1926 May 31, Portuguese president Bernardino Machedo resigned after coup.
1940 May 31, Winston Churchill flew to Paris.
1952 May 31, Walter Schellenberg, German lawyer, headed spy plot (Venlo), died of cancer.
1989 May 31, Pres. G.W. Bush met with Chancellor Kohl and addressed the citizens of Mainz, Germany. He offered Germany a “partnership in leadership.”
1991 May 31, Pres. Jose Eduardo dos Santos signed a peace treaty with Jonas Savimbi of UNITA, ending a 16-year-old Angola civil war. It called for a unified military and democratic elections.
1997 May 31, Pope John Paul II began an 11-day tour of his native Poland, his seventh visit since assuming the papacy.
2000 May 31, In Chechnya Sergei Zveryev, Russia’s 2nd highest official in the area, was killed by a remote controlled bomb in Grozny. Grozny’s Mayor Supyan Makhchayev was injured and his assistant was also killed.
2004 May 31, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo said that his country’s 30-billion-dollar external debt was “burdensome, unsustainable and unpayable” and appealed for leniency from its creditors.
2005 May 31, French President Jacques Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, a loyalist who was France’s voice against the Iraq war, as prime minister.
2007 May 31, Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush attended the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C.
2007 May 31, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said Kenya’s police over the last few months have arrested 2,464 suspected followers of Mungiki, an outlawed religious sect whose members are believed to have beheaded several people in recent months.
2008 May 31, President Manuel Zelaya said that Honduras would create a civilian airport for commercial jets on a US military airfield, diverting traffic from Tegucigalpa’s notoriously dangerous airport following a deadly crash.
2010 May 31, French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a France-Africa summit saying Africa will fuel world economic growth for decades to come and must have a stronger voice in global affairs. Guinea Bissau’s Pres. Malam Bacai Sanha, among the 38 African leaders attending the summit in Nice, called for an international effort to help him fight drug trafficking in his west African country.
2014 May 31, Egypt’s outgoing interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree making dishonoring the Egyptian flag or not standing for the national anthem a criminal offense, punishable by sentences of up to one year in prison and a fine of more than $4,000.