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This Day In History: May 31

This Day in History

1660: Mary Dyer is hanged in Boston, Massachusetts, under a law condemning Quakers.
1790: Pres. George Washington signs the first U.S. copyright law.
1793: The Reign of Terror begins in France, targeting opponents of the French Revolution.
1864: At the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA (May 31 to June 12) the Confederates under Gen. Robert E. Lee are victorious against Union troops under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
1889: After heavy rains cause the Connemaugh River Dam to burst, a huge flood engulfs Johnstown, PA, killing 2,200.
1916: During World War I, the Battle of Jutland is fought between British and German fleets off the Danish coast. Although British losses are greater, Allied supremacy on the North Sea remains unchallenged for the duration of the war.
1955: The Supreme Court orders "all deliberate speed" in the integration of public schools.
1974: After mediation efforts by Henry Kissinger, Israel and Syria sign a truce on the Golan Heights.

Today's Birthdays

1750: Karl August von Hardenberg, chancellor of Prussia (Hannover, Germany; died 1822)
1819: Walt Whitman, poet/journalist (West Hills, Long Island, NY; died 1892)
1857: Pius XI, pope (Desio, Italy; died 1939)
1894: Fred Allen, comedian/radio personality (Cambridge, MA; died 1956)
1898: Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, religious leader/inspirational writer (Bowersville, OH; died 1993)
1908: Don Ameche, actor (Kenosha, WI; died 1993)
1923: Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Europe's longest-reigning monarch (Monaco; died 2005)
1930: Clint Eastwood, actor/director (San Francisco, CA)
1938: Peter Yarrow, singer/songwriter and member of Peter, Paul, and Mary (New York, NY)
1941: Johnny Paycheck, singer/songwriter (Greenfield, OH)
1943: Sharon Gless, actress (Los Angeles, CA). Joe Namath, football quarterback (Beaver Falls, PA)
1950: Tom Berenger, actor (Chicago, IL). Gregory Harrison, actor (Avalon, CA)
1960: Chris Elliott, actor/writer (New York, NY)
1961: Lea Thompson, actress (Rochester, MN)
1965: Brooke Shields, actress/model (New York, NY)

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