1st May 1840
The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom. 180 years.
4th May 2000
Ken Livingstone, English politician and former member of the Labour Party, becomes the first Mayor of London. 20 years.
6th May 1915
Orson Welles, American actor, writer and director, was born. 105 years.
6th May 1895
The Italian-American film actor and sex symbol of the 1920s, Rudolph Valentino, was born. 125 years.
6th May 1880
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge" was born. 140 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. 105 years
7th May 1840
The Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was born. 180 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. 105 years.
7th May 1945
World War II: V-E Day, combat ends in Europe. German forces agree in Rheims, France, to an unconditional surrender. 75 years.
8th May 1945
Winston Churchill announced the end of the war. 75 years.
9th May 1945
World War II: The Channel Islands are liberated by the British after five years of German occupation. 75 years.
9th May 1860
Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, Scottish novelist who created Peter Pan, was born. 160 years.
10th May 1940
World War II: The first German bombs of the war fall on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent. 80 years.
10th May 1940
World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister. 80 years.
12th May 1820
Florence Nightingale, English social reformer and the founder of modern nursing, was born. 200 years.
13th May 1940
Winston Churchill made his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons. 80 years.
14th May 1955
The Warsaw Pact, a collective defense treaty among eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, was signed. 65 years.
15th May 1935
Kazimir Malevich, the Russian painter and art theoretician, died. 85 years.
19th May 1980
Nine people died following the massive eruption of Mount St Helens volcano in Washington State, USA. 40 years.
25th May 1895
Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright, is convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons", and sentenced to serve two years in prison. 125 years.

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