May 22 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred,  famous birthdays, death day, legend quotes, and historical news on May 22.


Events on May 22

337 CE Constantine the Great, who in 313 CE issued the Edict of Milan which established toleration of Christians, was baptized on his deathbed, becoming the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.

1455 In the first battle of the English Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists are defeated by the Lancastrians at St Albans.

1795 Scottish explorer Mungo Park sets forth on his first voyage to Africa.

1885 French novelist, dramatist, poet and national literary hero Victor Hugo dies in Paris aged 83.

1915 A troop train collides with a passenger train at Gretna Green in Scotland, killing 227 people.

1932 Death of Irish dramatist Lady Augusta Gregory who, with W.B. Yeats founded a theatre company that moved into the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1904.

1972 Richard Nixon becomes the first US President to visit the USSR.

1974 After seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band at Charley’s Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts, rock critic Jon Landau writes “I saw rock and roll’s future and its name is Bruce Springsteen”.

1981 Peter Sutcliffe, nicknamed the “Yorkshire Ripper” is found guilty at London’s Old Bailey of the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of seven others.

Famous Birthdays on May 22

Ram Mohan Roy 1772, Indian social and educational reformer, lawyer and founder of the Brahmo Samaj.

Richard Wagner 1913, German composer famed for the operatic cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1859, Scottish novelist who created the great detective Sherlock Holmes.

Laurence Olivier 1907, British actor, producer and director of such stature he was made a peer of the realm, the only actor ever to be honored in this manner.

Historical News on May 22

Wrights Patent Flying Machine

wrights patent flying machine on May 22
Wrights Patent Flying Machine

1908 Wilbur and Orville Wright patented their flying machine today, four years after their historic first powered flight at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

That day the “Flyer I” made four flights, the longest lasting a minute and covering 852ft (259 m).

Today they still use the same machine, very much improved, to make flights of 40 minutes, travelling up to 25 miles (40 km) at altitudes of 150 ft (46 m) or more.

Strangely the brothers are hardly known in America, except to a few hundred enthusiasts.

But now their pioneering work is starting to bear fruit, last year the US Army Signal Corps contracted the Wrights to build a two-man aircraft capable of flying 125 miles (201 km), and later this year the brothers are to take their aircraft on tour in France, hence today’s patent.

British Apologize Over Slur on Saudis

1980 British foreign secretary Lord Carrington publicly apologized to ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia today for a film show on Britain’s Independent Television last month.

The film, Death of a Princess, investigated the public execution of a Saudi princess convicted of adultery.

The Saudis are incensed by the film’s allegations of loose living behind the strictly orthodox face of the Sunni Muslim state.

In spite of a formal British apology, the Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers threatened to expel the British ambassador, break off diplomatic relations and use the immense Saudi oil wealth to apply economic measures.

1921 The Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi, who won two gold medals at last year’s Olympics in Antwerp, broke the world 10,000 meters record in a race in Stockholm today knocking 18 seconds off the old record set 10 years ago.

Rebels Drive Out Ethiopian President

1991 Ethiopian President Mengistu Haile Mariam fled to Zimbabwe today as rebel forces closed in on the capital, Addis Ababa.

Mengistu’s long civil war is largely held to blame for the environmental ruin which brought the famines of the 1980s.

When Mengistu’s Marxist regime came to power 40 percent of Ethiopia was forested, but today only a tiny fraction of the trees are left and huge areas are uninhabitable.

Mengistu spent $9 billion on Soviet arms to put down rebellions in Eritrea, Tigray, and Oromo in the north, while only 3 percent of the budget went to Ethiopia’s farmers.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front rebels now on the verge of victory, however, have worked with western agencies to help peasants and protect the environment in the areas they controlled.

US Rebel Chief Tracked Down

1865 In the aftermath of the US civil war, Jefferson Davis, the fugitive president of the defeated Confederate states, was caught today by Union cavalry colonel Benjamin Pritchard in Irwinville, Georgia.

He was disguised as a woman. There is the handsome reward of $1,00,000 for his capture.

President Andrew Johnson has publicly accused Davis of complicity in President Lincoln’s assassination.

Davis fled from Virginia last month as the confederacy collapsed, with the intention of organizing a government in exile.

He is now awaiting indictment in prison at Fort Monroe.


USA to USSR Nixon arrived in Moscow today May 22

1972 In a historic moment, Richard M.

Nixon arrived in Moscow today, the first US President ever to visit the USSR.

He was met by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

The two world leaders will hold talks on arms limitation and the avoidance of military confrontation.

Nixon’s policy of detente with the communist world is beginning to bear fruit, the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) that he started with the Soviets in 1969 have resulted in agreements that the two leaders will sign during Nixon’s week in Moscow.

He is also expected to address the Soviet people on television.

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