This Day In History, May 29th

What happened on this day in history: Constantinople falls to an Ottoman siege in 1453, John F. Kennedy is born in 1917, and more events that happened on May 29th.

1453: Constantinople Falls To The Ottoman Empire

The city of Constantinople falls to Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire following a 55-day siege. The fall of the city marked the end of the Byzantine — and thus the Roman — Empire and opened up Europe to Ottoman expansion. It also heralded the beginning of the Renaissance, as many Greeks fled the city, bringing their knowledge and traditions to Italy.

1917: John F. Kennedy Is Born

Today In History

Public DomainJohn F. Kennedy in the Oval Office in October 1962.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy is born in Brookline, Massachusetts. Before becoming president in 1960, Kennedy became famous for his World War II heroics in the Navy, helping him win seats in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Ultimately, Kennedy was shot and killed by alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on November 22, 1963, cutting both his presidency and his life tragically short.

1953: Edmund Hillary And Tenzing Norgay Summit Mt. Everest

Edmund Hillary And Tenzing Norgay

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty ImagesEdmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay after summiting Everest.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first two people in recorded history to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Though Hillary was celebrated as the “first,” he long insisted that he and Norgay had reached the summit together. “Teamwork,” Hillary said in 2003, “got Tenzing and me to the top of Everest.”

Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 71: History Happy Hour, May 2023, also available on Apple and Spotify.

1979: Charles Harrelson Murders Judge John Wood Jr.

Charles Harrelson murders U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. in San Antonio, Texas. The father of actor Woody Harrelson, Charles was later found guilty of killing Wood at the request of a drug dealer who didn’t want Wood to preside over his trial.

1997: Jeff Buckley Dies

Jeff Buckley, famous for his cover of the song “Hallelujah,” drowns in the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee. While on the road, Buckley and one of his roadies stopped at the river. Buckley’s roadie nervously watched as the singer wadded into the water. After taking his eyes away from Buckley for only a minute, the roadie realized that Buckley had vanished. A month later, a riverboat passenger spotted his body and an autopsy later confirmed he had drowned.