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This was 151st day of the year and 214 days remained in the year.

May 31 Birthdays

Patricia Roberts Harris
1924–85, U.S. government official, born in Mattoon, Ill.

Walt Whitman
poet (1819)

Norman Vincent Peale
clergyman (1898)

Rainier III
prince of Monaco (1923)

Clint Eastwood
actor, director, producer (1930)

Joe Namath
American Football Player (1943)

Brooke Shields
actress, model (1965)

May 31 in History


The first U.S. Copyright Law was enacted, protecting books, maps, and other original materials.


Heavy rains caused the South Fork Dam to collapse, sending 20 million tons of water into Johnstown, Pa. Over 2,200 people were killed and the town was nearly destroyed.


The hull of the Titanic was launched in Belfast. At the ceremony, a White Star Line employee claimed, “Not even God himself could sink this ship.”


South Africa became an independent republic.


Former Gestapo official Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel.


An earthquake in Peru left more than 50,000 dead.


Alberta Martin, 97, one of the last widows of a U.S. Civil War veteran, died. She had married Confederate veteran William Martin in 1927 when she was 21 and he was 81.


Nine people are dead after an Israeli navy commando attacks a flotilla of cargo ships and passenger boats on their way to Gaza to provide aid and supplies for the area.

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Note: Dates in the Islamic calendar are provided for planning purposes only, and calculated with the hdate Islamic calendar program for moonrise in Boston, Masschusetts. Depending on your location and other factors, this result may differ from actual religious observances by one day. Please consult your local religious authority for any religious determinations of hejiric date.