38 fun facts for May, 31

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
May 31 is a day filled with historical events, celebrations, and commemorations. Significant moments on this day include the end of the Second Boer War, the launch of the Titanic, and the birth of influential figures like Clint Eastwood and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. This day also marks global initiatives like World No Tobacco Day and national observances such as Memorial Day in the United States and National Awakening Day in Indonesia.
38 Fun facts
  1. In 1279 BC, Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. He would go on to rule for 66 years, making him one of the longest-reigning pharaohs in history.
  2. On May 31, 1669, Samuel Pepys wrote his final diary entry. Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for his detailed diary that provides a firsthand account of significant events during the 17th century, such as the Great Fire of London.
  3. In 1678, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, an English writer and poet, was born. She later became a groundbreaking writer and an early advocate for smallpox inoculation.
  4. On May 31, 1790, the United States enacted the Copyright Act of 1790, which established regulations for copyright protection, and was the first federal copyright law.
  5. In 1809, composer Franz Joseph Haydn, known as the "Father of the Symphony," passed away at the age of 77. Haydn's creativity and innovation earned him a well-deserved reputation as a pioneer in the world of classical music.
  6. On May 31, 1832, Évariste Galois, a French mathematician known for his foundational work in group theory and Galois theory, died at the age of 20.
  7. May 31, 1859, marked the official start of the Great Clock in London, also known as Big Ben, after it began keeping time.
  8. In 1868, the first-ever recorded bicycle race took place in Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. Competitors raced over a 1,200-meter course, and the winner was James Moore, an expatriate Englishman.
  9. On May 31, 1884, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents "flaked cereal." This invention revolutionized breakfast worldwide and became the foundation for the iconic Kellogg's cereal brand.
  10. In 1889, the Johnstown Flood took place in Pennsylvania, where a disastrous dam collapse resulted in catastrophic flooding and the deaths of more than 2,200 people.
  11. On May 31, 1894, Fred Allen, an American comedian, writer, and radio host, was born. Allen was considered one of the most influential comedians of his time, known for his sarcastic wit and clever humor.
  12. In 1902, the Second Boer War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging. This ended the conflict between the British Empire and the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.
  13. On May 31, 1911, the RMS Titanic was launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Titanic was famously dubbed "unsinkable" before it tragically sank on its maiden voyage in 1912.
  14. In 1927, on this day, the last Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line. The Ford Model T was an affordable, mass-produced vehicle that revolutionized transportation and American industry.
  15. On May 31, 1930, American actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood was born. Eastwood has left an indelible mark on the film industry, starring in iconic roles such as "Dirty Harry" and winning multiple Academy Awards for directing.
  16. In 1935, Babe Ruth, one of the most famous baseball players in history, played his final baseball game before retiring.
  17. On May 31, 1943, Joe Namath, an American professional football player and iconic sports figure, was born. Namath was the first quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards in a single season and played a major role in the New York Jets' Super Bowl III victory.
  18. In 1961, South Africa became an independent republic after severing its ties with the British Commonwealth.
  19. On May 31, 1962, the West Indies Federation dissolved, resulting in the formation of ten individual Caribbean countries.
  20. In 1970, on this day, an undersea earthquake off the coast of Peru triggered a massive landslide that caused a devastating avalanche, killing more than 70,000 people and leaving countless others homeless.
  21. On May 31, 1971, the USSR launched the Mars 3 probe, which eventually became the first spacecraft to transmit data from the surface of Mars.
  22. In 1977, on this day, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was completed. This 800-mile-long pipeline transports crude oil from the Arctic Ocean's Prudhoe Bay to the Gulf of Alaska.
  23. On May 31, 1985, a massive tornado outbreak occurred in the United States and Canada, resulting in 41 confirmed tornadoes and 90 deaths.
  24. In 1991, Olav V, the King of Norway, passed away at the age of 87.
  25. On May 31, 2005, Vanity Fair revealed that Mark Felt, former associate director of the FBI, was the infamous informant known as "Deep Throat" from the Watergate scandal.
  26. In 2007, on this day, smoking was banned in all enclosed public spaces in the United Kingdom.
  27. On May 31, 2010, Israeli naval forces raided the Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla, resulting in a controversial international incident.
  28. In 2013, the European Space Agency's Mars Express celebrated its 10th anniversary in space.
  29. On May 31, 2015, NASA's Curiosity Rover discovered the first direct evidence of liquid water on Mars.
  30. In 2016, on this day, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest and deepest train tunnel, officially opened in Switzerland.
  31. May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. This global campaign, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), raises awareness about the health risks associated with tobacco use and promotes tobacco control policies.
  32. In the United States, May 31 is Memorial Day, a federal holiday that honors and remembers those who lost their lives while serving in the military.
  33. May 31 is National Autonomous Vehicle Day in the United States, which recognizes the impact of self-driving cars and their potential to revolutionize transportation.
  34. In Indonesia, May 31 is recognized as National Awakening Day, which commemorates the founding of the Budi Utomo movement in 1908, a key moment in the country's struggle for independence.
  35. May 31 is National Macaroon Day in the United States, which celebrates the popular French cookies made from ground almonds or coconut.
  36. In the United States, May 31 is recognized as National Smile Day, a day to spread joy and happiness through the simple act of smiling.
  37. May 31 is National Save Your Hearing Day in the United States, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting one's hearing and preventing noise-induced hearing loss.
  38. In South Africa, May 31 is National Senior Health and Fitness Day, which promotes the importance of regular exercise and healthy habits for older adults.