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  Daily Almanac
Today's Events | On Horizon | On This Day | Newslink | Notable | Almanac archive

Sunday, May 31, 1998

quote   "The fact of our existence as the neighbor of an expansionist and a hegemonistic power taught us the inevitable lesson that we must search for security."

-- Pakistani Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan


today's events

  • Pope John Paul II visits Poland.

on the horizon

  • On Monday, June 1, the hurricane season begins in the Central Pacific.

  • On Tuesday, June 2, the space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch on a 10-day mission.

  • On Wednesday, June 3, Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler updates the Security Council on his team's progress.

  • On Thursday, June 4, Terry Nichols is to be sentenced in Denver for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.


Rumor has it that Ginger Spice has left, or is about to leave, the funky teen-sensation pop group Spice Girls. Get the latest at the Spice Girls' unofficial home page.

  • Estonia marks Whit Sunday.
  • Israel observes Pentecost.
  • Actor Tom Berenger (Platoon) is 48.
  • Actor-director Clint Eastwood is 68.
  • Writer-comedian Chris Elliott ("Late Night with David Letterman") is 38.
  • Actress Sharon Gless ("Cagney & Lacey") is 55.
  • Actor Gregory Harrison ("Trapper John , MD") is 48.
  • Football legend Joe Namath is 55
  • Actress-model Brooke Shields is 33.
  • Actress Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City") is 37.

on this day

  • In 1433, Pope Eugenius IV crowned Sigismund as Holy Roman Emperor.

  • In 1594, Tintoretto, born as Jacopo Robusti, a child prodigy and a great Italian artist, died. Among his most famous works are "The Last Judgement" and "The Last Supper."

  • In 1669, due to failing eyesight, the British admiralty official and diarist Samuel Pepys stopped writing his diary.

  • In 1740, Frederick William I, king of Prussia, died after transforming his country into a prosperous and powerful one. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick II the Great.

  • In 1809, Franz Josef Haydn, Austrian composer, died. During his 77 years he composed more than 100 symphonies, several masses, a series of string quartets and many stage works.

  • In 1821, the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary In Baltimore became the first Catholic cathedral to be dedicated in the United States.

  • In 1837, Joseph Grimaldi, famed English dancer and actor whose white-faced act marked the birth of the English circus clown, died.

  • In 1859, Big Ben, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London, began telling the time.

  • In 1900, in the Boer War, the British seized Johannesburg.

  • In 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed in Pretoria bringing an end to the Boer War. More than 5,000 British troops and at least 4,000 Boers were killed in action.

  • In 1910, the former British self-governing colonies of Natal, the Transvaal and Cape of Good Hope joined together and formed the Union of South Africa.

  • In 1911, in Belfast, the White Star liner the Titanic was launched as one of the largest vessels afloat. It sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912.

  • In 1923, Prince Rainier III of Monaco was born. He transformed Monaco from a gambling paradise into a booming international business centre.

  • In 1930, Clint Eastwood, U.S. film star and director, born. He came to fame in the television series "Rawhide" and then with spaghetti westerns. He also starred as "Dirty Harry," among various other roles.

  • In 1938, in the United States, the film "The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel" became the first to be seen on television. It was broadcast by NBC.

  • In 1945, in China, Gen. Chiang Kai-shek resigned as premier and was succeeded by Dr T.V. Soong. Chiang Kai-shek remained as president.

  • In 1961, South Africa proclaimed itself a republic and left the Commonwealth.

  • In 1962, Adolph Eichmann, who helped to organize Nazi Germany's murder of millions of Jews, was hanged in Jerusalem.

  • In 1970, in Peru, a magnitude-7.9 earthquake struck the towns of Yungay, Huaraz and Chimbote, destroying all three as well as surrounding villages. This resulted in more than 70,000 people killed and 600,000 left homeless.

  • In 1994, Bosnia's parliament elected Croat war veteran Kresimir Zubak as the first interim president of a new power-sharing Muslim-Croat federation.

  • In 1996, right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu narrowly beat Shimon Peres in the election for Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu won 50.4 percent of votes and Peres 49.5 percent.

  • In 1996, Timothy Leary, the counterculture guru of the 1960s who urged a generation of Americans to use the drug LSD so they could "turn on, tune in and drop out," died of cancer.

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