1431 – 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal in Rouen, France. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
1848 – Mexico ratifies treaty giving US; New Mexico, California & parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona & Colorado in return for $15 million
1868 – What was considered the first major Memorial Day observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery, where both Confederate and Union soldiers were buried. Often referred to as “Decoration Day”, the day honored those killed during the Civil War. Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic designated May 30 as a memorial day “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” A few states continue to celebrate Memorial Day on May 30, rather than on the federally observed, last Monday of May.
1911 – The first ever running of the Indianapolis 500 was won by Ray Harroun, driving his Marmon Model 32 Wasp, outfitted with a rear-view mirror. His average speed was 74.59 miles an hour. The 500-mile automobile race was known then as the International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race.
1922 – The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., by then Chief Justice, but future President, William Howard Taft. The memorial was built to honor Abraham Lincoln the 16th president. The Memorial was designed by architect Henry Bacon and features the statue “Seated Lincoln” by sculptor Daniel Chester French.
1943 – The Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu located off the coast of Alaska were retaken by the U.S. 7th Infantry Division after being occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
11,000 American troops landed on Attu on May 12, which led to a three week battle which saw 552 U.S. casualties and 2,352 Japanese casualties.
1958 – The remains of two Unidentified soldiers, one killed in World War II and the other during the Korean War, were buried at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
1967 – Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped a row of 16 automobiles during a motorcycle stunt at Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA.
1971 – Mariner 9 is launched as part of the Mariner program, with the goal of mapping 70% of the surface of Mars.
2002 – A ceremony was held in New York City to officially mark the end of the clean up from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.