Forthcoming anniversaries: May 2011

You might like to write about the following historic anniversaries. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.

The list presented here is just a fraction of that available in The Date-A-Base Book 2011. For example, there are 58 anniversaries listed below, but 172 anniversaries for the same month in the book, which also covers the whole of 2011. The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is also available.

We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.

750 years ago (25 May 1261)
Death of Pope Alexander IV

200 years ago (11 May 1811)
Birth of Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins

200 years ago (14 May 1811)
Paraguay declared its independence from Spain

150 years ago (19 May 1861)
Birth of Dame Nellie Melba, popular Australian opera soprano

150 years ago (24 May 1861)
American Civil War: The Confederacy moved its capital from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia

125 years ago (8 May 1886)
Coca-Cola first went on sale, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

100 years ago (11 May 1911 or 1912)
Birth of Phil Silvers, American actor and comedian, best remembered for his role as Sergeant Bilko in ‘The Phil Silvers Show’

100 years ago (18 May 1911)
Death of Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer and conductor

100 years ago (23 May 1911)
The New York Public Library was officially opened

100 years ago (27 May 1911)
Birth of Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the USA (1965-69)

100 years ago (27 May 1911)
Birth of Vincent Price, American actor, best known for his horror films and distinctive voice

100 years ago (28 May 1911)
Birth of Dame Thora Hird, British actress

100 years ago (29 May 1911)
Death of Sir W. S. Gilbert, British playwright and humorist, best known for his comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan (‘H.M.S. Pinafore’, ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, ‘The Mikado’, and others)

100 years ago (30 May 1911)
The first Indianapolis 500 motor race took place

80 years ago (1 May 1931)
The Empire State Building in New York City, USA was officially opened

75 years ago (2 May 1936)
Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie left the country and went into exile in Djibouti following Ethiopia’s invasion by Italy

75 years ago (14 May 1936)
Birth of Bobby Darin, American big band, rock and roll, and pop singer and songwriter

75 years ago (22 May 1936)
Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national airline, began operating

75 years ago (27 May 1936)
The British ocean liner ‘RMS Queen Mary’ began her maiden voyage

70 years ago (5 May 1941)
Ethiopian liberation day. Emperor Haile Selassie returned from exile

70 years ago (6 May 1941)
Joseph Stalin became Premier of the Soviet Union

70 years ago (10 May 1941)
World War II: The last major attack on London during the Blitz caused heavy damage to many important buildings, including the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Palace and Lambeth Palace, several railway stations and hospitals, the British Museum and the Old Bailey. Over 1,300 people were killed

70 years ago (24 May 1941)
World War II: The British battleship ‘HMS Hood’ was sunk by the German battleship ‘Bismarck’ near Iceland. The British sunk the Bismarck 3 days later

60 years ago (3 May 1951)
The Festival of Britain and the Royal Festival Hall in London opened

60 years ago (25 May 1951)
British spies Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to Moscow, Russia

50 years ago (1 May 1961)
Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state and abolished multi-party elections

50 years ago (1 May 1961)
Betting away from racecourses was legalised in Britain and the first betting shops opened

50 years ago (5 May 1961)
Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space

50 years ago (13 May 1961)
Death of Gary Cooper, Academy Award-winning American film actor (‘High Noon’, ‘The Virginian’, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and others)

50 years ago (19 May 1961)
The Soviet space probe Venera 1 (launched February 1961) became the first man-made object to fly by another planet, passing within 100,000 km (62,000 miles) of Venus

50 years ago (25 May 1961)
U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his famous ‘man on the moon’ speech, in which he urged Congress and America to commit itself, before the end of the decade, to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth

50 years ago (28 May 1961)
Amnesty International was founded in London

50 years ago (31 May 1961)
South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth and became an independent republic

40 years ago (1 May 1971)
Amtrak began operating in the USA, providing an intercity passenger train service

40 years ago (19 May 1971)
The USSR launched the Mars 2 space probe. The spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and a lander, and the lander became the first man-made object to land on Mars (though it crashed rather than landed, in November 1971)

40 years ago (19 May 1971)
Death of Ogden Nash, American writer of humorous poetry

40 years ago (27 May 1971)
The Misuse of Drugs Act was introduced in Britain

40 years ago (30 May 1971)
NASA launched the space probe Mariner 9. It became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet (November 1971)

30 years ago (5 May 1981)
Death of Bobby Sands, Irish IRA member and politician, died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland after a 66-day hunger strike

30 years ago (10 May 1981)
François Mitterrand was elected President of France

30 years ago (11 May 1981)
Death of Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter and musician

30 years ago (13 May 1981)
Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously injured by a Turkish gunman in an assassination attempt in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Rome

30 years ago (22 May 1981)
Peter Sutcliffe (the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’) was sentenced to life imprisonment (minimum 30 years)

30 years ago (26 May 1981)
Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his entire cabinet resigned following allegations that many senior politicians were Freemasons

25 years ago (9 May 1986)
Death of Tenzing Norgay, Tibetan/Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer, first (along with Sir Edmund Hillary) to reach the summit of Mount Everest

25 years ago (25 May 1986)
Hands Across America: Approximately 7 million people joined hands to form a line that stretched across America. The event was held to raise money to fight poverty, hunger and homelessness

20 years ago (14 May 1991)
Nelson Mandela’s wife Winnie was sentenced to 6 years in jail for her part in the kidnapping and beating of 4 youths. (Later reduced to a fine)

20 years ago (15 May 1991)
Edith Cresson became first woman Prime Minister of France

20 years ago (18 May 1991)
Helen Sharman became the first British citizen to go into space

20 years ago (21 May 1991)
Death of Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (1984-89). (Assassinated)

20 years ago (24 May 1991)
Operation Solomon: Israel evacuated over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel to escape the worsening political situation

15 years ago (10 May 1996)
Eight climbers died during a blizzard near the summit of Mount Everest

15 years ago (17 May 1996)
U.S. President Bill Clinton signed Megan’s Law: the public must be notified if dangerous sex offenders are released into their community

15 years ago (30 May 1996)
The Duke and Duchess of York – Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson – were divorced

10 years ago (2 May 2001)
Death of Ted Rogers, British comedian and entertainer, best remembered as host of the television game show ‘3-2-1’

10 years ago (5 May 2001)
Death of Clifton Hillegass, American publisher, best known for Cliffs Notes – a popular series of literary study guides

10 years ago (11 May 2001)
Death of Douglas Adams, British comic writer and dramatist, best known for ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

10 years ago (12 May 2001)
Death of Perry Como, American singer and entertainer

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The Date-A-Base Book 2011

You’ll find lots more anniversaries in The Date-A-Base Book 2011, which covers the whole of 2011 and lists over 1,900 forthcoming newsworthy and notable anniversaries – more than twice as many entries per month than our standard list above. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of anniversaries that other writers won’t know about, giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2011 is a terrific source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners.
Click here for more details and the complete listing for January 2011

The Date-A-Base Book 2012 is also available and features more than 2,250 newsworthy and notable anniversaries which will occur during 2012.

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Limited time  offer

Become a lifetime member of ideas4writers for just £39.95 (USA approx $63.50) and you’ll get The Date-A-Base Books for 2011 & 2012 (plus all future editions) as well as The Fastest Way to Write Your BookThe Fastest Way to Get Ideas, our complete 5,000+ ideas collection, unlimited use of our forums and writing engines, and much more (total value over £150 / $235)

The price of lifetime membership will rise to £49.95 from 1st January 2011.

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