Friday, May 31

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 May, 2013, 8:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 May, 2013, 8:15am


Today is Friday, May 31, the 151st day of 2013. There are 214 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1043 - Lady Godiva rides naked through the market square in Coventry, England.

1520 - After being a hostage in Denmark, young nobleman Gustav Vasa slips back into Sweden to start a rebellion against the Danes that will establish Swedish independence.

1790 - The U.S. copyright law is enacted.

1884 - Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applies for a patent for flaked cereal.

1889 - Floods at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, kills more than 2,000.

1899 - George Whitehouse, a British engineer, decides to build a workshop for the Uganda Railway in a swamp where Kenya's capital, Nairobi, later grows.

1902 - Peace of Vereeniging ends Boer War, in which British casualties numbered 5,774 killed and 16,000 deaths from disease, against 4,000 Boers killed in action.

1910 - The Transvaal and the Orange Free State are united with the Cape Colony to form the self-governing Union of South Africa under the British crown.

1911 - Gen. Porfirio Diaz goes into exile in France, ending 34 years as strongman president of Mexico.

1916 - The British and German fleets meet in the world's largest naval battle, a largely inconclusive one off Jutland, Denmark. The German fleet stays in port for the rest of World War I.

1931 - Oil is found in Bahrain, the first petroleum discovery in the Arab world.

1937 - The German fleet bombards Almeria, Spain, in reprisal for Loyalist air attacks on its battleship Deutschland.

1961 - South Africa becomes independent republic outside British Commonwealth.

1962 - Adolf Eichmann, World War II Nazi Gestapo chief, is executed by hanging after Israeli court rejects appeal.

1966 - Court in the Congo sentences former Premier Evariste Kimba and three others to death on charges of plotting to overthrow President Joseph Mobutu.

1970 - Earthquake hits Peru, leaving more than 66,000 dead, 20,000 missing and 200,000 injured.

1973 - U.S. Senate votes to cut off all funds for U.S. bombing operations in Cambodia.

1976 - Indonesia completes takeover of East Timor.

1977 - The trans-Alaska oil pipeline is completed after three years of work.

1990 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in the United States for summit talks with U.S. President George Bush.

1991 - Angolan peace accords are signed in Lisbon, Portugal, ending a 16-year civil war.

1992 - Rival political and ethnic groups riot in Rwanda, killing at least five people ahead of peace talks.

1993 - Suspected Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia ambush a U.N. convoy, killing one peacekeeper and wounding five in an escalation of attacks.

1995 - Benjamin Netanyahu is declared the winner over Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Israeli election.

1996 - An ethnic Croat who fought in the Bosnian Serb forces becomes the first person to be convicted by the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. He is later sentenced to 10 years in prison for his part in the execution of Muslims in Srebrenica.

2000 - Hong Kong closes its last Vietnamese refugee camp, ending the quarter-century boat people saga in the territory and leaving about 100 people homeless.

2003 - Chinese diplomats carry 18 Tibetan refugees back across the border from Katmandu, Nepal's capital, in the first forced repatriation in over 10 years.

2004 - A bomb rips through a Shiite Muslim mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 16 people and wounding 38 others.

2005 - The fallen oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is sentenced to nine years in prison, ending the biggest case in post-Soviet Russia. The year-long trial spurred accusations that it was linked to Khodorkovsky's opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

2006 - The United States and Vietnam sign a trade pact that removes one of the last major hurdles in Hanoi's bid to join the World Trade Organization.

2007 - About 1,000 die-hard supporters of Thailand's ousted prime minister demonstrate against a stunning court ruling May 30 that banned his party and barred its entire leadership from politics for five years.

2008 - Space shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven blast into orbit, carrying a giant Japanese lab addition to the international space station along with a toilet pump.

2009 - The world's most powerful laser, created to help keep tabs on the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile while also studying the heavens, is unveiled.

2010 - Israeli commandos rappel down to an aid flotilla sailing to thwart a Gaza blockade, clashing with pro-Palestinian activists on the lead ship in a botched raid that left at least nine passengers dead.

2011 - Former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic is placed in a U.N. detention unit to await trial on genocide charges, 16 years after he was indicted in the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the worst massacre of civilians in Europe since World War II.

2012 -- The number of Afghan civilians killed drops 36 percent so far this year compared with last, the U.N. says, the first time the death toll has declined since the U.N. started keeping track.

Today's Birthdays:

Walt Whitman, U.S. writer (1819-1892); Prince Rainier of Monaco (1923-2005); Clint Eastwood, U.S. actor/director (1930--); Sharon Gless, U.S. actress (1943--); Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German author/filmmaker (1945-1982); Tom Berenger, U.S. actor (1950--); Brooke Shields, U.S. actress (1965--); Colin Farrell, Irish actor (1976--).

Thought For Today:

Love is enough, though the world be awaning — William Morris, English poet and artist (1834-1896).