May 31 June 1, 1916. The largest naval battle of WWI involving 250 ships, including battleships took place in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. The combatants were Britain’s Grand Fleet and Germany’s High Seas Fleet. The outcome was inconclusive, but the cost was great: 8,600 lives were lost and 25 ships sunk.
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On 31 May 1790, President George Washington signed the first US copyright law. It gave protection for 14 years to books written by US citizens. In 1891 the law was extended to cover books by foreign authors as well.
Image: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
May 31, 1889. Heavy rains caused the Connemaugh River Dam to burst. At nearby Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the resulting flood killed more than 2,300 people and destroyed the homes of thousands more. Nearly 800 unidentified drowning victims were buried in a common grave at Johnstowns Grandview Cemetery. So devastating was the flood and so widespread the sorrow for its victims that Johnstown Flood entered the language as a phrase to describe a disastrous event. The valley city of Johnstown, in the Allegheny Mountains, has been damaged repeatedly by floods. Floods in 1936 (25 deaths) and 1977 (85 deaths) were the next most destructive.
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May 31, 1990. Seinfeldt, “The show about nothing,” premiered on NBC to wide acclaim. The show revolved around the everyday lives of its four main leads, whose story lines intertwined for some surprising plot twists. Some of the programs concerned relationships, valet parking, annoying dogs and waiting for Chinese food. The cast featured Jerry Seinfeld as himself; Michael Richards as his neighbor, Cosmo Kramer; Julia Louis-Dreyfusas his ex-girlfriend, Elaine Benes; and Jason Alexander as his best friend, George Costanza. The series ended with the May 14, 1998, episode.
May 31, 1819. Poet and journalist, born at West Hills, Long Island, NY. Whitmans best-known work, Leaves of Grass (1855), is a classic of American poetry. His poems celebrated all of modern life, includingsubjects that were considered taboo at the time. Died Mar 26, 1892, at Camden, NJ.
Hurricane season in the US is June 1st through October 31st each year. Are you prepared in case of a hurricane?
June 1, 1801. Mormon church leader born at Whittingham, VT. Known as the American Moses, having led thousands of religious followers across 1,000 miles of wilderness to settle more than 300 towns in the West. He died at Salt Lake City, UT, Aug 29, 1877, and was survived by 17 wives and 47 children. Utah observes, as a state holiday, the anniversary of his entrance into the Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847.
On the first day of each month, the genealogy community is urged to back up their genealogy data and all computer data.
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June 1, 1974. The June issue of the journal Emergency Medicinepublished an article by Dr. Henry Heimlich outlining a better method for aiding choking victims. Instead of the prevailing method of backslaps (whichmerely pushed foreign objects farther into the airways), Dr. Heimlich advocated subdiaphragmatic pressure to force objects out. Three months later, the method was dubbed the Heimlich Maneuver by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
LGBT Pride Month is observed in June; on June 28, 1969, the clientele of a gay bar at New York City rioted after the club was raided bythe police.
June 1, 1926. American actress and sex symbol of the 50s, born at Los Angeles as Norma Jean Mortensen or Baker. She had an unstable childhood in a series of orphanages and foster homes. Her film career came to epitomize Hollywood glamour. In 1954 she wed New York Yankee legend Jolting Joe DiMaggio, but the marriage didnt last. Monroe remained fragile andinsecure, tormented by the pressures of Hollywood life. Her death from a drug overdose Aug 5, 1962, at Los Angeles, CA, shocked the world. Amongher films: The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Misfits.
On June 1, 1638, the first recorded and described earthquake in North America took place at 2:00 pm local time on June 1, 1638.
The comic book Superman debuted on June 1, 1938 in Action Comics #1.
On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was coronated at Westminster Abbey.
June 2, 1944. Composer and conductor of film and Broadway scores, born at New York, NY. A child prodigy accepted to Julliard at age seven, Hamlisch composed his first hit song before he turned 21. Famous film scores include The Sting (1973) and The Way We Were (1973), and his best-known Broadway work includes A Chorus Line (1975) and Theyre Playing Our Song (1979). Winner of multiple Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards, as well as the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Chorus Line, he died at Los Angeles, CA, Aug 6, 2012.
June 2, 1692. As the village of Salem was gripped by terror ofwitches, Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor Sir William Phips ordered a special court created on May 27, 1692, to expedite judgment of the more than 150 people accused of witchcraft. Unpopular resident Bridget Bishop, originally accused in April, was the first of the jailed brought to trial on June 2. At her April examination her accusersteenaged girls had collapsedin fits as she appeared, but Bishop adamantly denied the charges: I am no witch I know not what a witch is. She was convicted June 2 and hanged June 10.
June 3, 1937. The Duke of Windsor who, as King Edward VIII, had abdicated the British throne on Dec 11, 1936, was married to Mrs Wallis Warfield Simpson of Baltimore, MD, at Monts, France. The couple made their home in France after their marriage and had little contact with the royal family. The Duke died at Paris on May 28, 1972, and was buried near Windsor Castle in England. The Duchess died Apr 24, 1986.
June 3, 1906. The sensation of 1920s Paris, Baker was born into poverty at St. Louis, MO. She began working as a dancer at age 16 and went to Paris in 1925, where her semi-nude danse sauvage became a hit. She was the first American-born woman to be awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor for her Red Cross work during WWII. Baker performed up until her death on Apr 12, 1975, at Paris, France.
Founded in 1938 by the Salvation Army for fundraising during the Great Depression, National Donut Day is now an annual tradition. During WWI, doughnuts were served to doughboys by the Salvation Army. Later, symbolic paper donuts were given to charitable contributors. This day now celebrates the doughnut itself. Annually, the first Friday in June.
June 3, 1931. Restaurant entrepreneur, born at Denver, CO. Lauded as the most influential person in the restaurant industry by Nations Restaurant News. Innovator of casual-dining concept of full-service for middle-class customers. Mainstreamed the salad bar. Created Steak & Ale (1966), conceived Bennigans (1978) and grew Chilis from 28 restaurants to 1,000-location chain from 1984 2001 under Brinker International, which also includes Maggianos Little Italy and On the Border Mexican Grill. Initial funder and board member of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, created by wife and named for her sister in 1982. Died June 9, 2009, at Colorado Springs, CO.
June 3 8, 1943. In Los Angeles, CA, simmering racial uneaseexploded as 200 white sailors stormed into East LA and began beating Hispanics in response to an earlier altercation between a few sailors and some street kids. The sailors targeted Zoot Suiters youths outfitted in the defiant, exaggerated suit of their community (long jackets, wide trousers andankle-length watch chains). The rioting grew as police either stood by or arrested the victims. The media, antagonistic to the Hispanic community, spurred on the violence with sensational headlines. Finally, military brass declared Los Angeles off-limits to its personnel and the LA City Council banned zoot suits. There were no deaths, but the injuries and mayhem were such that a special state committee was convened and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her newspaper column that the riots were symptomatic of a problem with deep roots.
June 4 6, 1942. A Japanese task force attempted to capture Midway Island in the Central Pacific, but American bombers from Midway and from two nearby aircraft carriers sent the Japanese into retreat. The Japanese lost four carriers, two large cruisers and three destroyers. Midway wasone of the most decisive naval battles of WWII. Japan never regained its margin in carrier strength, and the Central Pacific was made safe for American troops.
June 411. The public is encouraged to save energy by hanging clothes to dry instead of using their electric dryers. Annually, the week beginning the first Saturday in June, Saturday to Saturday.
June 4, 1989. After almost a month and a half of student demonstrations for democracy, the Chinese government ordered its troops to openfire on the unarmed protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Under the cover of darkness, early June 4, troops opened fire on the assembled crowds and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square crushing many of the students as they lay sleeping in their tents. Although the government claimed that few died in the attack, estimates range from several hundred to several thousand casualties. In the following months thousands of demonstrators were rounded up and jailed.
June 5, 1981. The Centers for Disease Control first described a new illness striking gay men in a newsletter on June 5, 1981. On July 27, 1982, the CDC adopted Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome as the official name for the new disease. The virus that causes AIDS was identified in 1983 and in May 1985 was named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) by the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses. The first person killed bythis disease in the developed world died in 1959. More than 617,000 Americans have died of AIDS. Worldwide, more than 30 million people have died of AIDS. About 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS.