This Day in History

May 22


334BC  Alexander the Great's Macedonian army defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus   2350
337      Constantine dies, age about 65   1680
853      Byzantine navy attacks the poorly defended port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta—city is plundered and burnt   1164
1455      First Battle of St Albans marks the beginning of the Wars of the Roses—decisive Yorkist victory capturing king Henry VI   562
1761      first life insurance policy in the United States issued in Philadelphia   256
1762      Trevi Fountain in Rome is officially opened and inaugurated by Pope Clemens XIII   255
1802      Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, first "First Lady", dies at Mount Vernon, Virginia, age 70   215
1813      German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner born in Leipzig   204
1832      Rideau Canal opens connecting Ottawa to Kingston on Lake Ontario—oldest continuously operated canal system in North America   185
1849      Abraham Lincoln receives a patent for buoying boats   168
1859      Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, author, born in Edinburgh   158
1868      German physicist and mathematician Julius Plücker dies in Bonn, age 66   149
1885      French author Victor Marie Hugo dies in Paris, age 83   132
1897      Blackwall Tunnel underneath the River Thames in east London opens   120
1906      Orville and Wilbur Wright are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine"   111
1915      Quintinshill rail disaster in Dumfriesshire, Scotland involving 5 trains kills 226 and injures 246 others—deadliest rail crash in the UK   102
1915      Lassen Peak in Northern California erupts in a powerful explosion   102
1927      7.9 earthquake near Xining, China, causes over 40,000 deaths   90
1947      first launch of CORPORAL—U.S. first ballistic missile   70
1960      Great Chilean Earthquake—most powerful recorded earthquake (9.5)—off the coast of Chile near Santiago   57
1962      composer Richard Rogers wins an Emmy and becomes the first person to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award   55
1967      a fire at the Innovation department store in Brussels kills 323—most deadly fire in Belgian history   50
   Cheryl's birthday! 
1968      USS Scorpion becomes the second U.S. nuclear submarine lost   49
1980      pioneering video arcade game Pac-Man first released in Japan   37
1987      first Rugby Union World Cup tournament begins—co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia   30
1990      Windows 3.0 is released by Microsoft   27
2001      Kuiper belt object Ixion discovered   16
2008      American science fiction and fantasy author Robert Lynn Asprin dies in New Orleans, age 61   9
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   7
2010      remains of Nicolaus Copernicus are reburied with full religious honors in the Frombork Cathedral   7
2010      American mathematician and science writer Martin Gardner dies in Norman, Oklahoma, age 95   7
2012      launch of Dragon C2 built by SpaceX—first privately developed mission to the International Space Station   5
2012      Tokyo Skytree opens—at 634.0 metres (2,080 ft) is the tallest tower in the world   5
2016      world's largest cruise ship Royal Carribean's Harmony of the Seas departs Southampton, England, on her maiden voyage   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.

day before yesterdayyesterday tomorrowday after tomorrow