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May Historical Events

May 1

305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor

1940 - Elsa Peretti, Italian jewelry designer

1979 - Mauro Bergamasco, Italian rugby player

1987 - Matt Di Angelo, English Actor (Italian origin)

1988 - Patti Rizzo wins LPGA Sara Lee Golf Classic

1990 - Sergio Franchi, Italian tenor (b. 1926)

May 2

1519 - Leonardo da Vinci, Italian inventor and painter (b. 1452)

1564 - Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, Italian humanist (b. 1500)

1627 - Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, Italian composer (b. 1560)

1660 - Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer (d. 1725)

1695 - Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni, Italian-born architect (d. 1766)

1922 - Serge Reggiani, Italian-born French singer and actor (d. 2004)

1930 - Marco Pannella, Italian politician and activist

1955 - Donatella Versace, Italian fashion designer

1979 - Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)

1985 - Attilio Bettega, Italian rallydriver (b. 1951)

1989 - Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic Cardinal (b. 1906)

May 3

1160 - Peter Lombard, Italian scholar and bishop (b. c. 1100)

1469 - Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author (d. 1527)

1494 - Christopher Columbus first sights land that will be called Jamaica

1598 - Anna Guarini, Italian singer (b. 1563)

1758 - Pope Benedict XIV (b. 1675)

1764 - Francesco Algarotti, Italian philosopher (b. 1712)

1839 - Ferdinando Paer, Italian composer (b. 1771)

May 4

1494 - Christopher Columbus lands in Jamaica

1519 - Lorenzo II de' Medici, Duke of Urbino (b. 1492)

1566 - Luca Ghini, Italian physician and botanist (b. 1490)

1912 - Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes

1981 - Silvana Cruciata runs 15k female world record (49:44.0)

May 5

311 - Galerius, Roman Emperor

1747 - Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1792)

1936 - Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa

1939 - Cesare Fiorio, Italian sporting director of various Formula One teams

1972 - Alitalia DC-8 crashes west of Palermo Sicily; killing 115

May 6

1501 - Pope Marcellus II (d. 1555)

1574 - Pope Innocent X (d. 1655)

1860 - Giuseppe Garibaldi's Mille expedition sets sail from Genoa to the Kingdom of the Two   Sicilies

1895 - Rudolph Valentino, Italian actor (d. 1926)

1952 - Maria Montessori, Italian educator (b. 1870)

1961 - George Clooney (Birthday)

May 7

973 - Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 912)

1328 - Louis VI the Roman, Duke of Bavaria (d. 1365)

1539 - Ottaviano Petrucci, Italian printer (b. 1466)

1793 - Pietro Nardini, Italian composer (b. 1722)

1800 - Niccolo Piccinni, Italian composer (b. 1728)

1825 - Antonio Salieri, Italian composer (b. 1750)

1933 - Italy and U.S.S.R. sign trade agreement

1962 - Antonio Segni elected president of Italy

1967 - Lorenzo Bandini, Italian Formula One driver (b. 1935)

1973 - Paolo Savoldelli, Italian cyclist

1987 - Mario Andretti sets one-lap speed record at Indy at 218.204 MPH

1999 - Pope John Paul II travels to Romania becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054

May 8

1721 - Michelangiolo dei Conti replaces Pope Clement XI, as Innocent XI

1785 - Pietro Longhi, Venetian painter (b. 1701)

1788 - Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, Italian-born physician and naturalist (b. 1723)

1906 - Roberto Rossellini, Italian director (d. 1977)

1951 - Mike D'Antoni, NBA coach (New York Knicks)

1960 - Franco Baresi, Italian footballer

1981 - Andrea Barzagli, Italian footballer

1990 - Luigi Nono, Italian composer (b. 1924)

2009 - Dom DiMaggio, American baseball player (b. 1917)

May 9

1336 - Italian poet Francesco Petrarca climbs Mont Ventoux

1446 - Mary of Enghien, Queen of Naples (b. 1368)

1741 - Giovanni Paisiello, Italian composer (d. 1816)

1745 - Tomaso Antonio Vitali, Italian violinist and composer(b. 1663)

1914 - Carlo Maria Giulini, Italian musician and conductor (d. 2005)

1936 - Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa on May 5.

1946 - King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicates and is succeeded by Humbert II

1957 - Ezio Pinza, Italian bass (b. 1892)

1961 - Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles becomes the first player in baseball history to hit grand slams in consecutive innings

1978 - Aldo Moro, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1916)

1990 - Sampdoria wins 30th Europe Cup II

1991 - Italian actress Laura Antonelli found guilty of cocaine possession

1997 - Marco Ferreri, Italian film director (b. 1928)

May 10

213/214 - Claudius Gothicus, Roman emperor (d. 270)

1482 - Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli, Italian mathematician and astronomer dies (b. 1397)

1497 - Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci leaves for 1st voyage to New World

1503 - Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous sea turtles there.

1921 - Luigi Pirandello's "Sei Personaggi in Cerca d'Autore," premieres

1931 - Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter

1946 - Umberto II succeeds Victor Emmanuel III as king of Italy

1971 - Adriano Giannini, Italian actor

1994 - Silvio Berlusconi forms Italian government with 5 neo-fascists

1997 - Pope John Paul II visits Lebanon.

May 11

1502 - Christopher Columbus leaves for his fourth and final voyage to the West Indies

1610 - Matteo Ricci, Italian Jesuit missionary (b. 1552)

1817 - Fanny Cerrito, Italian ballet dancer (d. 1909)

1928 - Marco Ferreri, Italian film director and screenwriter (d. 1997)

1948 - Luigi Einaudi elected president of Italy

1950 - Eugene Ionesco's "La Cantatrice Chauve," premieres in Paris

1962 - Antonio Segni becomes president of Italy

1994 - Inter Milan wins 23rd UEFA Cup

1988 - Mario Andretti records fastest Indianapolis 500 lap (221.565 mph)

2007 - Pope Benedict XVI canonizes the first Brazilian-born saint, Frei Galvão.

May 12

1012 - Pope Sergius IV dies

1382 - Queen Joan I of Naples dies (b. 1327)

1328 - Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, is consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.

1590 - Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1621)

1700 - Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect (d. 1773)

1832 - Gaetano Donizetti's opera "L'elisir d'amore," premieres in Milan

1926 - Umberto Nobile flies airship over North Pole

1963 - Stefano Modena, Italian racing driver

1964 - Manlio Brosio chosen as Secretary-General of NATO

May 13

1497 - Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.

1655 - Pope Innocent XIII (d. 1724)

1792 - Blessed Pope Pius IX (d. 1878)

1898 - Justin Tuveri, Italian veteran of the First World War (d. 2007)

1909 - The first Giro d'Italia takes place in Milan. Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna is the winner.

1938 - Giuliano Amato, Italian politician

2001 - Silvio Berlusconi's House of Freedoms coalition wins the Italian general elections.

May 14

964 - Pope John XII dies

1265 - Dante Alighieri, Italian poet (d. 1321)

1316 - Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1378)

1509 - Battle of Agnadello: In northern Italy, French forces defeat the Venetians

1725 - Ludovico Manin, last Doge of Venice (d. 1802)

1916 - Marco Zanuso, Italian architect

1919 - Pope Benedictus XV publishes encyclical In hac tanta

1921 - Mussolini's fascists obtains 29 parliament seats

1925 - Al Porcino, American jazz trumpet player

1971 - Sofia Coppola, American director

1998 - Frank Sinatra, American singer and actor dies (b. 1915)

May 15

1252 - Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

1567 - (baptism) Claudio Monteverdi, Italian composer (d. 1643)

1609 - Giovanni Croce, Italian composer (b. 1557)

1858 - Royal Italian Opera opens in Covent Garden London

1883 - Italy signs military treaty with Austria-Hungary and Germany

1915 - Mario Monicelli, Italian director and screenwriter

1916 - Asiago Italy falls when Austrian troops attack the Italian front

1931 - Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno

1936 - Anna Maria Alberghetti, Italian-born actress

1941 - Joe DiMaggio starts 56-game hitting streak; Yankees lose 13-1.

1953 - Rocky Marciano KOs Jersey Joe Walcott in 1 for heavywgt boxing title

1992 - Colombo '92 opens in Genoa Italy

May 16

1527 - The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence re-establishes itself as a republic.

1611 - Pope Innocent XI (d. 1689)

1916 - Adriana Caselotti, American actress (d. 1997)

1920 - In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc as a saint.

1605 - Camillo Borghese elected to succeed Pope Leo XI becomes Paul V

1669 - Pietro da Cortona, Italian architect (b. 1596)

1718 - Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian mathematician (d. 1799)

1941 - Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi Ethiopia

1955 - Rocky Marciano TKOs Don Cockell in 9 for heavyweight boxing title

1974 - Laura Pausini, Italian pop singer

1977 - Dolcenera, Italian singer

May 17

884 - St. Adrian III begins his reign as Catholic Pope

1630 - Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi, 1st to see 2 belts on Jupiter surface

1890 - Pietro Costanzi's opera "Rustic Chivalry," premieres in Rome

1963 - Bruno Sammartino defeats Nature Boy Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds in Madison Square Garden for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. It begins the longest heavyweight championship reign in professional wrestling history.

1989 - Napoli wins 18th UEFA Cup in Stuttgart

May 18

1551 - Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter (d. 1486)

1918 - Massimo Girotti, Italian actor (d. 2003)

1920 - Lucia Mannucci, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)

1939 - Giovanni Falcone, Italian magistrate (d. 1992)

1941 - Italian army under general Aosta surrenders to Britain in Ethiopia

1973 - Dario Franchitti, Scottish racecar driver (Italian origin)

1978 - Italy legalizes abortion

1994 - AC Milan wins Europe Cup 1: 4-0 against Barcelona

May 19

1601 - Costanzo Porta, Italian composer

1898 - Julius Evola, Italian philosopher (d. 1974)

1900 - World's longest railroad tunnel (Simplon) links Italy and Switzerland, opens

1906 - Italian King Victor Emmanuel and Swiss president open Simplon tunnel

1939 - Livio Berruti, Italian athlete

1947 - Michele Placido, Italian actor and director

1957 - Adone Zoli forms Italian government

1963 - Filippo Galli, Italian footballer

1967 - Massimo Taccon, Italian painter and sculptor

1979 - Andrea Pirlo, Italian footballer

May 20

1347 - Rienzo calls Rome for people's tribunal

1444 - Saint Bernardino of Siena, Italian Franciscan missionary (b. 1380)

1470 - Pietro Bembo, Italian cardinal (d. 1547)

1503 - Lorenzo de Medici, Italian patron (b. 1463)

1506 - Christopher Columbus, Italian explorer (b. 1451)

1554 - Paolo Bellasio, Italian composer (d. 1594)

1906 - Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1989

1916 - Trebisonda Valla, Italian athlete (d. 2006)

1943 - Al Bano, Italian singer

1967 - Gabriele Muccino, Italian film director

2001 - Renato Carosone, Italian musician (b. 1920)

May 21

878 - Syracuse, Italy is captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.

879 - Pope John VIII gives blessings to duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of Croatian state.

996 - Sixteen-year-old Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor

1512 - Pandolfo Petrucci, ruler of Siena dies

1639 - Tommaso Campanella, Italian theologian dies (b. 1568)

1664 - Giulio Alberoni, Italian cardinal (d. 1754)

1850 - Giuseppe Mercalli, Italian volcanologist (d. 1914)

1892 - Ruggiero Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci," premieres in Milan

1969 - Pierluigi Brivio, Italian footballer

1670 - Niccolo Zucchi, Italian astronomer (b. 1586)

1844 - Giuseppe Baini, Italian composer (b. 1775)

1972 - Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal.

1985 - Marco Carta, Italian singer

May 22

337 - Constantine the Great, Roman Emperor (b. 272)

1381 - Saint Rita of Cascia, Italian Saint (d. 1457)

1457 - Saint Rita of Cascia, Italian saint (b. 1381)

1540 - Francesco Guicciardini, Italian historian (b. 1483)

1772 - Durastante Natalucci, Italian historian (b. 1687)

1859 - King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies (b. 1810)

1885 - Giacomo Matteotti, Italian politician (d. 1924)

1901 - Gaetano Bresci, Italian-American anarchist (b. 1869)

1988 - Giorgio Almirante, Italian politician (b. 1914)

1990 - Rocky Graziano, American boxer (b. 1922)

1991 - Inter Milan wins 20th UEFA Cup at Rome

May 23

1125 - Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1081)

1498 - Girolamo Savonarola is burned at the stake in Florence, Italy, on the orders of Pope Alexander VI

1555 - Giampietro Caraffa elected Pope Paul IV

1670 - Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1610)

1729 - Giuseppe Parini, Italian writer (d. 1799)

1750 - Carlo Goldoni's "Il Bugiardo," premieres in Mantua

1805 - Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan

1915 - Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary and Germany during WW I

1928 - Bomb attack on Italians embassy in Buenos Aires, 22 die

1948 - Joe DiMaggio hits 3 consecutive home runs

1962 - Joe Pepitone 2nd Yankee to hit 2 home runs in 1 inning (Joe DiMaggio)

1968 - A. C. Milan wins 8th Europe Cup II in Rotterdam

1974 - Italian Red Brigade officer Mario Sossi freed

1982 - Pope John Paul II declares "Peerke" Donders divine

1990 - A. C. wins 35th Europe Cup 1 at Vienna

1992 - Giovanni Falcone, Italian judge (b. 1939)

May 24

15 BC - Julius Caesar Germanicus, Roman commander (d. 19)

1494 - Pontormo, Italian painter (d. 1557)

1671 - Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (d. 1737)

1824 - Pope Leo XII proclaims a universal jubilee

1829 - Pope Pius VIII issues his program for pontificate

1887 - St. Pio of Pietrelcina was a Capuchin priest from Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pio when he joined the Capuchins; he was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood. He became famous for his stigmata. (d.1968)

1900 - Eduardo De Filippo, Italian actor and screenwriter (d. 1984)

1914 - Giuseppe Valdengo, Italian baritone (d. 2007)

1915 - Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary

1922 - Russian-Italian trade agreement signed

1928 - Umberto Nobile flies airship over North Pole again

1936 - Tony Lazerri 2 grand slams (11 RBIs); Ben Chapman sets record by reaching 1st 7 times safely, Yankees beat A's 25-2

1953 - Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Doctor Mellifluus

1953 - Alfred Molina, London-born Spanish-Italian actor

1963 - Ivan Capelli, Italian racing driver

1970 - Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Bluegrass Golf Invitation

1976 - Alessandro Cortini, Italian musician

1988 - John Moschitta set record for fast talking: 586 words per minute

1989 - A. C. Milan wins 34th Europe Cup 1 at Barcelona

1991 - Miriam di San Servolo, Italian actress (b. 1912)

2005 - Vivian Liberto, first wife of Johnny Cash (b. 1934) - Cash and Liberto wrote each other over 10,000 pages of love letters, forming the basis of her autobiography, titled I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny, which was published in 2007.  Vivian was of Italian origin.

May 25

615 - Pope Boniface IV

1085 - Pope Gregory VII

1261 - Pope Alexander IV

1980 - Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic

1992 - Oscar Luigi Scalfaro elected president of Italy

1922 - Enrico Berlinguer, Italian politician (d. 1984)

1952 - Al Sarrantonio, American writer

1971 - Marco Cappato, Italian politician

1996 - Renzo De Felice, Italian historian (b. 1929)

May 26

1478 - Pope Clement VII (d. 1534)

1536 - Francesco Berni, Italian poet

1955 - Alberto Ascari, Italian race car driver and two-time F1 world champion (b. 1918)

1595 - Philip Neri, Italian churchman (b. 1515)

1805 - Napoleon is crowned king of Italy

1831 - Ciro Menotti, Italian patriot (b. 1798)

1860 - Garibaldi occupies Palermo Italy

1957 - Roberto Ravaglia, Italian racing driver

1977 - Luca Toni, Italian footballer

1981 - The Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due).

2001 - Vittorio Brambilla, Italian racing driver (b. 1937)

May 27

366 - Procopius, Roman usurper (b. 326)

1508 - Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan (b. 1452)

1519 - Girolamo Mei, Italian historian (d. 1594)

1690 - Giovanni Legrenzi, Italian composer (b. 1626)

1781 - Giovanni Battista Beccaria, Italian physicist (b. 1716)

1840 - Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (b. 1782)

1860 - Giuseppe Garibaldi begins his attack on Palermo, Sicily, as part of the Italian Unification.

1942 - Italian army begin siege of French western Fort Bir Hachim

1961 - Fiorentina wins 1st Europe Cup II in Florence

1964 - Inter Milan wins 9th Europe Cup 1 in Vienna

1964 - Inter Milan wins 9th Europe Cup 1 in Vienna

1965 - Inter Milan wins 10th Europe Cup 1 in Milan

1970 - Michele Bartoli, Italian cyclist

1993 - Mafia bombs Uffizi-museum in Florence, kills 6

2003 - Luciano Berio, Italian composer (b. 1925)

May 28

1608 - Claudio Monteverdi's "Arianna," premieres in Mantua

1676 - Jacopo Riccati, Italian mathematician (d. 1754)

1886 - Santo Trafficante, Sr., Sicilian-born American mobster (d. 1954)

1969 - A. C. Milan wins 14th Europe Cup 1 in Madrid

1982 - Pope John Paul II is 1st pope to visit Great Britain

1974 - Italians fascist bomb demonstrators in Brescia, 6 killed

May 29

363 - Roman Emperor Julian defeats the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Sassanid capital, but is unable to take the city

757 - St. Paul I begins his reign as Catholic Pope

1167 - Battle of Monte Porzio – A Roman army supporting Pope Alexander III is defeated by Christian of Buch and Rainald of Dassel

1176 - Battle of Legnano, in which the Lombard League defeats Emperor Frederick I.

1910 - Pope's encyclical on Editae Saepe, against church reformers

1944 - British troops occupy Aprilia, Italy

1948 - Nick Mancuso, Italian-Canadian actor

1977 - Massimo Ambrosini, Italian footballer

May 30

1875 - Giovanni Gentile, Italian philosopher (d. 1944)

1981 - Gianmaria Bruni, Italian racing driver

May 31

70 - Rome captures 1st wall of the city of Jerusalem

1495 - Emperor Maximilian, Pope Alexander VI, Milan, King Ferdinand, Isabella and Venice sign anti-French Saint League

1535 - Alessandro Allori, Italian painter (d. 1607)

1754 - Andrea Appiani, Italian painter (d. 1817)

1921 - Alida Valli, Italian actress (d. 2006)

1944 - Allied breakthrough in Italy

1947 - Italian government of Gasperi forms

1959 - Andrea de Cesaris, Italian racing driver

1966 - Nick Scotti, American actor and singer (Italian origin)

1977 - Domenico Fioravanti, Italian swimmer