On This Day: May 31

Updated May 30, 2012, 2:28 pm

NYT Front Page

On May 31, 1889, more than 2,000 people perished when a dam break sent water rushing through Johnstown, Pa.
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On May 31, 1857, Pius XI, who led the Roman Catholic Church from 1922 to 1939 , was born. Following his death on Feb. 10, 1939, his obituary appeared in The Times.

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On This Date

By The Associated Press

1819 Poet Walt Whitman was born in West Hill, N.Y.
1859 The Big Ben clock tower in London went into operation.
1913 The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of U.S. senators, was declared in effect.
1916 British and German fleets fought the Battle of Jutland off Denmark during World War I.
1961 South Africa became an independent republic as it withdrew from the British Commonwealth.
1962 Gestapo official Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel for his role in the Holocaust.
1977 The trans-Alaska oil pipeline was completed after three years of work.
1990 The sitcom “Seinfeld” premiered on NBC.
1991 Leaders of Angola’s two warring factions signed a peace treaty, ending a 16-year civil war.
1994 The United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
2003 Eric Rudolph, suspected in bombings at a Birmingham. Ala., abortion clinic and at the Atlanta Olympics, was arrested outside a grocery store in Murphy, N.C. (He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four life terms.)
2005 Former FBI official W. Mark Felt stepped forward as “Deep Throat,” the secret Washington Post source that helped bring down President Richard M. Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
2009 Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late-term abortions, was shot and killed in a Wichita, Kan., church. (Gunman Scott Roeder was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.)

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press

Clint Eastwood, Actor, director

Actor-director Clint Eastwood turns 82 years old today.

AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Brooke Shields, Actress

Actress Brooke Shields turns 47 years old today.

AP Photo/Peter Kramer

1938 Peter Yarrow, Folk singer, musician (Peter, Paul and Mary), turns 74
1943 Sharon Gless, Actress (“Cagney and Lacey”), turns 69
1943 Joe Namath, Football Hall of Famer, turns 69
1950 Tom Berenger, Actor (“The Big Chill,” “Platoon”), turns 62
1950 Gregory Harrison, Actor, turns 62
1958 Roma Maffia, Actress (“Nip/Tuck”), turns 54
1960 Chris Elliott, Comedian, turns 52
1961 Lea Thompson, Actress (“Back to the Future” movies), turns 51
1962 Corey Hart, Rock singer, turns 50
1964 DMC, Rapper (Run-DMC), turns 48
1967 Kenny Lofton, Baseball player, turns 45
1972 Christian McBride, Jazz bassist, turns 40
1972 Archie Panjabi, Actress (“The Good Wife,” “Bend It Like Beckham”), turns 40
1976 Colin Farrell, Actor, turns 36
1981 Jake Peavy, Baseball player, turns 31

 

Historic Birthdays

Pius XI 5/31/1857 – 2/10/1939 Italian Pope 1922-39Go to obituary »
66 Margaret Beaufort 5/31/1443 – 6/29/1509
English mother of Henry VII, she founded St. John’s & Christ’s colleges
72 Walt Whitman 5/31/1819 – 3/26/1892
American poet, journalist and essayist
81 William Rockefeller 5/31/1841 – 6/24/1922
American industrialist and financier; helped to establish Standard Oil with his brother
77 William Pirrie 5/31/1847 – 6/7/1924
Irish shipbuilder; built the Titanic
81 Walter Sickert 5/31/1860 – 1/22/1942
English Impressionist painter and printmaker
101 Charles Abbot 5/31/1872 – 12/17/1973
American astrophysicist
61 Fred Allen 5/31/1894 – 3/17/1956
American radio and television humorist
70 Denholm Elliott 5/31/1922 – 10/6/1992
English character actor of stage, screen and television
60 Patricia Harris 5/31/1924 – 3/23/1985
American public official; first African-American woman to serve in a presidential cabinet

 

 

May 31

MORNING

“The evening and the morning were the first day.”
Genesis 1:5

Was it so even in the beginning? Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day? Then little wonder is it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns, I must expect at seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night. Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord’s beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight. It is one of the arrangements of Divine providence that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation till we reach the land of which it is written, “there is no night there.” What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What, then, my soul, is it best for thee to do? Learn first to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset; sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labour, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty, do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory. My soul, thine evening of old age and death is drawing near; dread it not, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, “I will cover him all the day long.”

EVENING

“He will make her wilderness like Eden.”
Isaiah 51:3

Methinks, I see in vision a howling wilderness, a great and terrible desert, like to the Sahara. I perceive nothing in it to relieve the eye, all around I am wearied with a vision of hot and arid sand, strewn with ten thousand bleaching skeletons of wretched men who have expired in anguish, having lost their way in the pitiless waste. What an appalling sight! How horrible! a sea of sand without a bound, and without an oasis, a cheerless graveyard for a race forlorn! But behold and wonder! Upon a sudden, upspringing from the scorching sand I see a plant of renown; and as it grows it buds, the bud expands–it is a rose, and at its side a lily bows its modest head; and, miracle of miracles! as the fragrance of those flowers is diffused the wilderness is transformed into a fruitful field, and all around it blossoms exceedingly, the glory of Lebanon is given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. Call it not Sahara, call it Paradise. Speak not of it any longer as the valley of deathshade, for where the skeletons lay bleaching in the sun, behold a resurrection is proclaimed, and up spring the dead, a mighty army, full of life immortal. Jesus is that plant of renown, and his presence makes all things new. Nor is the wonder less in each individual’s salvation. Yonder I behold you, dear reader, cast out, an infant, unswathed, unwashed, defiled with your own blood, left to be food for beasts of prey. But lo, a jewel has been thrown into your bosom by a divine hand, and for its sake you have been pitied and tended by divine providence, you are washed and cleansed from your defilement, you are adopted into heaven’s family, the fair seal of love is upon your forehead, and the ring of faithfulness is on your hand–you are now a prince unto God, though once an orphan, cast away. O prize exceedingly the matchless power and grace which changes deserts into gardens, and makes the barren heart to sing for joy.

 

On This Day: May 30

Updated May 29, 2012, 2:28 pm

NYT Front Page

On May 30, 1958, unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflict were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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On May 30, 1909, Benny Goodman, the American jazz clarinetist and orchestra leader, was born. Following his death on June 13, 1986, his obituary appeared in The Times.

Go to obituary » | Other birthdays »

 

On This Date

By The Associated Press

1431 Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.
1539 Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto landed in Florida.
1854 The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.
1911 The Indianapolis 500 was run for the first time.
1922 The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1982 Spain became NATO’s 16th member.
1982 Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles played in the first of a record 2,632 consecutive major league baseball games.
1996 Britain’s Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.
1997 Child molester Jesse K. Timmendequas was convicted in Trenton, N.J., of raping and strangling a 7-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka. (The case inspired “Megan’s Law,” which requires that communities be notified when sex offenders move in.)
2002 A solemn, wordless ceremony marked the end of the cleanup at Ground Zero in New York, 8 1/2 months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
2005 Vice President Dick Cheney predicted the Iraq war would end before the Bush administration left office, saying “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency,” on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”.
2006 A jury in Rockville, Md., convicted John Allen Muhammad of six of the Washington-area sniper killings.
2011 Germany announced plans to abandon nuclear power over the next 11 years, outlining an ambitious strategy in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster to replace atomic power with renewable energy sources.

Current Birthdays

By The Associated Press

Cee Lo Green, Rapper, TV judge (“The Voice”)

Rapper and TV judge Cee Lo Green (“The Voice”) turns 38 years old today.

AP Photo/Charles Sykes

Wynonna Judd, Country singer

Country singer Wynonna Judd turns 48 years old today.

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

1943 Gale Sayers, Football Hall of Famer, turns 69
1951 Stephen Tobolowsky, Actor, turns 61
1953 Colm Meaney, Actor, turns 59
1958 Ted McGinley, Actor, turns 54
1964 Tom Morello, Rock musician (Rage Against the Machine), turns 48
1965 Antoine Fuqua, Director, turns 47
1971 Idina Menzel, Actress (“Rent,” “Wicked”), turns 41
1972 Trey Parker, Actor, turns 40
1972 Manny Ramirez, Baseball player, turns 40

 

Historic Birthdays

Benny Goodman 5/30/1909 – 6/13/1986 American clarinetist and orchestra leader.Go to obituary »
81 Alice Stopford Green 5/30/1847 – 5/28/1929
Irish historian and strong supporter of Irish independence
68 Giovanni Gentile 5/30/1875 – 4/15/1944
Italian philosopher, politician, educator and editor
88 James Farley 5/30/1888 – 6/9/1976
American businessman; managed Franklin Roosevelt’s first two presidential campaigns
81 Howard Hawks 5/30/1896 – 12/26/1977
American film director
37 Irving Thalberg 5/30/1899 – 9/14/1936
American movie executive
78 Cornelia Otis Skinner 5/30/1901 – 7/9/1979
American actress and author of light verse, monologues and sketches
86 Hannes Alfven 5/30/1908 – 4/2/1995
Swedish astrophysicist awared Nobel Prize in 1970
81 Mel Blanc 5/30/1908 – 7/10/1989
American entertainer; created voices for radio, television and film characters
40 Joseph Wm. Kennedy 5/30/1916 – 5/5/1957
American scientist; one of four co-discoverers of plutonium

 

 

May 30

MORNING

“The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron.”
2 Samuel 15:23

David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed, and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow’s gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads; wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?

The King of kings himself was not favoured with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. “In all our afflictions he was afflicted.” The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and forever, for he who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honourable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David’s Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.

EVENING

“Who healeth all thy diseases.”
Psalm 103:3

Humbling as is the statement, yet the fact is certain, that we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of him awhile tonight. His cures are very speedy–there is life in a look at him; his cures are radical–he strikes at the centre of the disease; and hence, his cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals; no fear that his patients should be merely patched up for a season, he makes new men of them: a new heart also does he give them, and a right spirit does he put within them. He is well skilled in all diseases. Physicians generally have some speciality. Although they may know a little about almost all our pains and ills, there is usually one disease which they have studied above all others; but Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did he meet with an out-of-the-way case that was difficult to him. He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to deal with, but he has known exactly with one glance of his eye how to treat the patient. He is the only universal doctor; and the medicine he gives is the only true catholicon, healing in every instance. Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness of heart which Jesus cannot bind up. “His blood cleanseth from all sin.” We have but to think of the myriads who have been delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and virtue of his touch, and we shall joyfully put ourselves in his hands. We trust him, and sin dies; we love him, and grace lives; we wait for him and grace is strengthened; we see him as he is, and grace is perfected forever.