What Happened On This Day – May 31
2013 The widest tornado ever recorded hits El Reno, Oklahoma
The storm had a width of 4.2 km (2.6 mi). Nine people were killed as it swept over rural areas of Central Oklahoma.
2005 Deep Throat reveals himself
Former FBI agent Mark Felt admitted that he was the most important informant in the 1970's Watergate scandal which uncovered the dirty tricks of the Nixon administration, ultimately leading to Nixon's resignation.
1961 South Africa becomes an independent republic
Following international criticism of the country's Apartheid regime, it had to leave the Commonwealth of Nations. The system of racial segregation was gradually abolished in the early 1990s.
1879 Werner von Siemens presents the world's first electric locomotive
Von Siemens' landmark invention was soon used in trams. 1881 saw the introduction of the world's first electric tram in Berlin, Germany.
1859 The Great Clock housing Big Ben starts keeping time
The clock at the top of Elizabeth Tower at the north end of the British Houses of Parliament is one of the world's best-known timekeepers.
Births On This Day – May 31
1976 Colin Farrell
1945 Rainer Werner Fassbinder
German actor, director, screenwriter
1930 Clint Eastwood
American actor, director, producer, politician
1894 Fred Allen
American comedian, actor, radio host
1819 Walt Whitman
American poet, author
Deaths On This Day – May 31
2010 Louise Bourgeois
1996 Timothy Leary
American psychologist, author
1983 Jack Dempsey
1837 Joseph Grimaldi
English actor, dancer
1809 Joseph Haydn