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May 29 – this day in history

Ottoman Army in 1897; Image credit
Ottoman Army in 1897; Image credit

May 29 seems to have a lot of significance from a royal as well as political point of view. From annexations to coronations, history has witnessed significant upheavals on May 29.

For instance, in 1453, Ottoman armies, commanded by Sultan Mehmed II Fatih captured Constantinople to mark the end of the Byzantine Empire after a 53-day siege. In 1660, Charles II was restored as the King of England, Ireland and Scotland. In 1727, Peter the Second became Czar of Russia on this date. Mustafa IV also became Caliph of Islam and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire on May 29 in 1807. In 1990, Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian republic by the Russian parliament. On May 29 in 1917, John F Kennedy, one of the most famous public figures and POTUS was born.

A few other luminaries who have birthdays on May 29 are British-American entertainer Bob Hope (1903), Tenzing Norgay (1914), Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (1957), R& B singer and Michael Jackson’s sibling LaToya Jackson (1956) and former ‘Scary Spice’ Mel B (1975).

May 29 is also celebrated the world over as International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was formed on May 29 in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission. Ever since the day is celebrated as one to honour the messengers of peace.

Other significant events that occurred in the past on May 29 are:

Representational picture; Image credit
Representational picture; Image credit

• 1677 – Treaty of Middle Plantation – that established peace between the Virginia colonists and the local Native Americans was signed.
• 1848 – The USA got its 30th state when Wisconsin adopted America’s constitution.
• 1886 – The first advertisement of Coca-Cola appeared in The Atlanta Journal at the behest of pharmacist John Pemberton.
• 1916 – The official flag of the president of the United States was adopted.
• 1919 – Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin.
• 1942 – The best-selling single in history, “White Christmas” was recorded by Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter.
• 1953 – Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest by becoming the first people to reach its summit. Significantly, they did so on Tenzing Norgay’s 39th birthday.
• 1968 – Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup by defeating Portuguese side Benfica by four goals to one.
• 1993 – The Miss Sarajevo beauty pageant was held for the first time in war-torn Sarajevo. The primary purpose was to attract global attention to the problems of the citizens.
• 1999 – Space Shuttle Discovery completed the first docking with the International Space Station.
• 2009 – Jay Leno ended his first outing as host of “The Tonight Show”. He came back to anchor NBC most loved late night programme in February next year.


Text by Aarti Kapur Singh

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