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This Day - EVERY DAY - in History (a 366-Item Geeklist, Eventually)
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I'm a sucker for "this day in history" things. Not just the big events, but the little ones, too, like the invention of the whatchamacallit, or the birth of Prince Skepticus of Erewhon.

So I had the probably-delusional idea that a geeklist, to proceed day-by-day, eventually hitting 366 items (too bad 2011 isn't a leap-year; but in order not to ignore 1/1461st of history, I'll cover Feb 29, too), might be of interest to... well, at least to ME.

So here goes. I have gone back to January 1 since the year is still young, to give this list a running start. I won't necessarily add every day on the actual day, but I won't get AHEAD of the calendar, I can promise you that! I disabled adding items, but allowed comments, so if somebody has an interesting tidbit about a given date, it can be added as a comment.

No doubt this list won't remain at the top of Geeklist hotness for an entire year, so you should subscribe if you want to know how it comes out.

Note #1: If I go back to a past entry to add something I missed the first time, additions will be italicized.

Note #2: The historical event linked to the game will be in bold...

Note #3: Sometimes, I will shorten things a little bit, rather than type a long dissertation about a particular event.

Navigating this geeklist:

Page 1 January 1st
Page 2 January 26th
Page 3 February 20th
Page 4 March 16th
Page 5 April 10th
Page 6 May 5th
Page 7 May 30th
Page 8 June 24th
Page 9 July 19th
Page 10 August 13th
Page 11 September 7th
Page 12 October 2nd
Page 13 October 27th
Page 14 November 21st
Page 15 December 16th
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126. Board Game: Class Struggle [Average Rating:4.64 Overall Rank:10654]
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MAY 5

200: Sun Ce, Han Dynasty warlord, assassinated

1215: Rebel barons in England renounce allegiance to King John

1260: Kublai Khan becomes the ruler of the Mongol Empire

1494: Columbus claims Jamaica for Spain

1640: King Charles I of England dissolves the Short Parliament

1789: The French assembly, the Estates-General, meets for first time since 1614, because Louis XVI needs solutions to his regime’s financial problems

1813: Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard born in Copenhagen

1818: Political and economic philosopher Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital) born in Trier, Prussia

1821: Napoleon Bonaparte dies on St Helena, aged 51

1835: First railway in continental Europe opens in Belgium, between Brussels and Mechelen

1860: Giuseppe Garibaldi sets off with a thousand volunteers on his expedition to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

1862: Mexicans defeat a French invasion at the Battle of Puebla (French-Mexican War), the occasion for the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo

1864: The Battle of the Wilderness begins (American Civil War)

1865: First train robbery in the US happens in North Bend, Ohio (near Cincinnati)

1877: Sitting Bull and his Lakota band cross into Canada

1891: New York’s Music Hall (now Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening; Russian composer Tchaikovsky is the guest conductor

1892: Dorothy Annie Elizabeth Garrod, archeologist, born in England; particularly noted for her work at Mt Carmel (Palestine) during the 1920/30s, she was the first woman to be a professor at Cambridge

1925: Teacher John Scopes arrested in Tennessee for teaching evolution

1940: Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (WW2)

1941: Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa (WW2)

1943: English comedian Michael Palin born in Sheffield, England

1945: A Japanese bomb carried by an unmanned balloon kills six in Gearhart Mountain, Oregon - only civilian casualties of WW2 in mainland US

1955: The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) becomes sovereign as the occupation ends

1961: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space, his time in space lasted 15 minutes

1981: IRA militant Bobby Sands dies in prison after refusing food for 81 days
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127. Board Game: King Me! [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1468]
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MAY 6

1397: Sejong the Great, King of Joseon Dynasty Korea, born

1527: Troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, sack Rome

1682: Louis XIV moves the French court to Versailles

1851: Linus Yale gets a US patent for his lock

1856: Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, born in Freiberg, Moravia (present-day Pribor, Czech Republic)

1861: Richmond becomes the Confederate capital

1879: Bedrich Hrozný, archeologist and linguist, born in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), Austria-Hungary; he deciphered the language of the Hittites

1889: Eiffel Tower officially opened

1915: Another Allied attempt to capture Krithia (Gallipoli) is defeated by the Turks (WW1)

1915: Director and actor Orson Welles born in Springfield, Illinois

1931: Say hey! Baseball great Willie Mays born in Westfield, Alabama

1937: German airship Hindenberg, the world's largest dirigible, explodes in Lakehurst, New Jersey

1941: Bob Hope performs his first USO show

1942: US and Philippine forces on Corregidor, Philippines, surrender to the Japanese (WW2)

1954: Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile

1994: Chunnel opens between England & France

1998: Kerry Woods (Chicago Cubs) strikes out 20 Houston Astros, second person to strike out that many

2002: Right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn assassinated by animals-right activist

2004: Last new episode of Friends airs on NBC, and surprisingly, some people think this is a bad thing

2007: Nicolas Sarkozy elected president of France
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128. Board Game: Music Maestro [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
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MAY 7

1348: Charles University (Prague) founded

1429: Joan of Arc ends the English Siege of Orléans (Hundred Years War)

1660: Isaack Fubine of Savoy patents macaroni

1718: City of New Orleans founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville

1763: Ottawa chief Pontiac's attack on Fort Detroit fails

1824: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony debuts in Vienna

1832: European powers recognize independence of Greece

1833: Composer Johannes Brahms born in Hamburg, Germany

1840: Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky born in Votkinsk, Russia

1864: After the Battle of the Wilderness, Grant leads the Army of Northern Virginia south towards Spotsylvania

1902: On Martinique, eruption of Mont Pele wipes out town of Saint Pierre

1909: Edwin H. Land born in Bridgeport, Connecticut; inventor of the one-step photo developing and printing process used in the Poloroid camera

1915: German sub sinks the Lusitania without warning (WW1)

1920: Polish troops capture Kiev (Russo-Polish War)

1922: Actor Darrin McGavin born in Spokane, Washington

1942: In the Battle of the Coral Sea, US naval air sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho; first naval battle in history between fleets without visual contact

1945: German High Command signs instrument of unconditional surrender, to take effect the following day

1948: Council of Europe founded

1954: Viet Minh defeat the French at Dien Bien Phu

1960: Leonid Brezhnev becomes Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet

1965: Keith Richards wakes up, grabs a tape recorder, lays down the riff for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", and then goes back to sleep

1974: Willy Brandt resigns as chancellor of West Germany

2007: Israeli archaeologists discover tomb of Herod the Great
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129. Board Game: Battle for Germany [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1506]
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MAY 8

1541: Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River south of modern Memphis, Tennessee

1753: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, priest and Mexican independence leader, born in Penjamo, (Spanish) Mexico

1794: French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, who was also a tax collector, tried, convicted, and guillotined all in the same day

1846: Zachary Taylor defeats Mexican army at Battle of Palo Alto (Mexican War)

1884: Harry Truman born in Lamar, Missouri

1886: The first Coca-Cola sold at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta - for medicinal purposes; cocaine and kola are among the ingredients

1911: Bluesman Robert Johnson born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi

1912: Paramount Pictures founded as Famous Players Studios

1942: Battle of the Coral Sea: Japanese sink USS Lexington

1945: The Germans' surrender takes effect; V-E Day for US, UK, France

1958: US vice president Richard Nixon receives a rude welcome from anti-US protesters during visit to Lima, Peru

1968: Catfish Hunter (Oakland A's) pitches a perfect game against Minnesota Twins

1969: American sumo wrestler Akebono born (as Chad Rowan) in Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi; he was the first foreign born sumo to reach reach yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo

1970: Let It Be by the Beatles released; their last album (not counting various compilations released later, for those who will split hairs)

1973: Occupation of Wounded Knee (South Dakota) ends after 71 days as members of the American Indian Movement surrender to federal authorities

1976: "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian hits #1 in US

1980: World Health Organization announces eradication of smallpox (we hope)

1984: Soviet Union announces it will boycott Los Angeles Olympics

1984: Former Canadian army corporal Denis Lortie shoots up National Assembly of Quebec, killing three
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130. Board Game: Cathedral [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1064]
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MAY 9

1092: Lincoln Cathedral consecrated; it was reputedly the tallest building in the world (1311-1549)

1192: Minamoto no Yoritomo, founder and first shogun of Kamakura Shogunate, born in Heian-kyō (Kyoto)

1671: Thomas Blood captured trying to steal Crown Jewels from the Tower of London

1861: Richard Gatling receives US patent for Gatling gun

1866: Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Indian independence leader, born in Kotaluk, India

1868: Reno, Nevada founded

1877: Romania declares independence from Ottoman Empire

1887: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London

1901: New Commonwealth of Australia Parliament opens for first time in Melbourne

1915: French and British launch offensives, which end up gaining little ground (WW1)

1926: Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett fly over the North Pole

1936: Italy annexes Ethiopia

1936: Glenda Jackson, actress and politician, born in Birkenhead, England

1945: Victory Day for the Soviet Union (WW2)

1946: Italian King Victor Emmanuel III abdicates, succeeded by
Umberto II

1950: Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, by pulp science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, is released

1955: West Germany joins NATO

1960: US Food & Drug Administration approves Enovid for use as birth control, the first such pill to be commercially-available

1964: Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" hits #1 in US, ending 3 1/2 months where various Beatles' songs were #1 on Billboard

1974: US House of Representatives begins hearings on the proposed impeachment of President Nixon

1978: Former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro found dead (riddled by bullets) in a car in Rome, a few weeks after his kidnapping

1992: Armenian forces capture Shusha from Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh War)

2001: Over 100 fans trampled to death in Ghana at a soccer match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko

2004: Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov assassinated during Victory Day parade
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131. Board Game: Case Yellow, 1940: The German Blitzkrieg in the West [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:3294]
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MAY 10

70: During the Siege of Jerusalem, Titus assaults the city's Third Wall

1655: England annexes Jamaica from Spain

1774: Louis XVI becomes King of France

1775: Green Mountain Boys capture British fort at Ticonderoga, New York (American Revolution)

1801: The Pasha of Tripoli declares war (First Barbary War) on the United States after new president Thomas Jefferson rejected demand for protection money

1837: Panic of 1837 in the US followed by five years of depression

1857: The Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Great Rebellion, Sepoy Rebellion) begins when sepoys of the British East India Company's army mutiny in Meerut

1863: Confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, shot the previous week by his own troops, dies (American Civil War)

1865: Fugitive Confederate president Jefferson Davis captured by Union cavalry in Georgia

1869: With the driving of the Golden Spike, the first transcontinental railroad linking the western and eastern United States is completed in Utah

1871: Treaty of Frankfurt between the new German Empire and France ends the Franco-Prussian War; Germany gets much of Alsace and Lorraine, and big indemnities

1877: First telephone installed in the White House

1893: in Nix vs. Hedden, US Supreme Court rules that the tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit (important for customs purposes)

1924: J. Edgar Hoover appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation (now the Federal Bureau of Investigation)

1940: Winston Churchill becomes prime minister as Neville Chamberlain resigns

1940: The German invasion of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands begins (WW2)

1940: British and Canadian forces occupy Iceland

1941: Hitler deputy Rudolph Hess parachutes into Scotland, claiming to be on a peace mission

1960: Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, born in Dublin

1994: Nelson Mandela sworn in as first black president of South Africa

1996: Eight climbers die on Mount Everest, highest single-day death-toll on the mountain; inspires the brilliant Jon Krakauer book, Into Thin Air (Krakauer was there) (wrong day)

2005: Germany inaugurates Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin
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132. Board Game: König von Siam [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:647]
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MAY 11

1647: Peter Stuyvesant arrives to become governor of New Amsterdam

1811: Chang and Eng Bunker, conjoined twins, born in Siam; they eventually settled in the United States, hence the reference to conjoined twins as "Siamese twins" - but in Thailand, they call them "Chinese twins" because the Engs were ethnic Chinese

1812: British prime minister Spencer Perceval assassinated in the House of Commons

1857: Indian mutineers capture Delhi

1888: Songwriter Irving Berlin in Temun, Russia

1894: The Pullman Strike by rail workers begins in Pullman, Illinois

1904: Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain

1918: Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman born in Queens, New York

1934: Huge dust storm from the Great Plains to New York, Boston, Atlanta

1949: Siam changes name to Thailand - this time, for good (it did so in 1939, then switched back to Siam in 1945)

1960: Mossad agents capture fugitive Nazi Alfred Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina

1981: Bob Marley dies of cancer aged 36

1987: Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, begins trial in Lyon, charged with crimes against humanity

1996: Eight climbers die on Mount Everest, highest single-day death-toll on the mountain; inspires the brilliant Jon Krakauer book, Into Thin Air (Krakauer was there)

1997: In a chess match, Deep Blue (computer) beats Gary Kasparov, world chess champion

1998: India tests three nuclear devices (and two more on May 13), first tests since 1974
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133. Board Game: University Challenge [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
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MAY 12

1364: Jagiellonian University, oldest university in Poland, founded in Krakow by Casimir III

1551: Decree from Emperor Charles V establishes National University of San Marcos in Lima, oldest officially established university in the Western Hemisphere


1588: Henry III flees Paris during French Wars of Religion

1641: Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford and former Lord Deputy of Ireland, executed in Tower of London

1780: Surrender of 10,000 troops to British Gen. Clinton at Charleston, South Carolina worst defeat for the colonists in the American Revolution

1797: French forces under Napoleon conquer Venice

1820: Florence Nightingale born (to British parents) in Florence, Italy; a pioneer in modern nursing and statistics (Crimean War)

1864: Battle of Spotsylvania between Army of the Potomac and Army of Northern Virginia, and the Bloody Angle (American Civil War)

1881: Tunisia becomes a French protectorate

1925: Baseball great (and great character) Yogi Berra born in St. Louis, Missouri

1936: Dvorak typewriter keyboard patented in the U.S.

1937: Comedian George Carlin born in Manhattan

1941: Z3 computer by Konrad Zuse presented to an audience of scientists in Berlin; world’s first programmable, automatic computing machine

1942: Red Army launches an offensive, marking the beginning of the Second Battle of Kharkov (WW2)

1943: Axis forces in Tunisia surrender (WW2)

1949: Soviets end the Berlin Blockade after 11 months

1972: Rolling Stones release Exile on Main Street

1975: Cambodian gunboats seize US freighter Mayaguez

1982: Ultraconservative Spanish priest unhappy about Vatican II reforms tries to kill Pope John Paul II in Fatima, Portugal, with a bayonet

2004: Discovery of what may be the world’s oldest seat of learning, the Library of Alexandria, announced at a conference at the University of California
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134. Board Game: Maria [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:163]
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MAY 13

1498: Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Savonarola

1568: Scottish Protestants defeat Mary Queen of Scots’ Catholic army at Battle of Langside; Mary soon flees to England for protection

1607: English settlers found Jamestown, Virginia – the first permanent English settlement in North America

1619: Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt executed in Amsterdam for treason against Spain (rulers of Spanish Netherlands)

1637: Cardinal Richilieu creates the table knife by having points rounded off of daggers for use at his table

1717: Maria Theresa, the only female ruler of the Hapsburg domains, born in the Hofburg Palace, Vienna

1753: Lazare Comte Carnot, French revolutionary, engineer, and mathematician, born in Nolay, France; he managed to survive the whole French Revolution with his head still on his shoulders

1787: The First Fleet departs England en route to found a penal colony in Australia

1846: US Congress votes to declare war on Mexico

1861: First rail line in what is now Pakistan opens from Karachi to Kotri

1865: End of the Battle of Palmetto Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, the last armed clash between Union and Confederate soldiers (considered by some to be a post-war battle)

1873: Ludwig M. Wolf of Avon, Connecticut patents the sewing machine lamp-holder (not to be confused with the PC cupholder, otherwise known as the CD drive)

1888: Brazil abolishes slavery

1912: Royal Flying Corps established in Britain

1913: Ivor Sigursky first in world to pilot a four-engine airplane (of his design) in Russia

1914: Heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis born in Lafayette, Alabama

1917: Three children report seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Fátima) near Fátima, Portugal

1938: Louis Armstrong and his orchestra record the jazz classic "When the Saints Go Marching In"

1940: New British prime minister Winston Churchill makes a dramatic speech in the House of Commons: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."

1940: Germans cross the Meuse; Dutch Queen Wilhelmina flees to Britain (WW2)

1950: Motown musician Stevie Wonder born in Saginaw, Michigan

1958: VP Nixon’s car attacked by a rioting mob in Caracas, Venezuela (he was unharmed)

1958: French generals seize power in Algeria, May 1958 Crisis begins (Algerian War of Independence)

1964: Faux American newsman Stephen Colbert born in Washington, DC

1972: Fire at a cabaret in Osaka kills over 100

1977: Irish-American gangster Mickey Spillane killed in Queens, New York

1981: Pope John Paul II shot in St Peter’s Square (he survived)
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135. Board Game: Louis XIV [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:327]
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MAY 14

1610: Henry IV, King of France, assassinated

1643: Louis XIV, aged four, becomes King of France and Navarre

1747: Anson's 14 British ships-of-the-line defeat a French fleet in First Battle of Cape Finisterre (War of the Austrian Succession)

1796: English doctor Edward Jenner administers the first vaccination against smallpox, using pus from cowpox

1804: Lewis & Clark depart St Louis, headed to points northwest to explore some of the newly-acquired Louisiana Territory and to reach the Pacific

1863: Grant defeats Johnston at Battle of Jackson (American Civil War), part of the Vicksburg Campaign

1870: First game of rugby in New Zealand

1879: First Indian indentured laborers arrive in Fiji

1940: Germany's Luftwaffe bombs Rotterdam; main Dutch forces surrender to Germany (WW2)

1942: Slugger Tony Pérez born in Cuba

1948: State of Israel proclaimed in Tel Aviv

1952: Musician David Byrne (Talking Heads) born in Dumbarton, Scotland

1961: Freedom Riders (advocates of civil rights for black Americans) bus attacked by Ku Klux Klan and firebombed in Anniston, Alabama

1955: Warsaw Pact, a self-defense pact dominated from Moscow, signed by the Soviet Union, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria

1973: Skylab One space station launched

1998: Final new episode of Seinfeld airs
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136. Board Game: Israeli Independence [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4088]
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MAY 15

1252: Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes certain forms of torture against heretics in the Medieval Inquisition

1501: Ottaviano Petrucci of Venice produces the first book of music made from movable type

1618: Kepler confirms the third law of planetary motion

1701: War of the Spanish Succession begins

1720: Hungarian astronomer and Jesuit priest Maximilian Hell born in modern-day Slovakia

1773: Prince Klemens von Metternich, Austrian politician and diplomat, born in Koblenz

1811: Paraguay declares independence from Spain

1817: First private mental hospital, Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason, opens in Philadelphia

1845: Exiled Costa Rican Head of State Braulio Carrillo Colina assassinated in El Salvador

1856: Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, born in Chittenango, New York

1869: National Woman Suffrage Association founded in New York City by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

1915: Las Vegas, Nevada, founded

1911: Ruling that it was an "unreasonable monopoly", US Supreme Court orders the break-up of Standard Oil

1916: Austrians launch offensive in the Trentino (WW1)

1919: Winnipeg General Strike begins

1928: Plane Crazy, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon, is previewed in Los Angeles

1930: First airline "stewardess" (now flight attendant) works a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne

1932: Japanese prime minister Inukai Tsuyoshi assassinated in a coup attempt by radical elements in the Japanese military; effective end of civilian rule in Japan until after World War 2

1935: Moscow Metro opens

1936: Wavy Gravy born in East Greenbush, New York

1937: US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright born in Prague, Czechoslovakia

1940: Two brothers open the first McDonald's in San Bernardino, California

1941: First Allied jet, designed by Frank Whittle of Coventry, flies over RAF Cranwell, England

1948: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq attack Israel hours after Israel declares independence

1957: Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in the Pacific

1970: Two students killed at Jackson State University (Alabama) when police open fire on protesters

1970: First two female US Army generals appointed

1972: George Wallace, governor of Alabama, shot while campaigning for president in Maryland

1972: US occupation of Okinawa ends, reverts to Japan

1988: Soviets begin withdrawal from Afghanistan

1990: Portrait of Doctor Gachet by Vincent van Gogh goes for $82.5 million (a record at the time) at an auction in New York

1991: Edith Cresson becomes first female prime minister of France

1993: A woman in Paris has two new lungs transplanted, cut from one lung from a large man, first such operation for a human
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137. Board Game: Football Fever [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
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Minnesota
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MAY 16

1204: Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, crowned by his fellow crusaders as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople

1527: People of Florence kick out the Medicis, re-establish a republic

1717: Voltaire imprisoned in the Bastille for his satiric attacks on politics and religion

1866: U.S. Congress eliminates the half dime coin, replaces it with the five cent piece - the nickel (never take a wooden one)

1866: Charles E. Hire invents root beer

1868: President Andrew Johnson avoids being removed from office by one vote in the US Senate

1914: First US Open Cup (soccer - American equivalent of the FA Cup in England) final: Brooklyn Field Club 2, Brooklyn Celtic 1

1918: US Congress passes the Sedition Act (WW1)

1920: Joan of Arc canonized as a saint

1926: Mehmed VI, the last Ottoman Sultan, dies in exile in Italy

1929: First Oscar ceremony

1943: Warsaw Ghetto uprising ends, Nazis regain control (WW2)

1946: Prog-rock guitarist Robert Fripp (King Crimson) born in Wimborne Minster, England

1948: Chaim Weizmann elected first president of Israel

1966: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys released

1966: Chinese Communist Party issues May 16 Notification, marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution

1968: General strike in France spreads

1984: Comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman dies of kidney failure resulting from his lung cancer, aged 35 (rumors abound that he faked his death)

1987: Perhaps the most wonderful event in history - Coventry City defeats Tottenham Hotspur in an entertaining final match 3-2 to win the FA Cup for the first (and only) time; destroying the famous punch-line to the funny, absurd Monty Python skit about quizzing famous Communists about English football trivia was collateral damage

1988: Report from US Surgeon General finds nicotine's addictiveness similar to that of heroin and cocaine

1991: Queen Elizabeth II addresses US Congress - first British monarch to do so

1997: Rebel forces capture Kinshasa, ending Mobutu Sese Seko's despotic rule in Zaire (now known as Democratic Republic of Congo)

2005: Kuwait National Assembly votes to permit women's suffrage
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138. Board Game: Pirate King [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:6799]
Wendell
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Minnesota
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MAY 17

1521: Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, executed at decision of Henry VIII for treason

1536: George Boleyn, Viscount Rochford, brother of Anne Boleyn, executed on trumped-up charges of incest with his sister, the wife of Henry VIII

1682: Pirate Bartholomew Roberts born in Pembrokeshire, Wales

1792: New York Stock exchange founded

1805: Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha, and Albanian officer in the Ottoman army, becomes Khedive of Egypt and Sudan; his dynasty lasts until 1952

1814: Norwegian Parliament at Eidsvoll signs the Norwegian Constitution

1849: Fire destroys a big chunk of St Louis, Missouri

1885: Geronimo breaks out of his reservation

1900: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz published

1902: Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism

1903: Negro League slugger James "Cool Papa" Bell born in Starksville, Mississippi

1939: The first televised sporting event in the US - a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton played in New York City

1940: Germans capture Brussels (WW2)

1943: Memphis Belle becomes first B-17 to complete 25 missions, and is retired (WW2)

1954: Brown vs the Board of Education - the US Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional

1965: FBI lab quits trying to prove that the lyrics to "Louie Louie" are obscene, declaring the song "unintelligible at any speed"

1967: The Butler Act which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee is repealed

1973: US Senate begins televised Watergate hearings

1980: General Chun Doo-hwan seizes control in South Korea and declares martial law in South Korea to quell student protests

1980: The Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), a Maoist guerrilla group, burns ballots before an election, making the beginning of the conflict in Peru

2000: Two former Ku Klux Klansmen arrested on murder charges in the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four black girls

2004: Massachusetts becomes first US state to allow same-sex marriage
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139. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
Wendell
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Minnesota
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MAY 18

1048: Omar Khayyám, Persian mathematician, poet, astronomer, and philosopher, born in Nishapur; Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was translated into English in the 19th century

1268: Mamluk Sultan Baibars crushes Principality of Antioch, a crusader state

1642: Montreal founded

1652: Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations becomes first in North America to pass a law banning slavery

1756: Britain declares war on France, beginning the Seven Years’ War

1765: Fire destroys a quarter of Montreal

1781: Túpac Amaru II, leader of an indigenous revolt against Spanish rule in Peru, executed in Cuzco

1783: First “United Empire Loyalist” refugees from the newly-independent United States arrive in Canada

1803: Britain repudiates Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France

1804: French Senate proclaims Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor of the French

1822: Mathew Brady, famous for his Civil War photographs, born in Warren County, New York

1848: Frankfurt Parliament opens – first freely elected parliament for all of Germany (part of the Revolutions of 1848)

1860: Abraham Lincoln receives the Republican nomination for president

1863: After several victories over Confederate forces in the previous few weeks, Grant’s army begins the Siege of Vicksburg (American Civil War)

1896: US Supreme Court rules in Plessy vs Ferguson that “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” (sic) on railroad cars is constitutional; this ruling was used as the basis for segregation elsewhere until Brown vs Board of Education overturned this ruling

1917: US Congress passes Selective Service Act, allowing for conscription of soldiers

1920: Karol Jozef Wojtyla born in Wadowice, Poland; better known as Pope John Paul II

1933: Tennessee Valley Authority created

1944: Soviet Union deports all Crimean Tatars to Central Asia because of their alleged collaboration with German occupiers

1958: Team Lotus makes Formula One debut at Monaco Grand Prix

1974: “Buddha has smiled” is the message telling Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi that scientists had just successfully detonated India’s first nuclear weapon, in the Rajasthan Desert; India was the first non-Security Council nation to acknowledge testing such a bomb

1980: Mount St. Helen’s (Washington) erupts

1980: Rock musician Ian Curtis (Joy Division) commits suicide at age 23

1989: Protestors at Tiananmen Square (Beijing, China) reach estimated one million; calling for a more democratic system of government

1991: Republic of Somaliland declares independence from Somalia; it remains essentially independent, but unrecognized

2004: Randy Johnson (Arizona Diamondbacks) throws perfect game against Atlanta Braves – aged 40

2009: Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war against Tamil Tigers rebels proclaimed over with death of Tamil leader
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140. Board Game: Legion of Honor [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:3967]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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MAY 19

1536: Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest

1568: Elizabeth I orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots

1588: The Spanish Armada departs Lisbon, headed for the English Channel and the Netherlands

1643: French defeat Spanish at Battle of Rocroi in the Thirty Years’ War; the Spanish army had suffered few defeats over the previous century

1649: The Rump Parliament passes "An Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth" – England becomes a Republic

1749: King George III grants charter to the Ohio Company

1802: First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte founds Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honor)

1861: Opera singer Dame Nellie Melba born in Richmond, Victoria (Australia)

1864: Fighting at Spotsylvania ends (American Civil War)

1890: Vietnamese leader Hồ Chí Minh born in Hoàng Trù Village, Vietnam

1895: Cuban poet and independence fighter José Martí killed in Battle of Dos Rios against Spanish troops

1915: Storied Aussie stretcher-bearer John Simpson (born John Simpson Kirkpatrick) killed at Gallipoli

1919: Landing at Samsun by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk marks beginning of Turkish War of Independence

1934: Military coup in Bulgaria

1935: T.E. Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia – dies a few days after a motorcycle accident

1951: Rock-and-roll frontman Joey Ramone (The Ramones) born in Queens, New York

1965: On his t-t-t-twentieth birthday, Pete Townshend writes “My Generation”

1987: A US patent for "keeping a head alive" in a cabinet issued
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141. Board Game: Vasco da Gama [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:272]
Wendell
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Twin Cities
Minnesota
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MAY 20

325: First Council of Nicea begins – Christian bishops summoned by Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Great

685: King Ecgfrith of Northumbria killed at Battle of Dun Nechtain against the Picts

1293: Complutense University of Madrid founded (as Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá) by the King of Castile

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama reaches India – first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean (as opposed to overland and/or overland plus Indian Ocean)

1570: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, first modern atlas, issued by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp

1631: Magdeburg sacked by Holy Roman Empire forces after a siege, about 80% of its population of 30,000 killed (Thirty Years’ War)

1747: Ship’s surgeon James Lind begins experimenting with including lemons and oranges in the crew’s diet on HMS Salisbury to see if he could prevent scurvy

1778: Continentals led by Marquis de Lafayette escape a British trap at Battle of Barren Hill in Pennsylvania (American Revolution)

1861: Confederacy shifts capital from Montgomery (Alabama) to Richmond

1861: Kentucky proclaims its neutrality (American Civil War)

1862: Not facing opposition from Southern legislators, US Congress passes Homestead Act, which lets an adult claim 160 acres of land in the West on condition they cultivate and improve it

1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive US patent for blue jeans (specifically, the technique of strengthening work pants made of canvas with reinforcing copper rivets)

1882: Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy form the Triple Alliance

1902: Cuba gains independence, US ends occupation

1927: Charles Lindbergh in Spirit of St Louis departs Long Island (NY), headed for Paris

1935: President of Uruguay José Mujica born

1940: In Battle for France, Guderian’s forces reach English Channel, cutting BEF and French forces off from main French armies to the south (WW2)

1940: Baseball slugger and manager Sadaharu Oh born in Tokyo

1941: German paratroopers invade Crete (WW2)

1949: Kuomintang (Nationalists) declare martial law on Taiwan

1956: US drops hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll

1969: After ten days of fighting, Hill 937 – better known as “Hamburger Hill” – captured by US and South Vietnamese forces

1976: Zelmar Michelini, Uruguayan reporter and politician, and Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz, Uruguayan politician, assassinated in Buenos Aires; they were both in exile in Argentina for criticizing the Uruguayan military junta

1980: In a referendum, 60% of voting Quebecois reject independence

1989: Facing pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, Chinese declare martial law

2002: East Timor gains independence from Indonesia
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142. Board Game: Assassin [Average Rating:3.41 Overall Rank:10822]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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MAY 21

1471: Painter/printmaker/mathematician Albrecht Dürer born in Nuremberg

1502: Saint Helena (Atlantic Ocean island) discovered by João da Nova (Portugal)

1542: Hernando de Soto (Spain) dies of fever on the banks of the Mississippi River while leading a fruitless quest for a city of gold

1674: John III Sobieski elected King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania; among other accomplishments, he defeated the Turks at the Battle of Vienna (1683)

1840: New Zealand proclaimed a British colony

1851: Colombia abolishes slavery

1856: Pro-slavery border ruffians capture and burn Lawrence, Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas”)

1863: Banks begins siege of Port Hudson on the Mississippi (American Civil War)

1871: French troops enter Paris; beginning of the end for the Paris Commune

1881: American Red Cross founded in Washington DC by Clara Barton

1894: Queen Victoria opens the Manchester Ship Canal

1904: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) founded in Paris

1911: French troops occupy Fez, sparking the Second Moroccan Crisis

1916: Britain introduces Daylight Savings Time as a war-time measure to save fuel

1920: Venustiano Carranza, President of Mexico, assassinated

1921: Physicist, dissident, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Andrei Sakharov born in Moscow

1927: Lindbergh arrives in Paris, having completed the first solo non-stop air crossing of the Atlantic

1932: Amelia Earhart lands in Northern Ireland, completing the first solo non-stop air crossing of the Atlantic by a woman

1939: Canada’s National War Memorial unveiled in Ottawa by George VI

1944: Mary Robinson born in Ballina, Ireland; barrister, 7th President of Ireland (first woman to hold the job), and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

1960: First in a series of huge earthquakes strikes Chile

1966: Ulster Volunteer Force declares war on Irish Republican Army

1990: Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agree to unite as Republic of Yemen

1991: Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi assassinated

1999: Susan Lucci finally wins an Emmy

2006: 55% of Montenegro voters choose independence from Serbia in referendum
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143. Video Game: Pac-Man [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2265]
Wendell
United States
Twin Cities
Minnesota
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MAY 22

334 BC: Alexander defeats Persians at Battle of the Granicus, the first major batte between the Macedonians and Persians in Alexander's campaign

337: Roman emperor Constantine the Great dies

853: Byzantine fleet sacks Damietta (Egypt)

1455: Richard Duke of York defeats and captures Henry VI at First Battle of St Albans, the first battle of the War of the Roses

1813: Composer Richard Wagner born in Leipzig

1840: The practice of transporting British convicts to New South Wales (Australia) abolished

1843: First major wagon trail heads to Oregon Territory from Missouri

1844: Artist Mary Cassatt born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania

1856: South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks with a cane beats Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber because the abolitionist Sumner had criticized in a speech several pro-slavery congressman (including a cousin of Brooks'); Sumner needed three years to recover from the attack; when Brooks attacked Sumner, Sumner was seated at his desk, which was bolted to the floor, so he had no way to escape the assault; the House voted NOT to expel Brooks

1859: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes) born in Edinburgh

1906: Wright Brothers receive a US patent for their "Flying-Machine"

1907: Hergé (Georges Prosper Remi), creator of Adventures of Tintin comics, born in Etterbeek, Belgium

1936: Aer Lingus founded

1939: Germany and Italy sign a treaty forming a military alliance to be known as the Axis

1942: Mexico enters World War 2

1946: Soccer great George Best born in Belfast, Northern Ireland

1947: President Truman signs $400 million aid package for Turkey and Greece to battle Communism, law comes to be known as Truman Doctrine

1958: Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis arrives at Heathrow Airport with his bride - aged 13 and also his cousin; scandal erupts

1960: Earthquake in Chile hits 9.5 on the Richter scale - still the strongest recorded/measured earthquake

1964: President Johnson announces Great Society goals of ending poverty and racial injustice in the United States

1972: Ceylon becomes Sri Lanka

1980: Pac-Man first released in Japan

1992: Johnny Carson hosts his last episode of The Tonight Show
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144. Board Game: Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:719]
Wendell
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Minnesota
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MAY 23

1430: Burgundians capture Joan of Arc at Compiègne; they sell her to the English

1498: Savonarola burned at the stake

1533: Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine Parrof Aragon declared null

1568: Netherlands declares independence from Spain

1618: Second Defenestration of Prague contributes to beginning of the Thirty Years War

1701: Captain Kidd hanged for piracy and murder in London

1706: Anglo-Dutch army led by Marlborough trounces French at Battle of Ramillies (War of the Spanish Succession)

1707: Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus born

1813: Simon Bolivar proclaimed El Libertador (The Liberator)

1911: New York Public Library is dedicated

1915: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary (WW1)

1934: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow killed in a police ambush in Louisiana

1934: Battle of Toledo (Ohio) between striking workers and Ohio National Guardsmen begins

1945: Short-lived Flensburg Government (Germany) captured by the British army (WW2)

1949: Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) formally established

1949: President of Peru Alan Garcia born in Lima

1951: Chess great Anatoly Karpov born in Zlatoust, Russia (USSR)

1967: Egypt blockades Israeli port of Eilat

1974: Jeopardy! star Ken Jennings born in Edmonds, Washington

1979: Trying to get free of his record label, Tom Petty sues for bankruptcy

1997: Mohammad Khatami elected President of Iran

1998: 75% of those voting in Northern Ireland approve the Good Friday Agreement

2010: Final episode of Lost airs on ABC
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145. Board Game: Rail Baron [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:1459]
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Minnesota
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MAY 24

1595: Leiden University (Netherlands) Library prints first catalog of an institutional library

1626: Peter Minuit buys Manhattan from local Indians (probably Lenape) for trade goods worth 60 guilders

1686: Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit born in Danzig; he went on to invent a temperature scale still in use in the United States if not much anywhere else, as well as mercury and alcohol thermometers

1689: British Parliament passes Act of Toleration; tolerance does not extend, however, to Roman Catholics

1775: John Hancock elected President of Second Continental Congress

1798: An ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against British rule begins in Ireland

1819: Future Queen Victoria born in Kensington Palace, London

1830: First commercial passenger railroad in US begins between Baltimore and Ellicott Mills (Maryland)

1844: Sam Morse sends the message, “What hath God wrought!”, from Washington to Baltimore, inaugurating the first telegraph line in the US

1846: Zachary Taylor captures Monterrey (Mexican War)

1856: Abolitionists led by John Brown kill five settlers in Pottawatomie, Kansas, in retaliation for the attack on Lawrence (Bleeding Kansas)

1862: First underground trial run of a train thru the London Metropolitan underground line

1862: Westminster Bridge over the Thames River opens in London

1870: Jan Smuts, South African prime minister and military leader, born in Malmesbury, Cape Colony (South Africa); Smuts was the only person to sign peace treaties ending both World War 1 and World War 2 AND to sign the charters of the League of Nations and United Nations (and he wrote the preamble to the UN Charter)

1883: Brooklyn Bridge opens linking Manhattan with Brooklyn

1900: Britain annexes Orange Free State

1917: Royal Navy finally goes to a convoy system to cut losses to German u-boats (WW1)

1930: Amy Johnson lands in Darwin – first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia; took 19 days

1935: Cincinnati Reds host the first night game in major league baseball history, defeating the Chicago Cubs 2-1

1941: German battleship Bismarck sinks British battle cruiser Hood in North Atlantic (WW2)

1941: Robert Zimmerman born in Duluth, Minnesota; you may know him as Bob Dylan

1956: First Eurovision Song Contest held in Lugano, Switzerland, making Europe safe for bad pop music

1964: In an interview, Republican Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater suggests using atomic bombs on North Vietnam

1976: In a blind wine-tasting competition in Paris with an overwhelmingly French panel of judges, California wines sweep to victory over French vins

1976: Concorde service from Britain and France to the US begins

1993: Eritrea gains formal independence from Ethiopia

2000: Israeli troops pull out of south Lebanon

2004: North Korea bans mobile phones
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146. Board Game: Destination: The Moon [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Minnesota
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MAY 25

1085: Alfonso VI of León and Castile takes Toledo from the Moors

1521: Charles V (Holy Roman Emperor) issues Edict of Worms declaring Martin Luther an outlaw

1659: Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England

1660: The exiled Charles II lands at Dover to assume the throne of England; end of the 17th century English republic

1738: Maryland and Pennsylvania sign a peace treaty in London ending a border war between the two colonies

1787: Constitutional Convention formally convenes in Philadelphia, George Washington presiding

1809: Popular uprising in Chuquisaca (modern Sucre, Bolivia) against Spanish governor

1810: Spanish Viceroy of Rio de la Plata (modern Argentina) is deposed

1861: President Lincoln suspends habeas corpus (American Civil War)

1912: Deokhye, Princess of Korea, born in Changdeok Palace, Seoul – last Korean princess

1915: Ottomans announce Armenians would be deported from near the front (WW1)

1935: Playing for the Boston Braves, Babe Ruth hits three home runs – the last three of his career (total: 714); a week later, he announced his retirement

1939: Ian McKellen, a fine actor who has played many roles other than Gandalf, born in Burnley, England

1940: Battle of Dunkirk begins (WW2) (or maybe on May 24 or 26, depending who you ask)

1946: Abdullah Ibn Ul-Hussein proclaimed King of Transjordan

1951: Willie Mays debuts for New York Giants

1953: US conducts a nuclear artillery test in Nevada

1954: Hungarian combat photojournalist Robert Capa dies in Vietnam (still French controlled) after stepping on a landmine

1961: President Kennedy addresses Congress: I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important in the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

1963: Organization of African Unity (since supplanted by the African Union) founded

1977: Star Wars opens in theaters across the US; does quite well

1977: China lifts its ban on the works of Shakespeare

1979: Carlos Bocanegra, regular on the US national team (soccer), born in Upland, California

1982: HMS Coventry sunk by Argentine air force A-4 Skyhawks (Falklands War)

1983: Exiled King Idris I of Libya dies in Cairo
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147. Board Game: Dynamo: Dunkirk, 1940 [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:5751]
Wendell
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MAY 26

451: Sassanid Persians defeat rebellious Armenians at Battle of Avarayr

735: the Venerable Bede, a monk, saint, and “father of English history”, dies aged approximately 102

946: King Edmund I of England killed by an exiled thief, Leofa

1538: Geneva expels religious reformer John Calvin and his followers

1805: Napoleon Bonaparte assumes title “King of Italy”

1818: Manuel Rodríguez Erdoíza, one of the founders of independent Chile, assassinated

1865: Gen. E. Kirby Smith, Confederate commander of the Trans-Mississippi department, surrenders

1868: President Andrew Johnson acquitted by US Senate

1897: Dracula by Bram Stoker goes on sale in London

1907: Marion Morrison born in Winterset, Iowa; better known as John Wayne

1908: The first big Middle East oil strike made at Masjid-i-Suleiman, Persia (Iran)

1927: Last Ford Model T rolls off the production line

1938: The US Congress’ House Committee on Un-American Activities established as a special investigating committee, focusing on activities of people and organizations suspected of ties to Fascism or especially, to Communism; it lasts until 1975

1940: The evacuation of pocketed British and French troops from Dunkirk begins; by June 3, nearly 200,000 British and 140,000 French troops were rescued (WW2)

1954: Ancient funeral boat of Pharaoh Cheops found in Giza, Egypt

1959: Harvey Haddix (Pittsburgh Pirates) pitches TWELVE perfect innings, but loses the game in the thirteenth inning

1972: President Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev sign Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty

1998: US Supreme Court rules that Ellis Island, famed for being the gateway for millions of immigrants, is mostly in New Jersey not New York

2004: The New York Times admits its “flawed reporting and lack of skepticism” contributed towards the pre-2003 belief that Iraq had large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction
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148. Board Game: Sink the Bismarck! [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:7681]
Wendell
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Minnesota
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MAY 27

927: Croatians defeat Bulgarians at Battle of the Bosnian Highlands

1703: Tsar Peter the Great founds a new city modestly named after himself – St. Petersburg (which was briefly Petrograd, then Leningrad for some 70 or so years, and now St. Petersburg again)

1819: Abolitionist Julia Ward Howe born in New York City; she wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

1884: Writer, composer, journalist Max Brod born in Prague (then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire); as administrator of Franz Kafka’s estate, Brod decided to publish Kafka’s brilliant work instead of following instructions to burn it

1904: Chūhei Nambu, Japanese track and field athlete, born; Nambu is the only person to have held the world record for the long jump and the triple jump

1905: The Japanese navy crushes the Russian Baltic Fleet at the Battle of Tsushima Strait (May 27-28; Russo-Japanese War)

1907: Bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco, California

1907: Rachel Carson, biologist and author of Silent Spring, born near Springdale, Pennsylvania

1922: Actor Christopher Lee, who has the geeky distinction of appearing both in Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies, born in London

1934: Science fiction writer and critic Harlan Ellison born in Cleveland, Ohio

1937: The Golden Gate Bridge officially opens

1941: Rodney and King George V sink the Bismarck (WW2)

1960: Military coup in Turkey

1962: A mine fire begins in Centralia, Pennsylvania – and it still burns today

1967: In a referendum, Australians overwhelmingly vote to give the government the right to take measures to help the Australian aborigines, and to count them in the census

1967: Gazza, aka Paul Gascoigne, born in Gateshead, England

1972: President Nixon and Secretary General Brezhnev sign Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreements in Moscow

1980: Gwangju Democratization Movement in South Korea (against the military dictatorship) crushed by the S. Korean army

1994: After 20 years in exile, former Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia
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149. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:357]
Wendell
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Minnesota
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MAY 28

585 BC: Total solar eclipse occurs during a battle (Battle of Halys) between Medes and Lydians; the two sides take it as an omen and stop fighting; this is useful for historians because being able to calculate the date of the eclipse, other historical dates can be deduced – this battle is the earliest known historical event that can be dated so precisely

1371: John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, born in Dijon; he was preceded by Philip the Bold and succeeded by Philip the Good

1533: Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declares the marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn is valid, in defiance of the Pope

1588: The Spanish Armada (130 ships) sets sail from Lisbon

1738: Joseph Guillotin born in France, inventor of the guillotine

1754: Virginia militia led by a very young lieutenant colonel name of George Washington defeat French and Indian scouts in southwestern Pennsylvania; first engagement of the French & Indian War (the term for the Seven Years War in North America)

1830: US president Andrew Jackson signs Indian Removal Act

1888: Athletic great Jim Thorpe born near Prague in what was then Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma) (exactdate uncertain); Thorpe won Olympic gold medals in 1912 in pentathlon and decathlon (medals subsequently stripped for having played pro baseball before 1912, restored posthumously in 1983), and played professional baseball, football, and basketball

1892: Sierra Club founded in San Francisco

1897: Jell-O introduced

1926: Military coup in Portugal installs Ditadura Nacional (National Dictatorship)

1934: Dionne quintuplets born in Ontario, first known complete set of quints to survive infancy

1937: Volkswagen founded as a state-owned enterprise by the Nazi German government

1940: Belgium surrenders to Germany (WW2)

1952: Women in Greece receive right to vote

1957: National League owners vote to let the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers move to California, as long as they BOTH went

1964: Palestine Liberation Organization founded

1982: British defeat Argentines at Battle of Goose Green (Falklands War)

1987: A 19-year-old West German pilots a Cessna from Finland and lands on Red Square in Moscow

1991: Rebel troops enter Addis Ababa, marking the end to 17 years of Marxist rule in Ethiopia

1998: Comedian/actor Phil Hartman murdered by his wife (she killed herself)

1998: Pakistan tests five nuclear devices

2002: 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft finds evidence of water on Mars
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150. Board Game: Fall of Constantinople [Average Rating:5.40 Unranked]
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MAY 29

363: Romans achieve a tactical win vs Sassanid Persians at Battle of Ctesiphon, but Sassanids hold their capital city

1453: After a long siege, Constantinople falls to Mehmed II's Ottoman armies, and the Byzantine Empire, itself the Eastern extension of the Roman Empire, is no more; Constantine XI Palaiologos, last Roman Emperor, killed in a suicide charge after declining Mehmed's offer to surrender and remain ruler of Mystras (in Greece)

1736: Patrick Henry, American independence figure, born in Studley, Virginia

1780: Loyalists under Tarleton defeat rebellious Colonials at Battle of Waxhaws (S. Carolina); massacre of over 100 defeated troops after the battle

1790: Rhode Island, first colony to declare independence, becomes last of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution

1867: Power-sharing compromise of 1867 between Austrians & Hungarians sets up Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Dual Monarchy

1900: French found Ft. Lamy, today N'Djamena in Chad

1913: Stravinsky's ballet score The Rite of Spring premieres in Paris; rioting ensues

1914: Passenger ship The Empress of Ireland hit by a Norwegian coal freighter on the St Lawrence River in Canada, during a heavy fog; over 1000 die

1917: John F. Kennedy born in Brookline, Massachusetts

1919: Republic of Prekmurje founded; lasted about a week, quickly incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (later to be called Yugoslavia)

1922: US Supreme Court, somehow in its infinite wisdom deciding that professional baseball is a sport not a business, grants baseball antitrust exemption - and baseball owners have been loving it ever since

1932: "Bonus Expeditionary Force", WW1 vets wanting cash for their veterans' bonus certificates, arrive in Washington DC

1942: Bing Crosby records "White Christmas" in Los Angeles

1953: Edmund Hillary (New Zealand) and Tenzing Norgay (Nepal) first humans to reach peak of Mt Everest

1962: Eric Davis, speedy slugging but injury-prone Gold Glove outfielder for Cincinnati Reds (and some other teams) born in Los Angeles (he lacerated a kidney making a diving catch in the 1990 World Series for heaven's sake - and he tried to keep on playing!)

1967: Rock musician Noel Gallagher (Oasis) born in Manchester, England

1990: Boris Yeltsin elected president of Russia (still part of the USSR) by Duma
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