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Calendar for May 20th, 2013

Victoria Day (Canada)

Victoria Day commemorates the May 24, 1819, birthday of Britain's Queen Victoria (who since has had a whole era named for her--the Victorian era). The British have always celebrated the birthday of the ruling monarch. After Queen Victoria's death in 1901, the people of Canada continued to mark her birthday to show loyalty to the British Empire. In the early 1890s, this day was known as Empire's Day. In 1947, the name was changed to Commonwealth Day. Today it is again known as Victoria Day, and it is a legal holiday in all Canadian provinces except Quebec.


  • 325: First Council of Nicaea (which standardized how to calculate the date of Easter) likely convened

  • 1500s

  • Died 1506: Christopher Columbus (explorer)

  • 1750s

  • Born 1759: William Thornton (architect)

  • 1760s

  • Born 1768: Dolley Madison (U.S. First Lady)

  • 1810s

  • Born 1818: William Fargo (businessman)

  • 1830s

  • 1830: D. Hyde patented the fountain pen

  • 1860s

  • 1862: Homestead Act signed

  • 1890s

  • Born 1890: Allan Nevins (historian)

  • 1900s

  • Born 1908: Jimmy Stewart (actor)

  • 1910s

  • 1916: The Saturday Evening Post published its first cover with a Norman Rockwell painting

  • 1930s

  • 1930: First airplane catapulted from a dirigible

  • Died 1939: Joseph Carr (president of NFL)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1944: Joe Cocker (musician)

  • Born 1946: Cher (singer & actress)

  • 1970s

  • Born 1971: Tony Stewart (race car driver)

  • 1980s

  • Died 1989: Gilda Radner (actress)

  • 2000s

  • Died 2002: Stephen Jay Gould (paleontologist & author)

  • 2009: Rare Madagascar teal duck born, Louisville Zoo, Kentucky

  • 2010s

  • 2012: Annular eclipse of the Sun

  • Died 2012: Robin Gibb (musician; member of the Bee Gees)

  • 2014: Up to 20 million honeybees escaped from a tractor-trailer after it overturned on a highway in Newark, Deleware

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