘s proclamation on May 5).

In 1876,  Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz is deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murad V.

In 1883, In New York City, a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.

In 1899,  Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.

In 1909, the National Conference on the Negro convenes, leading to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In 1911,  At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.

In 1912,  Wilbur Wright, American pilot and businessman, co-founded the Wright Company (b. 1867) dies. Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. From 1905 to 1907, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers’ fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving “the flying problem”. This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines. Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before. Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine’s surfaces.

In 1913,  First Balkan War: The Treaty of London, is signed ending the war. Albania becomes an independent nation.

In 1914,  The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.

In 1917,  Alexander I becomes king of Greece.

In 1920, Joan d’Arc Day is proclaimed.

In 1922,  The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. by Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

In 1925,  May Thirtieth Movement: Shanghai Municipal Police Force shoot and kill 13 protesting workers.

In 1932,  The National Theatre of Greece is founded.

In 1937,  Memorial Day massacre: Chicago police shoot and kill ten labor demonstrators.

In 1941,  World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the Nazi swastika.

In 1942,  World War II: One thousand British bombers launch a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.

In 1948,  A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon, within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.

Dooley-Wilson Casablanca.jpgIn 1953,  Dooley Wilson, American actor and singer (b. 1886) dies. He is buried at the Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was an American actor and singer, who is best remembered as the piano-player and singer Sam who sings “As Time Goes By” at the request of Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) in Casablanca (1942). Wilson was a drummer and singer who led his own band in the 1920s, touring nightclubs in London and Paris. In the 1930s he took up acting, playing supporting roles onstage on Broadway and in a series of modest films. His role in Casablanca was by far his most prominent, but his other films included My Favorite Blonde (1942) with Bob Hope, Stormy Weather (1943) with Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers, and the western Passage West (1951).

In 1958,  Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1959,  The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.

In 1961,  The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

In 1963,  A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam‘s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.

In 1965, Vivian Malone became the first black American to graduate from the University of Alabama.

In 1966,  The former Congolese Prime Minister, Évariste Kimba, and several other politicians are publicly executed in Kinshasa on the orders of President Joseph Mobutu.

In 1966,  Launch of Surveyor 1, the first US spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body.

In 1967,  The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.

In 1968,  Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.

In 1971,  Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.

In 1972,  The Angry Brigade goes on trial over a series of 25 bombings throughout the United Kingdom.

In 1972,  In Tel Aviv, Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.

In 1974,  The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.

In 1979,  Percom Data Company Inc released Micro/DOS for Radio Shack’s TRS-80.

In 1981, The president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.

In 1982, Spain became NATO’s 16th member, the first country to enter the Western alliance since West Germany in 1955.

In 1983, Leaders of seven industrialized democracies, including President Reagan, ended a two-day summit at Williamsburg, Virginia pledging to seek lower inflation and interest rates while limiting government spending.

In 1987, Soviet Defense Minister Sergei L. Sokolov and the chief of Soviet air defenses were fired, two days after West German pilot Mathias Rust entered Soviet airspace in a small plane and flew all the way to Moscow’s Red Square.

In 1988, On the second day of the Moscow summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, giving a toast at a state dinner, called for closer contacts with Americans, adding, “This should be done without interfering with domestic affairs, without sermonizing or imposing one’s views and ways.”

In 1989,  Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracystatue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.

In 1991, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors can be sued for the legal advice they give police and can be forced to pay damages when that advice leads to someone’s rights being violated.

In 1992,  President Bush ordered the seizure of Yugoslav government assets in the United States after the United Nations imposed sanctions in an effort to force Yugoslavia to observe a cease-fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 1996, The House called off a contempt-of-Congress vote after President Clinton’s aides turned over 1,000 pages of papers and a long-sought list of documents in the travel office firings.

In 1997, Child molester Jesse K. Timmendequas (tih-MEHN’-deh-kwahs) was convicted in Trenton, New Jersey, of raping and strangling a seven-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka, whose 1994 murder inspired “Megan’s Law,” requiring that communities be notified when sex offenders move in. (Timmendequas was later sentenced to death.)

In 1998,  A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits northern Afghanistan, killing up to 5,000.

In 1998,  Nuclear Testing: Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt.

In 2003,  Depayin massacre: At least 70 people associated with the National League for Democracy are killed by government-sponsored mob in Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi fled the scene, but is arrested soon afterwards.

In 2005,  American student Natalee Holloway disappears while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba, and caused a media sensation in the United States.

In 2012,  Former Liberian president, Charles Taylor, is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

In 2013,  Nigeria passes a law banning same-sex marriage.

In 2014, SpaceX founder Elon Musk unveiled the re-useable Dragon V2 spaceship late Thursday. The company is hoping the craft, which can land anywhere “with the accuracy of a helicopter,” will beat out competitors from Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corp to become the first private spaceship to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA has been without a U.S.-based spacecraft to get people to and from the orbiting lab since the shuttle fleet was retired in 2011. [New Scientist]

In 2015, Former New York governor George Pataki, a moderate Republican, announced on Thursday that he would run for the White House in 2016. Pataki adds one more long-shot candidacy to an already crowded field, with more contenders expected to join the race soon. Pataki served for three terms, but has not held office since 2006. Lacking national name recognition, he polls behind a dozen GOP rivals. Announcing his candidacy with a swipe at Democrat Hillary Clinton for her high speaking fees. “She speaks for the middle class?” he said. [Reuters]

In 2015, Beau Biden, who followed his father, Vice President Joe Biden, into politics and was twice elected attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday of brain cancer less than two years after he was diagnosed. Beau Biden was 46.


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