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Flashback calendar

Lars von Trier returns to Cannes 7 years after ban

Known to be provocative in interviews, von Trier's remarks during the press conference before the premiere of Melancholia in Cannes caused significant controversy in the media, leading the festival to declare him persona non grata and to ban him from the festival for one year.

Mount Merapi eruption

Mount Merapi is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces, Indonesia. A phreatic eruption began on the morning, prompting the evacuation of areas within a 5-kilometre radius of the volcano. Adisutjipto International Airport in Yogyakarta was closed due to the eruption's ash plume.

Baghdad bombings

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant conducted a series of attacks in and near Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, killing at least 110 people and wounding more than 165. According to ISIL, attacks were aimed at Shia fighters. More bombings killed over 101 people on May 17.

Giacometti's Pointing Man sells for a record US$141.3 million

L'Homme au doigt is a 1947 bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, that became the most expensive sculpture ever when it sold for US$141.3 million in 2015. Giacometti made six casts of the work plus one artist's proof. Pointing Man is in the collections of New York's Museum of Modern Art London's Tate Gallery, and the Des Moines Art Center.

Picasso's The Women of Algiers sells for $179.3 million at Christies

The Women of Algiers (Les Femmes d'Alger) is a series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings by artist Pablo Picasso. One of the paintings, 'Version O', was sold for $179.3 million to the former Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

"Penny Dreadful" first airs on Showtime

Penny Dreadful is a British-American horror drama television series created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes. The series premiered on Showtime in May, the first in an eight-episode season.

British PM Gordon Brown resigns after 13 years of Labour rule

Brown announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party, and instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader. Labour's attempts to retain power failed and in May, he officially resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party.

Finding Nemo video game is released

Finding Nemo is an action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales, and Vicarious Visions. The game is based on the film of the same name by Disney and Pixar. The Game Boy Advance version was also released on a Twin Pack cartridge bundled with Monsters, Inc. in 2005. This game was developed for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.

France mints first euro coin

The very first euro coin was minted in France. The symbolic act of minting was performed by the French finance minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn who pressed the button that produced Europe's first officially minted euro. The design of the coin was a symbol of Europe without frontiers.

1997

Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch

Garry Kasparov's defeat marked the first time a computer had beaten a world-champion chess player in classic match format. The winner was a chess-playing computer developed by IBM called Deep Blue. Kasparov accused the Deep Blue team of cheating and wanted another match but IBM ended the Deep Blue program after the rematch.

The first heart–lung transplant

A heart–lung transplant is a procedure carried out to replace both heart and lungs in a single operation. Bruce Reitz performed the first successful heart–lung transplant on Mary Gohlke in 1981 at Stanford Hospital. The transplant team at Stanford is the longest continuously active team performing these transplants.

Bradford City stadium fire

The Bradford City stadium fire occurred during an English League Third Division fixture between Bradford City and Lincoln City in 1985, killing 56 and injuring at least 265. The disaster led to new safety standards in UK football grounds, including the banning of new wooden grandstands.

Madonna's "Crazy For You" single goes #1 on the US charts

"Crazy for You" is a song by American singer Madonna, written by John Bettis and Jon Lind, from the soundtrack to the film "Vision Quest". It was released by Geffen Records as the first single from the soundtrack. The song became Madonna's second number-one single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

1983

Sir Alex Ferguson makes his first mark on international football

Ferguson led Aberdeen to a 2–1 victory over Real Madrid in the final, making Aberdeen only the third Scottish team to win a European trophy. Ferguson subsequently expressed that "he'd done something worthwhile with his life". This achievement was followed up with victory in the European Super Cup.

"Cats" premieres in London

Cats is a sung-through British musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne. Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 and debuted on Broadway one year later.

Natalie Cole releases her debut album "Inseparable"

"Inseparable" is the debut studio album by American singer Natalie Cole, released by Capitol Records. The album became her first gold-certified album and spawned the number-one R&B hits "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" and "Inseparable". The hit album and its singles earned Cole two Grammy Awards including Best New Artist.

"Long & Winding Road" becomes Beatles' last American release

It was also the group's last number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States. The song was written by Paul McCartney and was part of the album "Let it be". The original song was produced by George Martin; however, it was re-produced by Phil Spector who added orchestral and choral overdubs.

Monty Python's Flying Circus spreads its wings

Monty Python were a British surreal comedy group who created their sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, films, and musicals.

1968

Montreal Canadiens coach Hector Blake announces his retirement

Joseph Hector "Toe" Blake was a Canadian ice hockey player and coach in the National Hockey League. He is best known for his three-decade association with the Montreal Canadiens with whom he won the Stanley Cup ten times as a player or coach. Blake was named one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.

The Beatles start a 30-week run at #1 on the UK album charts

“Please Please Me” is the debut studio album by English rock band the Beatles. It hit the top of the UK album charts in May and remained there for 30 weeks before being replaced by “With the Beatles”. This was surprising because the UK album charts at the time tended to be dominated by film soundtracks and easy listening vocalists.

Mossad agents capture Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires

After Germany's defeat, Eichmann fled to Austria. He lived there until 1950, when he moved to Argentina using false papers. A team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents captured Eichmann and brought him to Israel to stand trial on 15 criminal charges, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people.

Waco tornado outbreak

The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak was a series of at least 33 tornadoes occurring in 10 different U.S. states in 1953. Tornadoes appeared daily from Minnesota in the north to Texas in the south. The strongest and deadliest tornado of the severe weather event was a powerful F5 cyclone which struck Waco, Texas, causing 114 of the 144 deaths that occurred during the outbreak.

Siam officially changes its name to Thailand

The Siamese constituent assembly voted to change the name of Siam to Thailand, and the change came into effect the following year. Muang Thai or Thailand means ‘land of the free’ and the name had been changed before, under the fascist military dictatorship of Field Marshal Luang Phibunsongkhram.

Israel is admitted to the United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly voted 37 to 12, with 9 abstentions, to admit Israel as a member state, making her the 59th member of the United Nations. The State of Israel had been established one year earlier.

Airship Norge leaves Spitsbergen for the pole

The Norge was a semi-rigid Italian-built airship that carried out the first verified trip of any kind to the North Pole. The expedition was the brainchild of polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen. The ship was designed and piloted by Italian aviator and aeronautic engineer Umberto Nobile. It was co-financed by Aero Club of Norway and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, who also participated on the expedition himself.

Surrealist Salvador Dalí is born

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

The first book is printed

The earliest printed book, or at least the earliest printed book with a kown date was a copy of The Diamond Sūtra, a Buddhist religious text. The date is known from a colophon at the end stating it was "printed on 11 May 868, by Wang Chieh, for free general distribution." Historians know of printed books that are likely older from Japan or China. But these books are not dated.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous