• On May 31, 1859, the massive clock-tower bell known as Big Ben, located at the top of the 320-foothigh St. Stephen’s Tower, rings out over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, for the first time. Just two months later, however, the heavy striker cracked the bell.
• On May 30, 1911, the inaugural Indianapolis 500 is run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. With the exception of a break in 1917 and 1918 for World War I and from 1942 to 1945 for World War II, the 200-lap, 2 1/2-mile race has been run every year.
• On June 1, 1926, Norma Jeane Mortenson — who will become known as the glamorous actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe — is born in Los Angeles. During World War II, a photographer “discovered” the naturally photogenic Norma Jeane while she was working in a California munitions factory.
• On May 29, 1932, the so-called Bonus Expeditionary Force, a group of 1,000 World War I veterans seeking cash payments for their veterans’ bonus certifi cates, arrive in Washington, D.C. One month later, that number had swelled to nearly 20,000 strong.
• On June 3, 1956, Santa Cruz, Calif., authorities announced a total ban on rock and roll music at public gatherings. Just two weeks later, Time magazine reported on similar bans enacted in Asbury Park, N.J., and San Antonio, Texas.
• On June 2, 1967, Capt. Howard Levy, 30, a dermatologist from Brooklyn, is convicted by a general court-martial of willfully disobeying orders. Levy had refused to provide basic instruction in skin disease to Green Beret medics, saying it would be used as a “tool of political persuasion” in Vietnam. He did 26 months hard labor and was dismissed from the service.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd.