The month of May has witnessed quite a number of historic events that have shaped the world and changed it significantly. From important battles to events that have been recorded in the pages of history, the month of May is quite important for a history lover. Let us take a look at some of the most important historic events that have been instrumental in shaping the world as we know it.
Historic events that changed the world
- 1 May 1707: The Union between England and Scotland is announced.
- 2 May 1611: The official version of the Bible (The King James Version) is first published. It becomes the standard English Language Bible for generations to come.
- 3 May 1841: It was announced that New Zealand is to be a British Colony, making its Empire grow further.
- 4 May 1471: The last battle in the War of the Roses begins, with Edward IV defeating the Lancastrians.
- 5 May 1821: Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on a remote island in the British Isles called St. Helena at the age of 51.
- 7 May 1945: Nazi Germany surrenders to the Allied forces at Rheims, bringing an end to the 2nd World War in Europe. VE Day is celebrated in Europe and North America on the following day.
- 8 May 1429: The French warrior, Joan of Arc leads the Dauphin troops to victory over the English, resulting in the siege of Orleans.
- 10 May 1940: Winston Churchill replaces Neville Chamberlain as the British Prime Minister with the famous words that he can promise his people nothing but “blood, toil, tears and sweat”.
- 10 May 1994: Former political prisoner, Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as the president of South Africa after winning the first free election in South Africa.
- 12 May 1937: George VI was crowned the King of the British Empire at Westminster Abbey in London following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. King George reigned until his death in 1952 after which the current monarch, Elizabeth II ascended the throne.
- 13 May 1981: Pope John Paul II was shot twice at close range while traveling in Rome. A terrorist responsible for the murder of a Turkish journalist was arrested immediately.
- 14 May 1607: The first permanent English settlement in America was established in Virginia by a group of settlers from Plymouth, England.
- 17 May 1954: The US Supreme Court rules that segregation of public schools solely on the basis of race is illegal as it denies black children the opportunity of good education to all children. Thurgood Marshall who argued the case before the court became the first African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
- 19 May 1943: Royal Air Force bombers attack dams in the Ruhr Valley in Germany using innovative ball shaped, bouncing bombs. The resulting explosion ended water supply to more than 4 million people and provided 75% of the electricity for industries in the area.
- 20 May 1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years after this expedition, she and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared while flying around the equator.
- 21 May 1991: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated while on a re-election campaign. He was killed by a bomb hidden in a bouquet of flowers.
- 29 May 1453: The city of Constantinople is captured by Turks who rename it to Istanbul. This marked the end of the Byzantine Empire as Istanbul became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
- 30 May 1922: The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated. Designed by architect Henry Bacon, the statue features a seated Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most compelling statues in the United States today.
Historic events that influenced the world
As mentioned earlier, the month of May has seen a number of significant historic events that have changed the course of humanity. From the end of the 2nd World War to the abdication of the English Throne by Edward VIII, several historic events have changed the course of man’s journey through time.