On this Day May 31
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1930 – Oscar-winning actor-director Clint Eastwood (“A Fistful of Dollars,” “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” and the “Dirty Harry” movies, “Unforgiven,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Mystic River,” “Gran Torino,” “American Sniper,” “Sully”)
1911 – An estimated 100,000 people gather in Belfast, Ireland for the launch of the RMS Titanic into the River Lagan. The ill-fated passenger liner, still missing its distinctive smokestacks, is towed to a berth where its engines, stacks and superstructure are installed and the interior is fitted out. Less than a year later, in one of the world’s greatest disasters, the ship sinks on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic. More than 1,500 passengers are crew are killed.
1921 – In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a White mob begins a horrific two-day attack on Black residents of the city’s thriving Greenwood district, burning homes and businesses to the ground and killing at least 300 Black Americans. Long misrepresented as a race riot rather than mass murder, the Tulsa Race Massacre becomes one of the bloodiest incidents of racial violence in American history.
1962 – The architect of the Holocaust is executed in Israel. Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” hangs for his crimes against humanity.
1966 – British vocalist Lulu and actor Sidney Poitier begin shooting scenes for the movie “To Sir, With Love” at England’s Pinewood Studios. Poitier plays a teacher in London’s tough East End and Lulu is one of his students.
2000 – Soul singer Johnnie Taylor dies of a heart attack shortly after his 62nd birthday. Taylor had been a member of The Highway QCs and The Five Echoes, and in 1957, replaced Sam Cooke in The Soul Stirrers. He is best known for his 1976 chart-topper, “Disco Lady.”