1st May 1840
The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom. 175 years.
5th May 1215
Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England - part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta. 800 years.
6th May 1915
Orson Welles, American actor, writer and director, is born. 100 years.
6th May 1915
20-year-old pitcher Babe Ruth hits his first home run during his 18th time at bat in the major leagues. 100 years
6th May 1895
The Italian-American film actor and sex symbol of the 1920s, Rudolph Valentino, is born. 120 years.
7th May 1945
World War II: V-E Day, combat ends in Europe. German forces agree in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender. 70 years.
7th May 1915
The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by the Imperial German Navy U-boat U-20 off the south-west coast of Ireland. 100 years.
7th May 1840
The Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is born. 175 years.
8th May 1945
Winston Churchill announces the end of the war. 70 years.
9th May 1945
World War II: The Channel Islands are liberated by the British after five years of German occupation. 70 years.
10th May 1940
World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister. 75 years.
10th May 1940
World War II: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent. 75 years.
13th May 1940
Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons. 75 years.
13th May 1515
Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk are officially married at Greenwich. 500 years.
14th May 1955
The Warsaw Pact, a collective defense treaty among eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, is signed. 60 years.
15th May 1935
Kazimir Malevich, the Russian painter and art theoretician, dies. 80 years.
17th May 1915
The last British Liberal Party government (led by Herbert Henry Asquith) falls. 100 years.
19th May 1980
Nine people die following the massive eruption of Mount St Helens volcano in Washington State, USA. 35 years.
27th May 1940
The start of the Dunkirk Evacuation. One of the most famous British triumphs in WWII. 75 years.
28th May 1840
Hans Makart, Austrian painter most well known for his influence on Gustav Klimt, is born. 175 years.

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