Published On: May 24 2013 12:43:31 PM EDTUpdated On: May 28 2015 02:00:00 AM EDT
2014: Author and poet Maya Angelou dies at the age of 86 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was best known for her series of autobiographies, including "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," and poems such as "On the Pulse of Morning" and "A Brave and Startling Truth." She had also been a singer, a journalist, an actor and a producer and was active in the Civil Rights movement, working with both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. In 1993, Angelou recited "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.
2010: Actor Gary Coleman, best known for his childhood role as Arnold Jackson in the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," dies at the age of 42 in Provo, Utah, two days after falling down the stairs at his home and hitting his head, possibly after suffering a seizure, and suffering an epidural hematoma. Coleman had many health issues over his life, including congenital autoimmune kidney disease, heart surgery and two previous seizures.
2002: The Mars Odyssey, a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars, finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet.
1999: After 21 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last Supper" is put back on display in Milan, Italy.
1998: Canadian actor and comedian Phil Hartman, best known for TV roles on "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" and for films such as "Houseguest," "Sgt. Bilko" and "Jingle All the Way," is shot and killed by his wife while he is sleeping in their Encino, California, home. His wife committed suicide several hours later. Hartman was 49 when he died.
1985: Pop singer-songwriter and musician Colbie Caillat, whose hit songs include "Bubbly," "Realize," "Fallin' for You," "I Never Told You" and "Brighter Than the Sun," is born in Newbury Park, California. Her 2007 debut album "Coco" sold more than two million copies and her second album, 2009's "Breakthrough," hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.
1985: Actress Carey Mulligan, best known for movies such as "Pride & Prejudice," "An Education," "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," "Drive" and Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," is born in London, England. Her role in 2009's "An Education" won her the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
1977: Talk show host and TV personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck, best known as a finalist on 2001's "Survivor: The Australian Outback" and a co-host on the daytime talk show "The View" from 2003 to 2013, is born Elisabeth DelPadre Filarski in Cranston, Rhode Island. She's seen here (right) with fellow "The View" co-hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd when President Barack Obama was a guest on the show in July 2010.
1972: Edward VIII of the United Kingdom dies of throat cancer at age 77 in Paris, France. He is the only British monarch to have voluntarily renounced the throne since the Anglo-Saxon period, doing so in December 1936 after just less than a year as king to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second. Edward (seen here in 1945) was succeeded as king by his brother Albert, from then on known as King George VI, and was named Duke of Windsor.
1971: Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, dies in a plane crash in Virginia at the age of 45. The pilot and four other passengers were also killed. As a U.S. Army infantryman, Murphy was awarded every U.S. military combat award for valor available from the Army and was also decorated by France and Belgium. He received the Medal of Honor for his defensive actions against attacking German troops on Jan. 26, 1945, near Holtzwihr, France. Then 19, he stood alone on a burning tank destroyer firing a machine gun at advancing German soldiers and tanks during an hour-long siege. Wounded and out of ammunition, he climbed off the vehicle and led his men on a successful counterattack. He was discharged with the rank of first lieutenant in September 1945 and enjoyed a 21-year acting career after the war, mostly appearing in Westerns, but also playing himself in the 1955 autobiographical "To Hell and Back" based on his 1949 memoirs of the same name.
1968: Singer-songwriter and actress Kylie Minogue, best known for pop songs such as "The Loco-Motion," "I Should Be So Lucky," "Can't Get You Out of My Head," "Love at First Sight" and "Come Into My World," is born in Melbourne, Australia.
1966: Ike and Tina Turner release the single "River Deep, Mountain High." The song, which producer Phil Spector considered his best work, flopped on its original release in America, but would climb to No. 3 on the British charts.
1966: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass go to No. 1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart with "What Now My Love," setting a new record with four albums in the chart's top 10. The other three were "South of the Border," "Going Places" and "Whipped Cream and Other Delights."
1964: The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed with the purpose of creating an independent State of Palestine.
1959: Monkeys Miss Able and Miss Baker zoom 300 miles into space on a Jupiter missile. Upon landing in the Atlantic Ocean near Puerto Rico, they became the first animals retrieved from a space mission. Pictured here is Miss Baker, a squirrel monkey, with a model of the rocket she and Miss Able, a rhesus monkey, rode into space.
1957: Baseball outfielder Kirk Gibson, best known for the dramatic home run he hit off Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to victory in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, is born in Pontiac, Michigan. The at-bat was the only plate appearance Gibson would make in the series against the Athletics. Suffering from a stomach virus and having injured both legs during the NLCS, he wasn't even expected to play but entered the game as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning, hobbling around the bases after hitting his homer. The Dodgers went on to win the 1988 World Series in five games. He was named the National League MVP in 1988 and also won a World Series title in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers.
1954: Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder," starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly and Robert Cummings, premieres in New York City.
1947: Actress Sondra Locke, best known for movies such as "Willard," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "The Gauntlet," "Every Which Way But Loose," "Any Which Way You Can" and "Sudden Impact," is born in Shelbeyville, Tennessee. She also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1968 for her performance in "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" (pictured).
1945: Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams, the physician, activist, diplomat and author who founded the Gesundheit! Institute, is born in Washington, D.C. One of the missions of the institute involves the concept of "humanitarian clowning," using the theme of laughter as an integral element of treating patients. His story was portrayed in the 1998 movie "Patch Adams," with Robin Williams playing Adams.
1945: Singer-songwriter and guitarist John Fogerty, best known as a founding member of the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival and for his own solo hits, is born in Berkeley, California. Some of his hits include "Proud Mary," "Born on the Bayou," "Bad Moon Rising," "Down on the Corner," "Fortunate Son" and "Run Through the Jungle," with Creedence Clearwater Revival, and "The Old Man Down the Road" and "Centerfield" as a solo artist.
1944: Rudy Giuliani, who served as the 107th mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, is born in Brooklyn, New York. Giuliani gained international attention for his leadership during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, being named Time Person of the Year that year. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Party nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election.
1944: Singer-songwriter and actress Gladys Knight, best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, is born in Oglethorpe, Georgia. Some of her hits with the band include "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" and "Midnight Train to Georgia." Knight has won a total of seven Grammys, four as a solo artist and three with the Pips.
1940: Belgium surrenders to Germany to end the Battle of Belgium during World War II. Belgium was occupied by the Germans until the winter of 1944–1945, when it was liberated by the Western Alliance.
1938: Basketball Hall of Fame guard Jerry West, a 10-time All-NBA First Team and 14-time NBA All-Star who won a NBA championship during his 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, is born in Chelyan, West Virginia. West played in nine NBA Finals and is the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP, in 1969, despite being on the losing team. West also starred in college at West Virginia University, leading the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game and earning the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honor despite the loss. He was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team and is also well-known for his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo. After retiring as a player in 1974, he coached the Lakers for three seasons before becoming general manager of the team in 1982. He guided the team to six NBA championships during his 20 years as general manager, followed by a five-year stint as the Memphis Grizzlies' GM before retiring in 2007. In 2011, he joined the Golden State Warriors as a head consultant, also receiving an undisclosed minority ownership stake in the team.
1937: German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen is founded by the Nazi trade union, the German Labour Front.
1937: Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler, who founded the school of individual psychology and developed the theory known as inferiority complex, dies of a degeneration of the heart muscle at the age of 67 in Aberdeen, Scotland. Adler began his medical career as an ophthalmologist, but later turned to mental disease and became a prominent member of the psychoanalytical group that formed around Sigmund Freud in 1900.
1934: The Dionne quintuplets are born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne near Callander, Ontario. They would end up being the first quintuplets to survive infancy.
1908: Author Ian Fleming, best known for his James Bond series of spy novels, is born in London, England. Fleming, a naval intelligence officer during World War II, wrote his first Bond novel, "Casino Royale," in 1952. Eleven more Bond novels and two short-story collections followed between 1953 and 1966. He died of a heart attack at age 56 on Aug. 12, 1964.
1892: In San Francisco, California, Scottish conservationist and preservationist John Muir organizes the Sierra Club. The club's first goals included establishing Glacier and Mount Rainier national parks, convincing the California legislature to give Yosemite Valley to the U.S. government, and saving California's coastal redwoods.
1888: Jim Thorpe, a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, is born in Prague, Oklahoma. Thorpe, who also played professional baseball and basketball, won his gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon at the 1912 games. Of Native American and European American ancestry, Thorpe grew up in the Sac and Fox nation in Oklahoma. He died of heart failure at age 64 on March 28, 1953.
1843: Noah Webster, whose name became permanently associated with dictionaries, especially the modern Merriam-Webster dictionary that was first published in 1828, dies at age 84 in New Haven, Connecticut.
1830: President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, which authorizes the relocation of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek and Seminole tribes in the southeastern United States to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their homelands.
1754: In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lt. Col. George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.
1588: The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England. The fleet was so big it took until May 30 for all ships to leave port. In fierce fighting in late July, the English fleet drove the Armada north around Scotland and Ireland into the North Atlantic, where severe storms caused more damage to the then fleeing Spanish ships. By the time the Armada arrived home, it had lost about a total of 50 ships.