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Norway gives women partial suffrage

This Day in World History
On 14 June 1907, Norway’s Storting (Stortinget) demonstrated the difficulty faced by women’s suffrage advocates around the world. On the one hand, the national legislature approved a bill that would allow some of Norway’s women to vote for lawmakers and even to win seats in the Storting. On the other hand, the male lawmakers limited voting rights to women who had the right to vote in municipal elections.

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Boris Yeltsin elected Russia’s first President

This Day in World History
On 13 June 1991, millions of Russians went to the polls for the first time in an open election to choose a president. Emerging as winner was 60-year-old Boris Yeltsin, a maverick with a reputation for alcohol abuse who had for some time advocated political and economic reforms.

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Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh executed

This Day in World History
Early in the morning of 11 June 2001, Timothy McVeigh was executed for planning and carrying out the worst terrorist attack in United States history to date: the bombing of a federal office building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. Eleven children in an-office daycare center were among the 168 people killed in the blast. Five hundred more people were wounded.

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Crusaders begin the Siege of Jerusalem

This Day in World History
On 7 June 1099, some 13,000 Christian Crusaders reached the outskirts of Jerusalem. They were poised on realizing the key goal of the First Crusade — capture of the holy city.

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Indian forces massacre Sikhs in Amritsar

This Day in World History
After months of standoff between India’s government and Sikh dissidents, the Indian army attacked those dissidents who had taken refuge in the holiest Sikh shrine — the Golden Temple, in Amritsar, India — on June 6, 1984. The fighting left hundreds dead and more captured. The attack also enraged many Sikhs across India, which would have fatal consequences for Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who had ordered the assault.

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Hillary and Tenzing climb Mt. Everest

This Day in World History
On May 29, 1953, at about 11:30 a.m., New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tibetan Tenzing Norgay stood on top of the world. They had spent more than two hours straining every muscle against ice, snow, rock, and low oxygen to reach this point. But they were atop Mount Everest, more than 29,000 feet above sea level, the highest peak in the world.

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Kenyatta elected Kenya’s First Prime Minister

This Day in World History
On May 27, 1963, the people of Kenya voted for the first time in history for their own government. Winning a better than two-to-one majority of parliamentary seats was KANU, the Kenya African Nation Union. As a result, 73-year-old Jomo Kenyatta, leader of Kenya’s independence movement and head of KANU, was assured of becoming the nation’s first prime minister.

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The Brooklyn Bridge opens

This Day in World History
On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge opened to great fanfare. With schoolchildren and workers enjoying a rare holiday, thousands flocked from Brooklyn and Manhattan to attend the dedication, led by President Chester Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. The crowd cheered as Emily Roebling — wife of the chief engineer and an integral figure in its construction — became the first person to cross. That night, fireworks illuminated the sky.

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Ortelius publishes first world atlas

This Day in World History
On May 22, 1570, bookmaking and map-making history were made. Abraham Ortelius, a Flemish book collector and engraver published the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Epitome of the Theater of the World) — the world’s first atlas.

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Da Gama reaches Calicut, India

This Day in World History
On May 20, 1498, sailing for the Portuguese crown, Vasco da Gama reached Calicut, India. Having successfully sailed around the southern tip of Africa, da Gama had pioneered a sea route from Europe to Asia that bypassed the Muslim nations that controlled the overland spice trade.

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Montréal is founded

This Day in World History
Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, jumped from the wooden boat onto land. Falling to his knees, he blessed the ground. His followers also came ashore and built an altar, where a Jesuit father offered a blessing. “You are a grain of mustard-seed,” he said, “that shall rise and grow till its branches overshadow the earth.” With these words, French settlers founded Ville-Marie de Montréal — Montréal, Canada — on May 17, 1642.

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Israel declares statehood

This Day in World History
Late in the afternoon of May 14, 1948, a group of Jewish settlers fulfilled a long-cherished dream and declared, as of midnight that night, the existence of the state of Israel. The announcement created the first Jewish state in nearly two millennia — and outraged the Palestinian people and their Arab allies.

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Constantine dedicates Constantinople

This Day in World History
Six years before, the emperor had ordered the building of a vast new city. On May 11, 330, construction was sufficiently complete for that city to be dedicated. The Emperor Constantine took part in a solemn mass at St. Eirene, his newly built church, that dedicated the new city to the Virgin Mary. He issued an edict that declared the city New Rome, or the Second Rome, capital of the empire. Within a hundred years, though, the city came to be known by another name — Constantinople.

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Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony premieres

This Day in World History
Back to the audience, facing the orchestra, the composer steadily marked the tempo with his hands. He was not conducting, though — he was deaf. Thus it was that, when the orchestra and chorus finished, he could not hear the applause and cheers of the Vienna audience. When a musician turned him around so he could see the joy on listeners’ faces, Ludwig von Beethoven bowed in gratitude — and wept.

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The Sack of Rome

This Day in World History
On May 6, 1527, a mass of German Lutheran and Spanish Catholic troops—unlikely allies—reached Rome angry at being unpaid for months and resentful of the riches of the papacy. As the soldiers—by now a rampaging mob—entered the Vatican, Pope Clement VII was saying a mass in the Sistine Chapel. With Swiss Guards being slaughtered in St. Peter’s Square, the pope was hustled away to safety in the stout Castel Sant’Angelo. And the sack of Rome was on.

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Kublai Khan becomes Mongol Emperor

This Day in World History
In 1259, the great Mongol Empire — which stretched from parts of China west to Russia — was shaken for the second time by the death of its leader, or khan, when Mongke, a grandson of the founder Genghis Khan, died. One of his brothers, Kublai, left his army in China, came back to Mongolia, and had himself declared the Great Khan.

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