1918 – On the orders of the Bolshevik Party , Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers were executed at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
1936 – An Armed Forces rebellion against the recently-elected leftist Popular Front government of Spain starts the Spanish Civil War.
1944 – Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time, by 14 American P-38 Lightning aircraft of the 402d Fighter Squadron / 370th Fighter Group on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.[
1959 – Billie Holiday, American singer, died. On May 31, 1959, Holiday had been taken to the Metropolitan Hospital in New York suffering from liver and heart disease. She was arrested for drug possession as she lay dying, and her hospital room was raided by authorities. Police officers were stationed at the door to her room and she remained under police guard at the hospital until she died from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver .
1967 – John Coltrane, American musician, died.
After Coltrane’s death, congregants at the Yardbird Temple, in San Francisco, began worshipping Coltrane as God incarnate (the Temple was named for Charlie Parker, whom they equated to John the Baptist.)
The St. John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church, San Francisco, which is fondly known as the “Coltrane church”, is the only African Orthodox Church which incorporates Coltrane’s music and his lyrics as prayers in its liturgy. In order to become affiliated with the AOC, Coltrane was “demoted” from being God to a saint.