1431 – Jeanne d’Arc, or Joan of Arc, was burned at the stake at Rouen in English-controlled Normandy, France.
1672 – Piotr Alekseevich Romanov (Peter the Great) was born in Moscow.
1868 – At the request of General John A. Logan, the national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, Memorial Day was observed for the first time in the United States. It was called Decoration Day because the General had seen women decorating graves of Civil War heroes.
1879 – William Vanderbilt renamed Gilmore’s Garden to Madison Square Garden.
1908 – Mel Blanc, ‘the man of a thousand voices;’ did cartoon voices for Barney Rubble, Dino the Dinosaur, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, was born in San Francisco, CA.
1911 – The first race of the Indianapolis 500 was held.
1912 – Playwright Joseph Stein (Fiddler on the Roof, Enter Laughing, Mrs. Gibbons’ Boys) was born in New York City.
1922 – Former President William Howard Taft dedicated the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
1971 – The U.S. launched the unmanned space probe Mariner 9 on a mission to gather scientific information on Mars.