This Day in History - May 22
Jamaican-born writer and poet extraordinaire Claude McKay dies on this day, 1948

Today is the 142nd day of 2023. There are 223 days left in the year.


2014: Pro-Russian insurgents attack a military checkpoint in eastern Ukraine, killing 16 soldiers in the deadliest raid (at that time) on the nation's soldiers.


1370: Jews are expelled and massacred in Brussels, Belgium

1761: The first life insurance policy in the United States is issued in Philadelphia.

1819: The American steamboat Savannah makes its first transatlantic crossing.

1833: A new constitution in Chile gives greater power to the president and establishes Roman Catholicism as the State religion.

1840: The transportation of British convicts to New South Wales, Australia, officially ends.

1849 Future US President Abraham Lincoln is granted a patent for a boat-lifting device — the only US president to have a patent.

1867: Canada becomes the first dominion of the British Empire to gain a Parliament, Cabinet, and a large measure of independence.

1868: The Great Train Robbery takes place near Marshfield, Indiana, as seven members of the Reno gang make off with US$96,000 in cash, gold and bonds.

1885: French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Hugo, who was the most important of the French Romantic writers, dies at age 83.

1914: Britain acquires control of oil properties in the Gulf from the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

1933: The first modern sighting of the Loch Ness Monster is experienced by Aldie and John Mackay who saw "something resembling a whale".

1939: Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy sign the Pact of Steel, a full military and political alliance between their countries.

1942: Mexico enters World War II by declaring war on Germany, Italy, and Japan.

1948: Jamaican-born writer and poet extraordinaire Claude McKay (born Festus Claudius McKay) dies.

1960: One of the largest earthquakes on record strikes the southern coast of Chile, killing about 5,700 people and creating seismic sea waves that cause death and destruction in distant Pacific coastal areas, notably Japan and Hawaii.

1969: The lunar module of Apollo 10 separates from the command module and flies to within 14 kilometres (nine miles) of the moon's surface, in a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.

1972: Richard Nixon becomes the first US president to visit Russia where he signs a pact with Leonid Brezhnev to reduce the risk of military confrontation. The island nation of Ceylon becomes the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka with the adoption of a new constitution.

Rhodesia is banned from the Olympics on this day in 1975 because of its racial policies.

1975: The white-ruled African nation of Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, is expelled from the Olympics because of its racial policies.

1985: A car bomb explodes in a Beirut suburb, killing 60 people and wounding 190 others.

1990: After years of conflict, pro-Western North Yemen and pro-Soviet South Yemen merge to form the Republic of Yemen. American inventor Edwin S Votey receives a patent for a pneumatic piano player.

1992: The United States slaps political and diplomatic sanctions on Serbia for perpetuating a "humanitarian nightmare" in the Balkans. Johnny Carson makes his final appearance as host of The Tonight Show.

1994: Tutsi rebels capture the international airport in Rwanda's capital and overrun the military base nearby.

1995: Half a million Poles turn out to catch a glimpse of their native son, Pope John Paul II during his 10-hour visit in southern Poland.

1996: American and French planes carry foreigners out of Bangui, Central African Republic, as President Ange-Felix Patasse rejects army mutineers' demands that he resign.

1998: Voters in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland vote overwhelmingly for a peace agreement to end 20 years of sectarian strife.

2003 In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

2004: The US town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that breaks the width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide; it also kills one local resident.

2006: US warplanes hunting Taliban fighters bomb a religious school and mud-brick homes in southern Afghanistan, killing dozens of suspected militants and 17 civilians in one of the deadliest strikes since the American-led invasion in 2001.

2013: Two men with butcher knives hack another man to death near a military barracks in London before police wound them in a shoot-out in what authorities say appears to be an act of terrorism.

2017: A suicide bomber sets off an improvised explosive device that kills 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. In a historic gesture President Donald Trump solemnly places a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall.


Richard Wagner, German dramatic composer (1813-1883); Mary Cassatt, US Impressionist painter (1844-1926); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, English author and creator of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger characters (1859-1930); Daniel F Malan, South African statesman who instituted apartheid (1874-1959); Sir Laurence Olivier, English actor (1907-1989); Ted Kaczynski, American serial murderer and domestic terrorist (1942- ); Naomi Campbell, British model (1970- ); Bernie Taupin, UK songwriter (1950- ); Novak Đoković, Serbian professional tennis player (1987- )

– AP/ Jamaica Observer

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