This Day in History

May 22


334BC  Alexander the Great's Macedonian army defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus   2352
337      Constantine dies, age about 65   1682
853      Byzantine navy attacks the poorly defended port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta—city is plundered and burnt   1166
1455      First Battle of St Albans marks the beginning of the Wars of the Roses—decisive Yorkist victory capturing king Henry VI   564
1622      Dutch-Flemish astronomer, cartographer and clergyman Petrus Plancius dies, age around 70   397
1761      first life insurance policy in the United States issued in Philadelphia   258
1762      Trevi Fountain in Rome is officially opened and inaugurated by Pope Clemens XIII   257
1802      Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, first "First Lady", dies at Mount Vernon, Virginia, age 70   217
1813      German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner born in Leipzig   206
1832      Rideau Canal opens connecting Ottawa to Kingston on Lake Ontario—oldest continuously operated canal system in North America   187
1849      Abraham Lincoln receives a patent for buoying boats   170
1859      Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, author, born in Edinburgh   160
1868      German physicist and mathematician Julius Plücker dies in Bonn, age 66   151
1885      French author Victor Marie Hugo dies in Paris, age 83   134
1897      Blackwall Tunnel underneath the River Thames in east London opens   122
1906      Orville and Wilbur Wright are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine"   113
1915      Quintinshill rail disaster in Dumfriesshire, Scotland involving 5 trains kills 226 and injures 246 others—deadliest rail crash in the UK   104
1915      Lassen Peak in Northern California erupts in a powerful explosion   104
1927      8.3 earthquake near Xining, China, causes over 200,000 deaths   92
1947      first launch of CORPORAL—U.S. first ballistic missile   72
1960      Great Chilean Earthquake—most powerful recorded earthquake (9.5)—off the coast of Chile near Santiago   59
1962      composer Richard Rogers wins an Emmy and becomes the first person to win an EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award   57
1967      a fire at the Innovation department store in Brussels kills 323—most deadly fire in Belgian history   52
   Cheryl's birthday! 
1968      USS Scorpion becomes the second U.S. nuclear submarine lost   51
1969      Lunar Module of Apollo 10, Snoopy, makes its closest approach to the lunar surface—47,400 feet (14.4 km)   50
1980      pioneering video arcade game Pac-Man first released in Japan   39
1987      first Rugby Union World Cup tournament begins—co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia   32
1990      American professional boxer Thomas Rocco Barbella (Rocky Graziano) dies in New York City, age 71   29
1990      Windows 3.0 is released by Microsoft   29
1997      American bacteriologist and geneticist and Nobel laureate (1969) Alfred Day Hershey dies in Syosset, New York, age 88   22
1998      Israeli-born Australian mathematical physicist José Enrique Moyal dies in Canberra, age 87   21
2001      Kuiper belt object Ixion discovered   18
2008      American science fiction and fantasy author Robert Lynn Asprin dies in New Orleans, age 61   11
2010      U.S. teenager Jordan Romero, age 13 years, 10 months, and 10 days, is the youngest person to stand on the summit of Mount Everest   9
2010      remains of Nicolaus Copernicus are reburied with full religious honors in the Frombork Cathedral   9
2010      American mathematician and science writer Martin Gardner dies in Norman, Oklahoma, age 95   9
2010      Inter Milan wins the Champions League final in Madrid–first Italian team to win historic treble (Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League)   9
2012      launch of Dragon C2 built by SpaceX—first privately developed mission to the International Space Station   7
2012      Tokyo Skytree opens—at 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) is the tallest tower in the world   7
2014      inaugural Genesis Prize is awarded to Michael R. Bloomberg   5
2014      terrorist bombing attack in a busy street market in Ürümqi, China results in 43 killed and over 90 others injured   5
2016      world's largest cruise ship Royal Carribean's Harmony of the Seas departs Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage   3
2017      suicide bombing during an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, U.K., kills 22 and injuries 59 others   2
2017      first visit by a sitting U.S. president to the Western Wall in Jerusalem   2
2018      American Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Philip Milton Roth dies in New York CIty, age 85   1
2018      Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) twin satellite launches on a Falcon 9   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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