• Boer War ends... • Sacco and Vanzetti trial... • Johnstown flood... • 1st idea of an electronic computer... • Netanyahu Israel's PM... • 1ère des 3 Tristes Journées... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Germans conquer Crete... • Attack on sweatshops... • Battle of 7 Pines... • Eichmann hanged... • Friction drive... • Sheet asphalt... • Ford Motor in USSR... • Job loses job... • Walt Whitman is born...
|On a May 31:
2003 Annular eclipse of the sun of 3m37s, visible in Iceland and Greenland.
2002 Pedro Barragán González and five members of his gang are arrested outside Veracruz, Mexico, after a nine-month manhunt. They are among the most vicious of Mexico's many kidnappers for ransom (police being suspected of complicity), often mutilating their victims.
2001 Microsoft holds over 100 lavish parties throughout the US to launch the XP version of its Office software suite.
Netanyahu elected prime minister of Israel
Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu claims victory in Israel's election for prime minister, defeating incumbent Shimon Peres by 0.9%. This is regarded as a setback for the Middle East peace process. Peres, leader of the Labor party, had become prime minister in 1995 after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Jewish extremist.
Netanyahu, who promised to be tough on terrorism and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was at forty-seven the youngest prime minister elected in the country’s fifty-year history. Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, he served in the Israel Defense Forces and during the 1980s was the Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. In 1988, he was elected to the Israeli parliament and served as deputy minister of foreign affairs from 1988 to 1991. In 1993, he became the Likud leader, and in 1996, Israel’s prime minister.
On 18 May 1999, after serving three years as prime minister, a stalled peace process and epidemic political in-fighting within his cabinet led to his electoral defeat by Labor challenger Ehud Barak. During his concession speech that evening, Netanyahu also resigned as Likud party leader.
Attack on garment industry sweatshops
Daytime television queen Kathie Lee Gifford leads the charge against dangerous working conditions in the garment industry. Gifford teams with Labor Secretary Robert Reich at a press conference designed to shed a spotlight on the proliferation of low pay and foul conditions in numerous garment shops.
While Gifford's sudden transformation from chatty talk show host to activist inspired by the discovery that her line of Wal-Mart-based clothing was partially produced in "sweatshops" may have inspired some snickering, Reich attempted to keep the focus on the facts. The Labor Secretary deemed the sweatshops a "national shame" and noted that roughly half of the garment factories in the US not only paid workers sub-minimum wage salaries, but failed to pay for overtime work.
In the wake of the press conference, cynics wondered if either Reich's statistics of Gifford's star power would bring about change. Indeed, some labor officials noted that, despite the recent publicity, it would prove difficult for the nation’s relatively small fleet of inspectors to thoroughly monitor workplace conditions.
|1996 Wired Ventures files for IPO
Wired Ventures, parent company of Wired magazine and several related Web sites, filed plans for an initial public offering; however, the company backed out of the IPO the following August. After a second failed IPO, publishing company Conde Nast bought Wired magazine from the struggling company in 1998. Despite the struggles of its parent company, Wired had done a great deal to popularize the digital revolution.
| 1994 The United States announced it was no longer aiming
long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
Los misiles nucleares en tierra y mar estadounidenses dejan de apuntar a
sus objetivos en la ex URSS.
1993 El poeta Carlos Bousoño, Premio Nacional de las Letras Españolas.
1992 Serbian and Yugoslav parliamentary elections, boycotted by opposition parties, which helps Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia win a majority in both the Serbian and the Yugoslav parliaments. Serbia y Montenegro eligen a los 138 diputados del Parlamento Federal para legitimar así la creación de la Nueva Yugoslavia proclamada el 27 Apr.
1991 Leaders of Angola's two warring factions signed a peace treaty, ending a 16-year-old civil war. Jonás Savimbi y Doss Santos sellan en Lisboa un acuerdo de alto el fuego y fijan la fecha para celebrar las primeras elecciones democráticas en Angola.
1991 US Federal health officials announce a new Medicare fee schedule.
1990 El poeta José Hierro gana el Premio Nacional de las Letras Españolas.
1989 Speaker of the US House of Representatives Jim Wright, suspected of questionable ethics, announces he will resign. (Thomas Foley later succeeds him.)
Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Moscow ends
President Ronald Reagan ends his first trip to Moscow, and his fourth summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on notes of both frustration and triumph. Although there were no breakthroughs or agreements on substantive issues, the "Great Communicator," as Reagan was known in the United States, was a hit with Soviet audiences. The May 1988 summit between Gorbachev and Reagan was billed as a celebratory follow-up to their breakthrough summit of October 1987. At that meeting in Washington, D.C., the two leaders had signed the groundbreaking Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear missiles from Europe. The May meeting, however, got off to a rocky start as Reagan lectured Gorbachev about the need to improve the Soviet Union's human rights record. From that inauspicious start, the summit went downhill and ended with no further progress on arms control. Gorbachev's frustration boiled over as he declared to Reagan, "Maybe now is again a time to bang our fists on the table" in order to hammer out an arms agreement. During his final day in Moscow, Reagan turned away from strictly political issues and spoke before a group of students and Russian intellectuals and then took a walking tour of some old churches. He praised Russian cultural achievements, particularly the nation's great literary tradition and disarmed his audiences with his usual self-effacing humor. The May 1988 summit meeting was a victory of style over substance. Both Reagan and Gorbachev kept up positive fronts in their public statements, but in fact, the meeting had been a great disappointment for both sides. No further progress on arms limitation was made, and Reagan's efforts to push the human rights issue met a frosty response from Gorbachev. The summit indicated that despite the progress made in improving US-Soviet relations in the past years, serious differences still existed.
1974 Israel and Syria sign an agreement concerning Golan Heights Siria e Israel acuerdan retirar fuerzas de los altos del Golán, bajo la mediación de Henry Kissinger.
1955 US Supreme Court orders school integration "with all deliberate speed"
1949 Rotas las relaciones comerciales entre la URSS y Yugoslavia.
1942 II Guerra Mundial. Bombardeo masivo de Canterbury por los alemanes, en represalia del de Colonia por los británicos.
1942 German warplanes bomb Canterbury, England, causing severe damage to the Canterbury Cathedral (seat of Anglicanism), in retaliation for Britain's air assault on Cologne, Germany.
1937 Guerra civil española: El barco Deutschland, atacado tres días antes en aguas de Ibiza por la aviación republicana, bombardea el puerto de Almería. Alemania e Italia se retiran del Comité de no intervención.
1933 Inglaterra logra un armisticio entre China y Japón.
1932 Hindenburg encarga a Von Papen la formación de nuevo Gobierno en Alemania.
Sacco and Vanzetti trial begins. ^top^
The trial resulted from two murders in South Braintree, Massachusetts, on 15 April 1920.
At about 1500 hours that day, Frederick A. Parmenter, paymaster of a shoe factory, and Alessandro Berardelli, his guard, were fired upon and killed by two men armed with pistols. Parmenter and Berardelli were carrying two boxes containing the payroll of the shoe factory of Slater and Morrill, amounting to $15'773.59 (according to one account) from the company's office building to the factory through the main street of South Braintree. The two men normally drove the route accompanied by armed guards, but on this fateful afternoon, they walked the route unarmed and unaccompanied. As the murders were being committed, a car containing several other men drove up to the spot. The murderers threw the two boxes into the car, jumped in, and were driven away. Two days later the car was found abandoned in woods at a distance from the scene of the crime.
Almost four months earlier, at 0730 on 24 December 1919, the paymaster for the L.Q. White Shoe Company of Bridgewater Massachusetts, a driver, and a guard had picked up the company's $30'000 payroll at the Bridgewater Trust Company. The truck was returning to the factory with the money when three men emerged from a car at an intersection and opened fire on the payroll truck. The guard returned fire while the driver swerved around a trolley car and hit a telegraph pole. There were no injuries, and the bandits escaped, but without the money.
In both the Bridgewater and Braintree robberies, eyewitnesses believed the criminals to be Italians. Chief Michael E. Stewart suspected a Mr. Boda, as he was an Italian car owner. On 16 April 1920, Stewart, at the instance of the Department of Justice, was engaged in rounding up Communists, and had been to the house of Mr. Coacci to see why he had failed to appear at a hearing regarding his deportation. He found Coacci packing a trunk and apparently seeming very anxious to leave. At that time, Coacci and the robberies were not connected in Chief Stewart's mind. But, when the tracks of a different car were found near the murderers' car, he surmised that this car was Boda's; and that Coacci, Boda's pal, had assisted him. In the meantime, Chief Stewart continued to work on his theory that whoever called for Boda's car at the garage where it was being repaired would be a suspect in the Braintree crime. On the night of 05 May, Boda and three other Italians did in fact come for the car.
The Italians were Nicola Sacco, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Boda, and Orciani. The car was not available and the Italians left, but the police were notified. Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested on a street car, Boda escaped, and Orciani was arrested the next day.
Chief Stewart sought to show that both robberies were committed by one gang. However, the theory proved to be implausible. Orciani had been at work on the days of both crimes, so he was released. Sacco, employed at a shoe factory in Stoughton, had taken a day off, 15 April. Consequently, while he could not be charged with the Bridgewater crime, he was charged with the Braintree murder. Vanzetti, as a self-employed fish peddler in Plymouth, could not give the same kind of alibi for either day and so he was held for both crimes. Stewart's theory that the crime was committed by these Italian radicals was not shared by the head of the state police, who firmly maintained that it was the work of professionals.
Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested on 05 May 1920, and indicted on 14 September 1920.
On 31 May 1921, they are brought to trial before Judge Webster Thayer of the Massachusetts Superior Court. Part of the jury was specially selected by the sheriff's deputies. The chief counsel for the Italians, Fred H. Moore, was a radical and a professional defender of radicals, greatlly disliked by the judge. Sacco and Vanzetti spoke very broken English and their testimony shows how often they misunderstood the questions put to them. In fact, an interpreter had to be used, and his conduct raised such doubts that the defendants brought their own interpreter to check his questions and answers. The trial lasted nearly seven weeks, and on 14 July 1921, the jury found Sacco and Vanzetti guilty of murder in the first degree.
Socialists and radicals protested the men's innocence. Many people felt that there had been less than a fair trial and that the defendants had been convicted out of prejudice against Italian immigrants and, above all, for their radical, anarchist beliefs rather than for the crime for which they had been tried. All attempts for retrial on the ground of false identification failed. On 18 November 1925, one Celestino Madeiros, then under a sentence for murder, confessed that he had participated in the crime with the Joe Morelli gang.
On this basis, the defense attempted to reopen the case in 1926. But the state Supreme Court refused to upset the verdict, because at that time the trial judge had the final power to reopen on the ground of additional evidence. The two men were sentenced to death on 09 April 1927.
A storm of protest arose with mass meetings throughout the nation. Governor Alvan T. Fuller appointed an independent advisory committee consisting of President A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard University, President Samuel W. Stratton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Robert Grant, a former judge. On 03 August 1927, the governor refused to exercise his power of clemency; his advisory committee agreed with this stand. Demonstrations proceeded in many cities throughout the world, and bombs were set off in New York City and Philadelphia. Sacco and Vanzetti, still maintaining their innocence, were executed 23 August 1927. Upton Sinclair's novel Boston and Maxwell Anderson's play Winterset were written in response to the trial and execution.
Opinion has remained divided on whether Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty as charged or whether they were innocent victims of a prejudiced legal system and a mishandled trial. Some writers have claimed that Sacco was guilty but that Vanzetti was innocent. There is widespread agreement, however, that the two men should have been granted a second trial in view of their trial's significant defects. In 1977 the governor of Massachusetts, Michael S. Dukakis, issued a proclamation stating that Sacco and Vanzetti had not been treated justly and that no stigma should be associated with their names.
| 1919 NC-4 aircraft commanded by AC Read completes first
crossing of Atlantic
1916 During WW I British and German fleets fight Battle of Jutland
1915 An LZ-38 Zeppelin makes an air raid on London
1913 The 17th amendment to the US Constitution (direct election of senators) declared ratified
1910 The Union of South Africa is founded including the Cape of Good Hope colony.
1909 first NAACP conference (United Charities Building, NYC)
1891 Comienza la construcción del ferrocarril Transiberiano.
1879 first electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition
1870 Congress passes first Enforcement Act (rights of blacks)
1864 Combat at Bethesda Church, Virginia
1864 Grant moves his lines towards Cold Harbor
1863 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, continues
1863 Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, continues
1713 Tratado de Utrecht, que pone fin a la Guerra de Sucesión española y por el que Felipe V de Borbón es reconocido Rey de España y ésta pierde sus posesiones en Italia y Holanda.
1678 Tax protester Lady Godiva rides naked through Coventry
1638 Colonial clergyman Thomas Hooker, 51, first arrived at the site of New Haven, CT, having migrated there with his church members who repudiated the autocratic rule of Puritanism in Boston. Hooker (the founder of Connecticut) believed Boston had become corrupt, and that church authority should rest in the people's consent.
1578 Italian archaeologist Antonio Bosio became the first man in modern times to rediscover the Christian catacombs in Rome. Researchers (e.g., Giovanni B. de Rossi) who followed him dubbed Bosio "the Columbus of the Catacombs."
1492 Los Reyes Católicos firman el decreto de expulsión de los judíos de todos sus reinos, en el plazo de cuatro meses.
which occurred on a May 31: ^top^
2002 Three Afghan soldiers, killed by mistake by US Special Forces troops. Two other Afghan soldiers are wounded. According to the US military, a variety of intelligence sources had indicated that a group of Taliban and Qaeda leaders were planning to meet in the evening at a walled compound in Khomar Kalay village, near Gardez in the mountainous region bordering on Pakistan. Before dawn today, about 20 American Special Forces soldiers, accompanied by about 80 Afghan soldiers from the Gardez area, drive up to the compound in trucks and sport utility vehicles. Their plan was to surround the compound and apprehend the suspects as they departed. But as the vehicles approached, men started running from the compound carrying weapons, including AK-47 rifles and at least one rocket-propelled grenade launcher. One group of those armed men took what the US soldiers thought were flanking positions behind a wall, then appeared to aim a grenade launcher at the US convoy. At that point, the US commander ordered his men to open fire. The shooting was over within minutes, without any of the attackers being hurt. Seventeen others inside the compound laid down their weapons. The Afghan victims were loyal to the interim government of Hamid Karzai, recognized by the US, and appeared to have come from nearby Logar Province.
2001 Ahmed Salah Abu el-Hilu, 17, Palestinian, in a clash with Israeli forces near Ramallah.
2001 Zvi Shelef, 63, of massive head wounds after being shot at on a northern West Bank road near Baka a-Sharkia, north of Tul Karm, and close to the Green Line.. He was a resident of the Jewish enclave settlement. Mevo Dotan.
1996 The four Saudi men accused of the 13 November 1995 bombing of the Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh are beheaded in Riyadh's main square. Before their execution, they are coerced by the Saudi's into a public confession. In the confession, they claim to have read bin Laden communiqués.
1996 Timothy Leary, with the last words: Why not? Why not? Why not?. Born on 22 October 1920, Leary was a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, a dabbler in Eastern mysticism, a fugitive and convict, a stand-up comedian and actor, a writer and a software designer and an exponent of cybernetics. Most of all, he was a publicist for psychedelic experience, repeating turn on, tune in, drop out to advertise the wonders of LSD. Some of his books: High Priest (1968), Politics of Ecstasy (1968), an autobiography Flashback (1983), Chaos and Cyberculture (1994)
1991 Angus Wilson, escritor británico.
1982 Juan Antonio Zunzunegui, novelista español.
1976 Jacques Monod, médico, profesor y científico francés, P. Nobel de Medicina y Fisiología en 1965.
1970 Some 60'000 after at 03:23 PM, when Yungay, Peru, is leveled by earthquake.
1966 Monjes budistas se queman en Saigón como protesta contra la política del Gobierno militar de Vietnam del Sur.
1949 Fernando de los Ríos Urruti, político español.
1935 Quake kills 50'000 in Quetta Pakistan Un terremoto destruye la ciudad de Quetta (Pakistán) y mueren más de 56'000 personas.
1931 Eugène Maurice Pierre Cosserat, French astronomer and mathematician born on 04 March 1866. He studied the deformation of surfaces, which led him to a theory of elasticity.
1916 Egisto Lanceretto, Italian artist born on 21 August 1848.
1910 Elizabeth Blackwell, 89, first woman physician
1907 Francesco Siacci, Italian major general and mathematician born on 20 April 1839.
1906 Treinta personas, por una bomba arrojada en la calle Mayor de Madrid contra la comitiva de la boda del Rey Alfonso XIII con la princesa Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg. Los Reyes resultan ilesos.
1837 Nicolas André Monsiaux, French artist born in 1754.
1832 Évariste Galois, from wounds suffered the previous day in a duel with Perscheux d'Herbinville. Galois was a French mathematician born on 25 October 1811. Galois produced a method of determining when a general equation could be solved by radicals, and in the process outlined the group theory now called Galois theory (but probably not all in the night before the duel).
1809 Franz Josef Haydn composer, in Wien (Vienna) Austria
1770 Nicolas André Monsiau, French painter and illustrator born in 1754. MORE ON MONSIAU AT ART 4 MAY — Louis XVI donnant ses instructions au capitaine de vaisseau La Pérouse pour son voyage d'exploration autour du monde _ zoomable detail — Odysseus ordering the women to remove the bodies of the suitors — Consulta de la République cisalpine réunie en comices à Lyon pour décerner la présidence au Premier Consul, le 26 janvier 1802
1740 Frederick-William I king of Prussia (1713-1740)
1594 Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto il Furioso, great Venetian Mannerist painter born in 1518. MORE ON TINTORETTO AT ART 4 MAY LINKS Saint George and the Dragon Baptism of Jesus Last Supper Christ Before Pilate Milky Way Vulcan Surprising Venus and Mars Young Man from the Renialme Family Madonna and Child Christ at the Pool of Bethesda Creation of the Animals Adam and Eve The Birth of St. John the Baptist _ detail The Adoration by the Shepherds Baptism of Christ (detail) Marriage at Cana The Last Supper Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples Christ before Pilate _ detail The Ascent to Calvary Descent from the Cross (Pietà) Entombment St. Mark St. Mark Saving a Saracen from Shipwreck The Miracle of St Mark Freeing the Slave The Stealing of the Corpse of St Mark St Jerome and St Andrew St Nicholas St Louis, St George and the Princess The Maundy (Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples) _ detail Portrait of a Gentleman in a Fur St. George and the Dragon a different St. George and the Dragon Drawing of a corpse for St George and the Dragon Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples The Deliverance of Arsinoe Suzanna at Her Bath The Baptism of Christ The Origin of the Milky Way Leda and the Swan The Woman Who Discovers the Bosom Christ at the Sea of Galilee Christ in the House of Martha and Mary Vincenzo Morosini Self~portrait Venus, Vulcan, and Mars (detail)
90'000'000 BC (approximately, they didn't have calendars back then, but they had cameras >): Paralititan Stromeri, of unknown causes [it overdosed on an ancient psychodelic mushroom, according to one theory, which I have just concocted out of thin air], in a swamp that would become Egypt's Bahariya Oasis Its carcass is devoured by carnivorous dinosaurs and some of its bones remain there while the region changes to desert and on 31 May 2001 it is announced that they have been discovered in 2000 by University of Pennsylvania graduate student Joshua B. Smith, who gives the species its name meaning paralytic titan [just kidding...it really means tidal giant] and estimates that it weighed 70 tons and was nearly 30 meters long. Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach was a German geologist who, in 1935, uncovered a wealth of Late Cretinaceous ... er... make that Cretaceous fossils at the site, including four entirely new dinosaur species, but the fossils were destroyed during an Allied bombing of Munich during World War II [which suggests a new theory on the disapperance of the dinosaurs: they were bombed out of existence by cretinous creatures that eventually evolved into Bin Laden].
| Births which
occurred on a May 31:
1977 The trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making, is completed.
1957 Sidi Mohamed Uld Bubacar, primer ministro de Mauritania.
1940 Alfonso Guerra González, político socialista español.
1934 Pablo Castellano, abogado y político español.
1926 John G. Kemeny, Jewish-Hungarian-born US mathematician and philosopher who died on 26 December 1992. Co-inventor, with Thomas Eugene Kurtz [1928~], of the BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) computer language, whose first program was run at 02:00 on 04 May 1964 at Dartmouth College.
1923 Rainier-Louis-Henri-Maxence-Bertrand de Grimaldi, Rainier III 31st hereditary ruler of the principality of Monaco from 05 May 1949. [no relation to Mount Rainier, which George Vancouver sighted on 08 May 1792 and named for fellow navigator Peter Rainier.]
1912 Henry 'Scoop' Jackson (US Senator from Washington)
1911 Maurice Allais, economista e ingeniero de Minas francés, P. Nobel de Economía en 1988.
1910 Luis Rosales, poeta español.
1892 Michel Kikoine, French artist who died on 04 November 1968.
1860 Walter Richard Sickert, British British Post-Impressionist Camden Town Group painter, printmaker, teacher, and writer of German birth, who died on 22 January 1942. MORE ON SICKERT AT ART 4 MAY LINKS — Brighton Pierrots — Les Vénitiennes — St Mark's, Venice (Pax Tibi Marce Evangelista Meus)
1857 Pius XI 259th pope (1922-1939)
1853 Eugène-Alexis Girardet, French artist who died on 05 May 1907.
1827 Nicolaas Riegen, Dutch artist who died on 27 November 1889.
1821 Henriette Ronner-Knip, Dutch artist who died on 02 March 1909.
1760 George Garrard, British artist who died on 08 October 1826.
1733 Ludwig Tieck, escritor alemán.
1684 Georg Engelhardt Schröder, German artist who died on 17 May 1750.
1622 Jan Abrahamszoon Beerstraten, Flemish landscape painter and printmaker who died on 01 July 1666. MORE ON BEERSTRATEN AT ART 4 MAY LINKS Village of Nieukoop in Winter with Child Funeral — Winter Landscape
1469 Manuel I king of Portugal (1495-1521) during era of exploration