May 29- 1790: Rhode Island is the last of the 13 original colonies to ratify the US Constitution. 1886: Pharmacist John Pemberton begins advertising his newly created “medicine”: Coca-Cola! 1942: Singer Bing Crosby records Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” in 18 minutes. It remains the best-selling single in history with more than 50 million copies sold. 1953: New Zealand mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay become the first men to stand on the summit of Mount Everest.

May 30- 1539: An expedition of explorers from Spain, led by Hernando de Soto, lands on the coast of modern-day Florida. 1806: Future president Andrew Jackson shoots and kills Charles Dickenson in a duel. Dickenson had accused Jackson’s wife of bigamy. 1911: The first Indianapolis 500 race is run. Averaging 74.6 MPH and winning the race in 6:42, driver Roy Harroun earned $14,250 for the victory, a huge amount of money considering the average annual salary in that year was less than $500! 1987: Philips Electronics Company unveils the first video compact disc, combining the technologies of audio CDs and LaserDiscs.

May 31- 1859: “Big Ben” rang for the first time, from the top of Elizabeth Tower, alongside the Houses of Parliament in London. The name was originally given to the largest of the five bells in the clock tower, but later came to refer to the clock itself. 1930: American actor, director, and film producer Clint Eastwood was born in San Francisco, CA. (We can assume that at least to his mother, his arrival “made her day.”) 1970: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake off the coast of Peru triggers the deadliest avalanche in history and kills an estimated 70,000 people. 1976: British rock group The Who sets a record for the loudest concert ever, with sound measured at 120 decibels at 50 meters. (We’re talking LOUD!)

June 1- 1938: Superman makes his first appearance on American newsstands as he graces the cover of Action Comics #1. 1962: Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann is executed by hanging near Tel Aviv, Israel. 1968: Simon and Garfunkel’s song “Mrs. Robinson” hits #1 on the music charts. It would become the first rock song to win the coveted Record of the Year award at the Grammys. 1974: The life-saving Heimlich maneuver, named after the American thoracic surgeon who first described it, is published in the journal Emergency Medicine. 1980: Cable News Network begins broadcasting, with anchors David Walker and Lois Hart reporting on the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan.

June 2- 455 CE: The city of Rome is sacked by Vandals who will spend several days looting its treasures. Rome continued to decline for the next two decades before it was conquered in 476 CE, closing the curtain on the Roman Empire. 1886: President Grover Cleveland (49) marries 21-year-old Frances Folsom at the White House in the first-ever presidential wedding ceremony. Mrs. Cleveland would serve as the 23rd and 25th First Lady during President Cleveland’s non-consecutive terms. 1896: Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his “wireless telegraphy.” (We would come to know his invention better as the “radio.”) 1935: 40-year-old slugger Babe Ruth announces his retirement as a baseball player. His career total of 714 home runs would remain the record until broken by Henry Aaron in 1974.

Babe Ruth, 1922. Wikimedia Commons, 2024

June 3- 1888: “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer is published in the San Francisco Examiner. 1969: The final weekly episode of “Star Trek” airs on NBC. Thankfully, future generations of “Trekkies” would be sustained through the miracle of reruns and syndication! 1972: 25-year-old Sally J. Priesand is ordained as the first female rabbi in the US. 1989: Chinese troops open fire on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananman Square, killing more than 1,000. 2011: Right-to-Die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian (popularly nicknamed “Dr. Death”) dies at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI from complications of pneumonia and kidney problems. He was 83 years old.

June 4- 1892: Grassroots environmental organization known as The Sierra Club is formed in San Francisco, CA. 1940: British forces complete the evacuation of nearly 340,000 Allied troops from France in what was called the “Miracle of Dunkirk.” Over 800 vessels, including lifeboats and pleasure craft, were used to transport troops to safety. 1969: A 17-year-old stowaway survives a nine-hour flight from Havana, Cuba to Madrid, Spain, hiding in the wheel well of an Iberia Airlines DC-8. When discovered by the pilot after landing, Armando Socarras Ramirez was covered in ice and not breathing. Dubbed “Mr. Popsicle” by Spanish doctors, Ramirez made a full recovery, and at last report (2021) was alive and well, living in the state of Virginia. 1973: A US patent is granted to Donald Wetzel and his company Docutel for their networked automated teller machine (ATM) that would revolutionize banking and everyday life.