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May 31

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  • What happened on May 31
  • May 31 is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 214 days remaining until the end of the year.

 

  • Events on May 31
  • 455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome.
  • 526 – A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch killing 250,000.
  • 1223 – Mongol invasion of the Cumans: Battle of the Kalka River: Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus’and Cumans.
  • 1578 – Martin Frobisher sails from Harwich in England to Frobisher Bay in Canada, eventually to mine fool’s gold, used to pave streets in London.[citation needed]
  • 1578 – King Henry III lays the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), the oldest bridge of Paris, France.
  • 1669 – Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.
  • 1775 – American Revolution: The Mecklenburg Resolves are allegedly adopted in the Province of North Carolina.
  • 1790 – Manuel Quimper explores the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • 1790 – The United States enacts its first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790.
  • 1795 – French Revolution: The Revolutionary Tribunal is suppressed.
  • 1805 – French and Spanish forces begin the assault against British forces occupying Diamond Rock.
  • 1813 – In Australia, William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth reach Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains.
  • 1952 – The amusement park, Efteling in The Netherlands, opens.
  • 1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Peninsula Campaign: Battle of Seven Pines or (Battle of Fair Oaks): Confederate forces under Joseph E. Johnston and G.W. Smithengage Union forces under George B. McClellan outside Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor: The Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee engages the Army of the Potomacunder Ulysses S. Grant and George Meade.
  • 1866 – In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O’Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders over the next three days, at a cost of nine dead and 38 wounded to the Fenians’ 19 dead and about 17 wounded.
  • 1879 – Gilmores Garden in New York City is renamed Madison Square Garden by William Henry Vanderbilt and is opened to the public at 26th Street andMadison Avenue.
  • 1884 – The arrival at Plymouth of Tāwhiao, King of Maoris, to claim the protection of Queen Victoria
  • 1889 – Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people die after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
  • 1902 – Second Boer War: The Treaty of Vereeniging ends the war and ensures British control of South Africa.
  • 1909 – The National Negro Committee, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), convenes for the first time.
  • 1910 – The creation of the Union of South Africa.
  • 1911 – The hull of the ocean liner RMS Titanic is launched.
  • 1911 – The President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz flees the country during the Mexican Revolution.
  • 1916 – World War I: Battle of Jutland: The British Grand Fleet under the command of John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe and David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty engage theImperial German Navy under the command of Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper in the largest naval battle of the war, which proves indecisive.
  • 1921 – Tulsa race riot: civil unrest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The official death toll was given as 39, but other estimates of black fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.
  • 1924 – The Soviet Union signs an agreement with the Beijing government, referring to Outer Mongolia as an “integral part of the Republic of China”, whose “sovereignty” therein the Soviet Union promises to respect.
  • 1927 – The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles.
  • 1935 – A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan killing 40,000.
  • 1941 – A Luftwaffe air raid on Dublin, Ireland, claims 38 lives.
  • 1941 – Anglo-Iraqi War: The United Kingdom completes the re-occupation of Iraq and returns ‘Abd al-Ilah to power as regent for Faisal II.
  • 1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.
  • 1958 – Feijenoord Rotterdam wins the first edition of the Benelux Cup
  • 1961 – The Union of South Africa becomes the Republic of South Africa.
  • 1961 – In Moscow City Court, the Rokotov–Faibishenko show trial begins, despite the Khrushchev Thaw to reverse Stalinist elements in Soviet society.
  • 1962 – The West Indies Federation dissolves.
  • 1970 – The 7.9 Mw Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794–70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.
  • 1971 – In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30.
  • 1973 – The United States Senate votes to cut off funding for the bombing of Khmer Rouge targets within Cambodia, hastening the end of the Cambodian Civil War.
  • 1977 – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System is completed.
  • 1981 – The burning of Jaffna library in Sri Lanka, a violent example of ethnic biblioclasm, takes place.
  • 1985 – United States–Canada tornado outbreak: Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead.
  • 1989 – A group of six members of the Peruvian guerrilla group Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement shoot dead eight transsexuals in Tarapoto.
  • 1991 – Bicesse Accords in Angola lay out a transition to multi-party democracy under the supervision of the United Nations’ UNAVEM II mission.
  • 2005 – Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat”.
  • 2010 – Israeli Shayetet 13 commandos boarded the Gaza Freedom Flotilla while still in international waters trying to break the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip; nine civilians were killed during a violent affray that ensued.
  • 2013 – The asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon make their closest approach to Earth for the next two centuries.

 

 

  • Births on May 31
  • 1443 – Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (d. 1509)
  • 1469 – Manuel I of Portugal (d. 1521)
  • 1527 – Agnes of Hesse (d. 1555)
  • 1535 – Alessandro Allori, Italian painter (d. 1607)
  • 1557 – Feodor I of Russia (d. 1598)
  • 1613 – John George II, Elector of Saxony (d. 1680)
  • 1641 – Patriarch Dositheos II of Jerusalem (d. 1707)
  • 1683 – Jean-Pierre Christin, French physicist, mathematician, and astronomer, invented the Celsius thermometer (d. 1755)
  • 1732 – Count Hieronymus von Colloredo, Austrian archbishop (d. 1812)
  • 1753 – Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud, French lawyer and politician (d. 1793)
  • 1754 – Andrea Appiani, Italian painter and educator (d. 1817)
  • 1773 – Ludwig Tieck, German poet, author, and critic (d. 1853)
  • 1801 – Johann Georg Baiter, Swiss philologist and scholar (d. 1887)
  • 1818 – John Albion Andrew, American lawyer and politician, 25th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1867)
  • 1819 – Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, and journalist (d. 1892)
  • 1835 – Hijikata Toshizō, Japanese commander (d. 1869)
  • 1838 – Henry Sidgwick, English economist and philosopher (d. 1900)
  • 1847 – William Pirrie, 1st Viscount Pirrie, Canadian-Irish businessman and politician, Lord Mayor of Belfast (d. 1924)
  • 1852 – Francisco Moreno, Argentinian explorer and academic (d. 1919)
  • 1852 – Julius Richard Petri, German microbiologist, invented the Petri dish (d. 1921)
  • 1857 – Pope Pius XI (d. 1939)
  • 1858 – Graham Wallas, English socialist, social psychologist, and educationalist (d. 1932)
  • 1860 – Walter Sickert, English painter (d. 1942)
  • 1863 – Francis Younghusband, Indian-English captain and explorer (d. 1942)
  • 1879 – Frances Alda, New Zealand-Australian soprano (d. 1952)
  • 1882 – Sándor Festetics, Hungarian politician, Hungarian Minister of War (d. 1956)
  • 1883 – Lauri Kristian Relander, Finnish politician, 2nd President of Finland (d. 1942)
  • 1885 – Alois Hudal, Austrian bishop (d. 1963)
  • 1887 – Saint-John Perse, French poet and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975)
  • 1892 – Michel Kikoine, Belarusian-French painter (d. 1968)
  • 1892 – Erich Neumann, German lieutenant and politician (d. 1951)
  • 1892 – Konstantin Paustovsky, Russian poet and author (d. 1968)
  • 1892 – Gregor Strasser, German lieutenant and politician (d. 1934)
  • 1894 – Fred Allen, American comedian, radio host, game show panelist, and author (d. 1956)
  • 1898 – Norman Vincent Peale, American minister and author (d. 1993)
  • 1901 – Alfredo Antonini, Italian-American conductor and composer (d. 1983)
  • 1902 – Billy Mayerl, English pianist and composer (d. 1959)
  • 1908 – Don Ameche, American actor, voice artist and vaudevillian (d. 1993)
  • 1908 – Nils Poppe, Swedish actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 2000)
  • 1909 – Art Coulter, Canadian-American ice hockey player (d. 2000)
  • 1911 – Maurice Allais, French economist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2010)
  • 1912 – Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-American experimental physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1997)
  • 1914 – Akira Ifukube, Japanese composer and educator (d. 2006)
  • 1916 – Bert Haanstra, Dutch director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1997)
  • 1916 – Bernard Lewis, English-American historian and author
  • 1918 – Sadie Corré, English actress and dancer (d. 2009)
  • 1919 – Robie Macauley, American editor, novelist and critic (d. 1995)
  • 1921 – Edna Doré, English actress (d. 2014)
  • 1921 – Howard Reig, American radio and television announcer (d. 2008)
  • 1921 – Alida Valli, Austrian-Italian actress and singer (d. 2006)
  • 1922 – Denholm Elliott, English-Spanish actor (d. 1992)
  • 1923 – Ellsworth Kelly, American painter and sculptor (d. 2015)
  • 1923 – Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (d. 2005)
  • 1924 – Russell Endean, South African cricketer (d. 2003)
  • 1925 – Julian Beck, American actor and director (d. 1986)
  • 1927 – James Eberle, English admiral
  • 1927 – Michael Sandberg, Baron Sandberg, English lieutenant and banker
  • 1929 – Menahem Golan, Israeli director and producer (d. 2014)
  • 1930 – Clint Eastwood, American actor, director, and producer
  • 1931 – John Robert Schrieffer, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1931 – Shirley Verrett, American soprano and actress (d. 2010)
  • 1932 – Ed Lincoln, Brazilian pianist, bassist, and composer (d. 2012)
  • 1932 – Jay Miner, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 1994)
  • 1932 – Hanno Selg, Estonian pentathlete
  • 1933 – Henry B. Eyring, American religious leader, educator, and author
  • 1934 – Jim Hutton, American actor (d. 1979)
  • 1935 – Jim Bolger, New Zealand businessman and politician, 35th Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • 1938 – Johnny Paycheck, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2003)
  • 1938 – John Prescott, British sailor and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • 1938 – Peter Yarrow, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1939 – Terry Waite, English humanitarian and author
  • 1940 – Anatoliy Bondarchuk, Ukrainian hammer thrower and coach
  • 1940 – Gilbert Shelton, American illustrator
  • 1941 – June Clark, Welsh nurse and educator
  • 1941 – Louis Ignarro, American pharmacologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1943 – Sharon Gless, American actress
  • 1943 – Joe Namath, American football player, sportscaster, and actor
  • 1944 – Samantha Juste, English singer and television host (d. 2014)
  • 1945 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1982)
  • 1945 – Laurent Gbagbo, Ivorian academic and politician, 4th President of Côte d’Ivoire
  • 1945 – Bernard Goldberg, American journalist and author
  • 1946 – Ted Baehr, American publisher and critic
  • 1946 – Steve Bucknor, Jamaican cricketer and umpire
  • 1946 – Krista Kilvet, Estonian journalist, politician, and diplomat (d. 2009)
  • 1946 – Debbie Moore, English model and businesswoman
  • 1947 – Junior Campbell, Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1947 – Gabriele Hinzmann, German discus thrower
  • 1948 – Svetlana Alexievich, Belarusian journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1948 – John Bonham, English musician, songwriter and drummer (d. 1980)
  • 1948 – Martin Hannett, English bass player, guitarist, and record producer (d. 1991)
  • 1948 – Duncan Hunter, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician
  • 1949 – Tom Berenger, American actor
  • 1949 – Tapio Kantanen, Finnish runner
  • 1950 – Jean Chalopin, French director, producer, and screenwriter, founded DIC Entertainment
  • 1950 – Gregory Harrison, American actor
  • 1950 – Edgar Savisaar, Estonian politician, Estonian Minister of the Interior
  • 1951 – Karl-Hans Riehm, German hammer thrower
  • 1952 – Karl Bartos, German singer-songwriter and keyboard player
  • 1953 – Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Finnish actor and screenwriter
  • 1953 – Linda Riordan, English politician
  • 1953 – Lynne Truss, English journalist and author
  • 1954 – Thomas Mavros, Greek footballer
  • 1955 – Bruce Adolphe, American pianist, composer, and scholar
  • 1955 – Ben de Lisi, American fashion designer
  • 1955 – Tommy Emmanuel, Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1955 – Susie Essman, American actress, comedian, and screenwriter
  • 1956 – Fritz Hilpert, German drummer and composer
  • 1956 – John Young, English singer-songwriter and keyboard player
  • 1957 – Jim Craig, American ice hockey player
  • 1959 – Andrea de Cesaris, Italian race car driver (d. 2014)
  • 1959 – Phil Wilson, English politician
  • 1960 – Greg Adams, Canadian ice hockey player and businessman
  • 1960 – Chris Elliott, American actor, comedian, and screenwriter
  • 1960 – Peter Winterbottom, English rugby player
  • 1961 – Ray Cote, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1961 – Justin Madden, Australian footballer and politician
  • 1961 – Lea Thompson, American actress, director, and producer
  • 1962 – Corey Hart, Canadian singer-songwriter and producer
  • 1963 – David Leigh, holder of the Sir Samuel Hall Chair of Chemistry at the University of Manchester
  • 1963 – Viktor Orbán, Hungarian politician, 38th Prime Minister of Hungary
  • 1963 – Wesley Willis, American singer-songwriter and keyboard player (d. 2003)
  • 1964 – Leonard Asper, Canadian lawyer and businessman
  • 1964 – Stéphane Caristan, French hurdler and coach
  • 1964 – Yukio Edano, Japanese politician, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • 1965 – Brooke Shields, American model, actress, and producer
  • 1966 – Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lankan cricketer and referee
  • 1967 – Phil Keoghan, New Zealand television host and producer
  • 1967 – Kenny Lofton, American baseball player, coach, and sportscaster
  • 1968 – John Connolly, Irish journalist and author
  • 1972 – Frode Estil, Norwegian skier
  • 1972 – Antti Niemi, Finnish footballer and coach
  • 1972 – Archie Panjabi, English actress
  • 1972 – Dave Roberts, American baseball player and coach
  • 1973 – Chris Harmse, South African hammer thrower
  • 1973 – Kate Howey, English martial artist and coach
  • 1973 – Dominique Monami, Belgian tennis player
  • 1974 – Hiroiki Ariyoshi, Japanese comedian and singer
  • 1974 – Chad Campbell, American golfer
  • 1974 – Zsolt Erdei, Hungarian boxer
  • 1974 – Tristram Hunt, English historian and politician, Shadow Secretary of State for Education
  • 1974 – Adrian Tomine, American author and illustrator
  • 1975 – Mac Suzuki, Japanese baseball player
  • 1975 – Yiasoumis Yiasoumi, Cypriot footballer
  • 1976 – Colin Farrell, Irish actor
  • 1976 – Matt Harpring, American basketball player and sportscaster
  • 1976 – Mashona Washington, American tennis player
  • 1977 – Theodoros Baev, Bulgarian-Greek volleyball player
  • 1977 – Phil Devey, Canadian baseball player
  • 1977 – Domenico Fioravanti, Italian swimmer
  • 1977 – Scott Klopfenstein, American singer-songwriter and trumpet player
  • 1977 – Greg Leeb, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Eric Christian Olsen, American actor
  • 1977 – Joachim Olsen, Danish shot putter and politician
  • 1977 – Moses Sichone, Zambian footballer
  • 1977 – Petr Tenkrát, Czech ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Jean-François Gillet, Belgian footballer
  • 1980 – Craig Bolton, Australian footballer and sportscaster
  • 1981 – Mikael Antonsson, Swedish footballer
  • 1981 – Jake Peavy, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Daniele Bonera, Italian footballer
  • 1982 – Brett Firman, Australian rugby league player
  • 1983 – David Hernandez, American singer and reality television star
  • 1983 – Paddy McCarthy, Irish footballer
  • 1983 – Dustin Wells, New Zealand footballer
  • 1984 – Andrew Bailey, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Milorad Čavić, Serbian swimmer
  • 1984 – Nate Robinson, American basketball player
  • 1985 – Navene Koperweis, American drummer, songwriter, and producer
  • 1985 – Ian Vougioukas, Greek basketball player
  • 1986 – Robert Gesink, Dutch cyclist
  • 1987 – Shaun Fleming, American actor, singer, and drummer
  • 1987 – Nagi Yanagi, Japanese singer-songwriter
  • 1988 – Lisa Bund, German singer-songwriter
  • 1989 – Lauren Barnes, American soccer player
  • 1989 – Bas Dost, Dutch footballer
  • 1989 – Noah Gundersen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1989 – Sean Johnson, American soccer player
  • 1989 – Marco Reus, German footballer
  • 1989 – Pablo Alborán, Spanish singer
  • 1989 – Chase Stanley, Australian-New Zealand rugby league player
  • 1990 – Erik Karlsson, Swedish ice hockey player
  • 1991 – Azealia Banks, American rapper
  • 1992 – VanossGaming, Canadian YouTuber
  • 1992 – Laura Ikauniece, Latvian heptathlete
  • 1993 – Jason Taumalolo, New Zealand rugby league player
  • 1997 – Inês Murta, Portuguese tennis player

 

 

  • Deaths on May 31
  • 455 – Petronius Maximus, Roman emperor (b. 396)
  • 1076 – Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, English politician (b. 1050)
  • 1089 – Sigwin von Are, Archbishop of Cologne
  • 1162 – Géza II of Hungary (b. 1130)
  • 1321 – Birger, King of Sweden (b. 1280)
  • 1326 – Maurice de Berkeley, 2nd Baron Berkeley, English rebel baron (b. 1271)
  • 1329 – Albertino Mussato, Italian statesman and writer (b. 1261)
  • 1349 – Thomas Wake, 2nd Baron Wake of Liddell, English politician (b. 1297)
  • 1370 – St Vitalis of Assisi (b. 1295)
  • 1408 – Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Japanese shogun (b. 1358)
  • 1410 – Martin of Aragon (b. 1356)
  • 1495 – Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (b. 1415)
  • 1504 – Engelbert II of Nassau (b. 1451)
  • 1558 – Philip Hoby, English general and diplomat (b. 1505)
  • 1567 – Guido de Bres, Belgian pastor and theologian (b. 1522)
  • 1594 – Tintoretto, Italian painter and educator (b. 1518)
  • 1680 – Joachim Neander, German theologian and educator (b. 1650)
  • 1740 – Frederick William I of Prussia (b. 1688)
  • 1747 – Andrey Osterman, German-Russian politician, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs (b. 1686)
  • 1809 – Joseph Haydn, Austrian pianist and composer (b. 1732)
  • 1809 – Jean Lannes, French general (b. 1769)
  • 1831 – Samuel Bentham, English architect and engineer (b. 1757)
  • 1832 – Évariste Galois, French mathematician and theorist (b. 1811)
  • 1837 – Joseph Grimaldi, English actor, comedian and dancer, (b. 1779)
  • 1846 – Philip Marheineke, German pastor and philosopher (b. 1780)
  • 1847 – Thomas Chalmers, Scottish minister and economist (b. 1780)
  • 1848 – Eugénie de Guérin, French author (b. 1805)
  • 1908 – Louis-Honoré Fréchette, Canadian author, poet, and politician (b. 1839)
  • 1910 – Elizabeth Blackwell, English-American physician and educator (b. 1821)
  • 1931 – Felix-Raymond-Marie Rouleau, Canadian cardinal (b. 1866)
  • 1931 – Willy Stöwer, German author and illustrator (b. 1864)
  • 1945 – Odilo Globocnik, Italian-Austrian SS officer (b. 1904)
  • 1954 – Antonis Benakis, Greek art collector and philanthropist, founded the Benaki Museum (b. 1873)
  • 1957 – Stefanos Sarafis, Greek general and politician (b. 1890)
  • 1957 – Leopold Staff, Polish poet and academic (b. 1878)
  • 1960 – Willem Elsschot, Flemish author and poet (b. 1882)
  • 1960 – Walther Funk, German economist, journalist, and politician, German Minister of Economics (b. 1890)
  • 1962 – Henry F. Ashurst, American lawyer and politician (b. 1874)
  • 1963 – Edith Hamilton, German-American author and educator (b. 1867)
  • 1967 – Billy Strayhorn, American pianist and composer (b. 1915)
  • 1970 – Terry Sawchuk, Canadian-American ice hockey player (b. 1929)
  • 1976 – Jacques Monod, French biologist and geneticist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1910)
  • 1977 – William Castle, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1914)
  • 1978 – József Bozsik, Hungarian footballer and manager (b. 1925)
  • 1981 – Barbara Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, English economist and journalist (b. 1914)
  • 1982 – Carlo Mauri, Italian mountaineer and explorer (b. 1930)
  • 1983 – Jack Dempsey, American boxer and lieutenant (b. 1895)
  • 1985 – Gaston Rébuffat, French mountaineer and author (b. 1921)
  • 1986 – Jane Frank, American painter and sculptor (b. 1918)
  • 1986 – James Rainwater, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
  • 1987 – John Abraham, Indian director and screenwriter (b. 1937)
  • 1989 – Owen Lattimore, American author and academic (b. 1900)
  • 1994 – Uzay Heparı, Turkish actor, producer, and composer (b. 1969)
  • 1994 – Herva Nelli, Italian-American soprano (b. 1909)
  • 1995 – Stanley Elkin, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (b. 1930)
  • 1996 – Timothy Leary, American psychologist and author (b. 1920)
  • 1998 – Charles Van Acker, Belgian-American race car driver (b. 1912)
  • 2000 – Petar Mladenov, Bulgarian diplomat, 1st President of Bulgaria (b. 1936)
  • 2000 – Tito Puente, American jazz musician (b. 1923)
  • 2000 – A. Jeyaratnam Wilson, Sri Lankan historian, author, and academic (b. 1928)
  • 2001 – Arlene Francis, American actress, talk show host, game show panelist, and television personality (b. 1907)
  • 2002 – Subhash Gupte, Indian cricketer (b. 1929)
  • 2004 – Aiyathurai Nadesan, Sri Lankan journalist (b. 1954)
  • 2004 – Robert Quine, American guitarist (b. 1941)
  • 2004 – Étienne Roda-Gil, French screenwriter and composer (b. 1941)
  • 2006 – Ryan Bennett, American sportscaster (b. 1970)
  • 2006 – Miguel Ortiz Berrocal, Spanish sculptor (b. 1933)
  • 2006 – Raymond Davis, Jr., American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1914)
  • 2006 – Lula Mae Hardaway, American songwriter (b. 1930)
  • 2009 – Danny La Rue, Irish-born British drag queen performer and singer (b. 1927)
  • 2009 – George Tiller, American physician (b. 1941)
  • 2010 – Louise Bourgeois, French-American sculptor and painter (b. 1911)
  • 2010 – Brian Duffy, English photographer and producer (b. 1933)
  • 2010 – William A. Fraker, American director, producer, and cinematographer (b. 1923)
  • 2010 – Rubén Juárez, Argentinian singer-songwriter and bandoneón player (b. 1947)
  • 2010 – Merata Mita, New Zealand director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1942)
  • 2011 – Pauline Betz, American tennis player (b. 1919)
  • 2011 – Jonas Bevacqua, American fashion designer, co-founded the Lifted Research Group (b. 1977)
  • 2011 – Derek Hodge, Virgin Islander lawyer and politician, Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands (b. 1941)
  • 2011 – Hans Keilson, German-Dutch psychoanalyst and author (b. 1909)
  • 2011 – John Martin, English admiral and politician, Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey (b. 1918)
  • 2011 – Andy Robustelli, American football player and manager (b. 1925)
  • 2012 – Christopher Challis, English cinematographer (b. 1919)
  • 2012 – Randall B. Kester, American lawyer and judge (b. 1916)
  • 2012 – Mark Midler, Russian fencer (b. 1931)
  • 2012 – Paul Pietsch, German race car driver and publisher (b. 1911)
  • 2012 – Orlando Woolridge, American basketball player and coach (b. 1959)
  • 2013 – Gerald E. Brown, American physicist and academic (b. 1926)
  • 2013 – Frederic Lindsay, Scottish author and educator (b. 1933)
  • 2013 – Miguel Méndez, American author and poet (b. 1930)
  • 2013 – Tim Samaras, American engineer and storm chaser (b. 1957)
  • 2013 – Jairo Mora Sandoval, Costa Rican environmentalist (b. 1987)
  • 2013 – Jean Stapleton, American actress (b. 1923)
  • 2014 – Marilyn Beck, American journalist (b. 1928)
  • 2014 – Marinho Chagas, Brazilian footballer and coach (b. 1952)
  • 2014 – Hoss Ellington, American race car driver (b. 1935)
  • 2014 – Martha Hyer, American actress (b. 1924)
  • 2014 – Lewis Katz, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1942)
  • 2014 – Brajanath Ratha, Indian poet and author (b. 1936)
  • 2014 – Mary Soames, Baroness Soames, English author (b. 1922)
  • 2015 – Nico Castel, Portuguese-American tenor and actor (b. 1931)
  • 2015 – Hiroshi Koizumi, Japanese actor and producer (b. 1926)
  • 2015 – Gladys Taylor, Canadian author and publisher (b. 1917)
  • 2016 – Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (1976–2016) (b. 1947)
  • 2016 – Jan Crouch, American televangelist, co-founder of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (b. 1938)
  • 2016 – Carla Lane, English television writer (b. 1928)
  • 2016 – Rupert Neudeck, German journalist and humanitarian (b. 1939)

 

 

  • Holidays and observances on May 31
  • Anniversary of Royal Brunei Malay Regiment (Brunei)
  • Christian feast day:
    • Camilla Battista da Varano
    • Hermias
    • Petronella
    • Visitation of Mary (Western Christianity)
    • May 31 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
  • The beginning of Gawai Dayak (Dayaks in Sarawak, Malaysia and West Kalimantan, Indonesia)
  • World No Tobacco Day (International)
May 31
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