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May 1

1966  The Beatles gave their last UK concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley

1961  Betting shops were legalised in the UK

May 2

1519  Leonardo da Vinci died

May 3

1953  Dylan Thomas gave the first public reading of "Under Milk Wood"

1810  In imitation of Leander, Lord Byron swam the Hellespont at the mouth of the Dardanelles in 1 hour 10 minutes

May 4

1829  The Earl of Surrey became the first Roman Catholic MP

May 5
Aah ... The Mayflower

Charles I  1600-16491980  An SAS team stormed the London Iranian Embassy to rescue hostages, killing five of the six terrorists

1961  Alan Shepard became the first American in space

1646  Charles I surrendered to the Scots at Newark

May 6

1965  Julie Andrews won an Oscar for her performance in Mary Poppins - bet the Academy is proud of that decision

1626  Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island for 24 dollars - little knowing that twenty years later to the day Charles I would surrender to the Scots at Newark

May 7

1765  Nelson's flagship Victory was launched at Chatham

May 8

1988  The science fiction author Robert Heinlein died

May 9

1926  Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett made the first flight over the North Pole

May 10

1937  The first frozen food went on sale in the UK - it was asparagus

1919  The first commercial air service - between Manchester and Southport - started

May 11

Spencer Perceval  1762-18121922  The radio station 2LO was established at Marconi House in London's Strand

1812  Spencer Perceval became the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated

May 12

1969  The voting age in the UK was lowered from 21 to 18

May 13

2002  Patrick Fyffe (Dame Hilda Bracket of Hinge and Bracket) died aged 60 of cancer

1961  Gary Cooper (super duper) died

May 14

1817  Mary Shelley finished writing Frankenstein

May 15

Badge of The Australian Flying Doctor Service1928  The Australian Flying Doctor Service was inaugurated

May 16James Boswell  1740-17951763  James Boswell first met Dr Johnson
May 17

1899  Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of the Victoria and Albert museum

May 18

Emile Berliner  1851-19291888  Emile Berliner demonstrated the first horizontal gramophone disc

1857  The British Museum Reading Room was opened

May 19

1906  The Simplon rail tunnel opened between Italy and Switzerland

May 21

1904  FIFA was founded

1894  Queen Victoria opened the Manchester ship canal

May 22

1954  Robert Zimmerman celebrated his bar mitzvah

May 23

1934  Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were killed in a police trap

May 24

1972  The Gravelly Hill interchange, better known as Spaghetti Junction, was opened

May 25

  735  The Venerable Bede died

May 26

1913  The first UK woman magistrate was appointed

May 27

1674  Ashcah Young became the first person in America to be condemned and hung as a witch

May 28

1931  August Piccard and Charles Kipfer reached a height of 52,462 feet in a balloon - the first men to reach the stratosphere.

1907  The first Isle of Man TT motorcycle race was held

May 29

Bing Crosby  1904-19771953  Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest

1950  The Archers was first broadcast

1942  Bing Crosby recorded White Christmas

May 30

1988  6,500 people played musical chairs on the beach at Weymouth, Dorset and entered the Guinness Book of Records

May 31

2002  Captain Philippa Tattersall became the first woman to earn the Royal Marines green beret

1911  The Titanic was launched

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