334 BC The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.
1176 The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempted to murder Saladin near Aleppo.
1377 Pope Gregory XI issued five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.
1455 Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.
1724 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer was born (d. 1772).
1762 Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hamburg.
1807 A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United StatesAaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1807 Most of the English town of Chudleigh was destroyed by fire.
1809 On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.
1813 Richard Wagner, German composer, was born (d. 1883).
1819 The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
1826 HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.
1840 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.
1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discovered Howe Cavernswhen they stumbled upon a large hole in the ground.
1843 Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory . They were part of the Great Migration.
1844 Persian Prophet The Báb announced his revelation, founding Bábism. He announced to the world the coming of “He whom God shall make manifest”
1844 – Mary Cassatt, American painter and educator, was born (d. 1926).
1846 – Rita Cetina Gutiérrez, Mexican poet, educator, and activist, was born (d. 1908).
1848 Slavery was abolished in Martinique.
1856 Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat SenatorCharles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas“).
1859 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer, was born (d. 1930).
1871 The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.
1872 Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1884 The first representative New Zealand rugby team played its first match, defeating a Wellington XV 9-0.
1897 The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened.
1903 Launch of the White Star Liner, SS Ionic.
1906 The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.
1906 The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.
1907 Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor, was born (d. 1989).
1915 Lassen Peak eruptsed.
1915 Three trains collided in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green,, killing 227 people and injuring 246.
1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.
1936 M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer, was born (d. 2005).
1939 World War II: Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.
1942 Mexico entered World War II on the side of the Allies.
1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbanded, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, was formed.
1943 – Betty Williams, Northern Irish peace activist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.
1946 George Best, Northern Irish footballer, was born (d. 2005).
1947 Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Truman Doctrine granting $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.
1958 Sri Lankan riots of 1958: a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.
1950 Bernie Taupin, English songwriter, was born.
1955 Iva Davies, Australian rock star (Icehouse), was born.
1960 An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hit southern Chile – the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
1962 Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed after bombs explode on board.
1963 Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis.
1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.
1967 The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels burned down – the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
1968 The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
1969 Apollo 10‘s lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.
1970 Naomi Campbell, British model and actress, was born.
1972 Ceylon adoptseda new constitution, ecoming a Republic, changed its name to Sri Lanka, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
1980 Namco released the arcade game Pac-Man.
1990 Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 operating system.
1992 After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Showfor the last time.
1995 – Waikato-Tainui signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown.
1997 Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
1998 Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.
2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in thebombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
2003 Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
2004 Hallam, Nebraska, was wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, and killed one resident.
2008 The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashed 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 US states and one Canadian province.
2011– An EF5 Tornado struck the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.
2012 – Tokyo Skytree was opened to public. It is the tallest tower in world(634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).
2013 – British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in a London Street.
2014 – General Prayuth Chan-ocha of the Royal Thai Armed Forces announced a military coup d’état, following six months of political turmoil.
2014 – An explosion occurred in the city ofÜrümqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries.
2015 – The Republic of Ireland became the first nation in the world to legalise gay marriage in a public referendum.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia