First Posted: 5/8/2014
The History Channel
* On May 30, 1593, playwright Christopher Marlowe, 29, is killed in a brawl over a bar tab. Marlowe was nearly denied his master’s degree in 1587 until advisers to Queen Elizabeth intervened, recommending he receive the degree. Marlowe’s activities as a spy for Queen Elizabeth were later documented by historians.
* On June 1, 1779, the court-martial of Benedict Arnold convenes in Philadelphia. After a clean record in the early days of the American Revolution, Arnold was charged with 13 counts of misbehavior. Arnold’s resentment and his perceived mistreatment by the American Army would fuel his coming traitorous defection.
* On May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam collapses, causing a flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, that kills more than 2,200 people. At 900 feet by 72 feet, it was the largest earth dam (made of dirt and rock) in the United States, and it created the largest man-made lake of the time, Lake Conemaugh.
* On May 29, 1922, the United States Supreme Court rules that organized baseball did not violate antitrust laws as alleged by the Baltimore franchise of the defunct Federal League in 1915. The Supreme Court held that organized baseball is not a business, but a sport.
* On May 28, 1937, the government of Germany — then under the control of Adolf Hitler — forms a new state-owned automobile company, later named Volkswagenwerk. After World War II ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.
* On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks Germany’s largest battleship, Bismarck, in the North Atlantic near France. Three days earlier, Bismarck had destroyed HMS Hood, the pride of the British fleet. The German death toll was more than 2,000.
* On May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, only to lose the game on a two-run double by Braves’ first baseman Joe Adcock in the 13th inning.