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On This Day in History - 31st May


1819Walt Whitman, American poet
1872William Heath Robinson, English illustrator
1922Denholm Elliot, English born actor
1930Clint Eastwood, American film actor/director
1939Terry Waite, Former Archbishop of Canterbury envoy
1965Brooke Shields, American film actress
1980Don Ameche, American film actor


1837Joseph Grimaldi, the famous English clown, died
1900The Boxer rebellion in China broke out
1902The Boer war, in South Africa, ended
1906German chemists produced fertiliser from lime for the first time
1910The formation of the Girl Guides was announced
1916The naval battle of Jutland began, between the British & German navies
1931A Swiss balloonist reached a record height of 52,462 feet
1961South Africa became an independent republic
1990The Soviet Legislature was televised for the first time
1994South Africa rejoined the Commonwealth