On This Day … 30 May


  • AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.
  • 1381 – Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.
  • 1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
  • 1434 – Hussite Wars: Battle of Lipany: Effectively ending the war, Utraquist forces led by Diviš Bořek of Miletínek defeat and almost annihilate Taborite forces led by Prokop the Great.
  • 1510 – During the reign of the Zhengde Emperor, Ming dynasty rebel leader Zhu Zhifan is defeated by commander Qiu Yue, ending the Prince of Anhua rebellion.
  • 1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.
  • 1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.
  • 1635 – Thirty Years’ War: The Peace of Prague is signed.
  • 1642 – From this date all honours granted by Charles I of England are retroactively annulled by Parliament.
  • 1814 – The First Treaty of Paris is signed, returning the French frontiers to their 1792 extent, and restoring the House of Bourbon to power.
  • 1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.
  • 1868 – Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern “Memorial Day”) is observed in the United States for the first time (by “Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic” John A. Logan’s proclamation on 05 May).
  • 1876 – Ottoman sultan Abdülaziz is deposed and succeeded by his nephew Murad V.
  • 1913 – The Treaty of London is signed, ending the First Balkan War; Albania becomes an independent nation.
  • 1941 – World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the German flag.
  • 1942 – World War II: One thousand British bombers launch a 90-minute attack on Cologne, Germany.
  • 1943 – The Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer of the Zigeunerfamilienlager (Romani family camp) at Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • 1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • 1961 – The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
  • 1963 – A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination during the Buddhist crisis is held outside South Vietnam’s National Assembly, the first open demonstration during the eight-year rule of Ngo Dinh Diem.
  • 1967 – The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.
  • 1968 – Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.
  • 1982 – Cold War: Spain joins NATO.
  • 1998 – Nuclear Testing: Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt TNT equivalent.
  • 2008 – Convention on Cluster Munitions is adopted.
  • 2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
  • Anguilla Day, commemorates the beginning of the Anguillian Revolution in 1967 (Anguilla).

People (Births)

  • 1718 – Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire, English politician, Secretary of State for the Colonies (d. 1793).
  • 1768 – Étienne Marie Antoine Champion de Nansouty, French general (d. 1815).
  • 1819 – William McMurdo, English general (d. 1894).
  • 1879 – Colin Blythe, English cricketer and soldier (d. 1917).
  • 1881 – Georg von Küchler, German field marshal (d. 1968).
  • 1882 – Wyndham Halswelle, English runner and soldier (d. 1915).
  • 1884 – Siegmund Glücksmann, German soldier and politician (d. 1942).
  • 1890 – Roger Salengro, French soldier and politician, French Minister of the Interior (d. 1936).
  • 1916 – Justin Catayée, French soldier and politician (d. 1962).
  • 1934 – Alexei Leonov, Russian general, pilot, and cosmonaut (d. 2019).
  • 1968 – Jason Kenney, Canadian lawyer and politician, 40th Canadian Minister of National Defence.

People (Deaths)

  • 1434 – Prokop the Great, Czech general (b. 1380).
  • 1670 – John Davenport, English minister, co-founded the New Haven Colony (b. 1597).
  • 1718 – Arnold van Keppel, 1st Earl of Albemarle, Dutch-English general (b. 1670).
  • 1829 – Philibert Jean-Baptiste Curial, French general (b. 1774).
  • 1912 – Wilbur Wright, American pilot and businessman, co-founded the Wright Company (b. 1867).
  • 1934 – Tōgō Heihachirō, Japanese admiral (b. 1848).
  • 1947 – Georg von Trapp, Austrian captain (b. 1880).
  • 1961 – Rafael Trujillo, Dominican soldier and politician, 36th President of the Dominican Republic (b. 1891).
  • 1976 – Mitsuo Fuchida, Japanese captain (b. 1902).
  • 1981 – Ziaur Rahman, Bangladeshi general and politician, 7th President of Bangladesh (b. 1936).
  • 2001 – Denis Whitaker, Canadian general and historian (b. 1915).
  • 2010 – Dufferin Roblin, Canadian commander and politician, 14th Premier of Manitoba (b. 1917).
  • 2014 – Leonidas Vasilikopoulos, Greek admiral (b. 1932).
  • 2015 – Beau Biden, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 44th Attorney General of Delaware (b. 1969).

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