1949: Berlin blockade lifted
On this day, an early battle of the Cold War ends when the USSR lifts its blockade against West Berlin. In June 1948, in an attempt to discourage the Western powers from maintaining the sovereignty of West Berlin, the USSR imposed blockades on routes to Berlin through Soviet occupation zones in East Germany. Although land routes were blocked, the Soviets would not risk shooting down planes, and the West undertook a massive airlift of coal, food, and supplies. Flights were made around the clock, and at the height of the Berlin Airlift, planes were landing in the city every three minutes. The defeated blockade was lifted on May 12, 1949.
British pop star Mick Jagger marries Bianca Oerez Morena de Macias.
Minimum voting age in Britain is lowered from 21 to 18.
Pop Classic release: 'Whiter Shade of Pale' by British group Procul Harem.
Founding of the United States of Congo with Leopoldville its federal capital.
Ending of the Russian blockade of Berlin after 11 months. The Berlin Airlift by the Allies, including Britain & United States, had cost £200m.
World War II: the German commander in North Africa, General von Arnim, surrenders to the Allies.
Coronation of King George VI of England at Westminster Abbey in London.
A self-help group, Alcoholics Anonymous, is launched in Ohio, USA by its founder William Wilson.
The body of Charles A.Lindbergh's kidnapped baby boy is found by a truck driver in a wood just five miles from his home. The 20 month old boy had been missing for 73 days.
TUC call off the General Strike in Britain.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundson is among a group of three to cross the North Pole in an airship. His companions are Italian Umberto Nobile and American Lincoln Ellsworth.
Josef Pilsudski leads a successful military coup against the government in Poland.
In Berlin, Paul von Hindenburg is sworn in as President.
First performance of Bela Bartok's ballet 'The Wooden Prince' in Budapest.
USA President Wilson demands compensation for Germany sinking the liner the Lusitania - sunk by torpedo off the Irish Coast killing at least 1200 people including women and children..
Reports from Balkans of Serbian atrocities to Albanian Moslems.
King and Queen of Britain open the Festival of Empire at the Crystal Palace in South London.
Halley's Comet causes widespread concern that it is responsible for bad weather.
The pro-British magazine John Bull is published by MP Horatio Bottomley.
Manitoba is bought from the Hudson Bay Company by the Dominion of Canada and made a province.
British commander Sir Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, defeats the French at Oporto - forcing Napoleon to retreat from Portugal.
During the American War of Independence, the British occupy Charles Town (later named Charleston) in South Carolina after a two-month siege.
Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon (by order of Philip II of Spain) to invade England. It consists of approx 130 ships and 30,000 men. Less than half the ships finally return to Spain after being defeated at sea.
In England, Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and several other alleged lovers of Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII, are tried for treason. All are executed on May 12th