May 22 is the 142nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (143rd in leap years). There are 223 days remaining.
- 1176 - Murder attempt by the Hashshashin (Assassins) on Saladin near Aleppo.
- 1455 - Wars of the Roses: First Battle of St Albans - Richard, Duke of York defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
- 1762 - Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Hamburg.
- 1807 - Sufficient evidence is presented to a grand jury to indict former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr for treason.
- 1819 - The SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship will arrive at Liverpool, England on June 20.
- 1840 - The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
- 1843 - The first major wagon train heading for the Northwest sets out with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri on the Oregon Trail.
- 1856 - Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas ("Bleeding Kansas").
- 1872 - Reconstruction: President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
- 1906 - The 1906 Summer Olympics, now not recognized as an Olympic Games, opens in Athens.
- 1908 - The Wright Brothers patent their aircraft.
- 1939 - World War II: Germany and Italy sign the Pact of Steel.
- 1947 - Cold War: In an effort to fight the spread of Communism, President Harry S. Truman of America signs an act into law that will later be called the Truman Doctrine. The act granted $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece.
- 1960 - An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale affects southern Chile. It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Also known as the Great Chilean Earthquake.
- 1967 - The Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels, Belgium burns down. It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, which results in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
- 1967 - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, now the longest-running children's series on television, airs its first episode.
- 1968 - The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sinks with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.
- 1969 - Apollo 10's lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles of the moon's surface.
- 1972 - Ceylon adopts a new constitution, changes its name to Sri Lanka and joins the British Commonwealth.
- 1990 - North and South Yemen are unified forming the Republic of Yemen.
- 1990 - The Windows 3.0 operating system is released by Microsoft.
- 1992 - After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosts the Tonight Show for the last time.
- 1997 - Kelly Flinn, US Air Force's first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepts a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.
- 1998 - Lewinsky scandal: A federal judge rules that United States Secret Service agents can be compelled to testify before a grand jury concerning the scandal, involving President Bill Clinton.
- 1998 - In Northern Ireland, Protestants and Catholics approve a peace accord.
- 2002 - In Washington, DC, Chandra Levy's remains are found in Rock Creek Park.
- 2002 - American civil rights movement: 16th Street Baptist Church bombing - A jury in Birmingham, Alabama convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls.
- 2003 - In Fort Worth, Texas, Annika Sörenstam becomes the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.
- 2004 - Felipe, Prince of Asturias of the Spanish Royal Family marries Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano.
- 1772 - Ram Mohan Roy, Hindu reformer (d. 1833)
- 1813 - Richard Wagner, composer (d. 1883)
- 1844 - Mary Cassatt, artist (d. 1926)
- 1859 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, physician; writer (d. 1930)
- 1885 - Toyoda Soemu, Japanese admiral of World War II (d. 1957)
- 1891 - Eddie Edwards, jazz musician (d. 1963)
- 1902 - Al Simmons, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1956)
- 1907 - Sir Laurence Olivier, actor, director (d. 1989)
- 1907 - Hergé, comic book creator (d. 1983)
- 1910 - Johnny Olson, game show announcer (d. 1985)
- 1914 - Vance Packard, author (d. 1996)
- 1914 - Sun Ra, jazz musician (d. 1993)
- 1917 - Georg Tintner, conductor (d. 1999)
- 1922 - Quinn Martin, television producer (d. 1987)
- 1924 - Charles Aznavour, singer, actor, composer
- 1925 - Jean Tinguely, kinetic artist (d. 1991)
- 1930 - Harvey Milk, politician, civil rights activist (d. 1978)
- 1934 - Peter Nero, musician
- 1938 - Richard Benjamin, actor
- 1941 - Paul Winfield, actor (d. 2004)
- 1942 - Volker Canaris, theatre director
- 1942 - Theodore Kaczynski, bomber
- 1942 - Calvin Simon, musician (P Funk)
- 1943 - Betty Williams, politician, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Peace
- 1943 - Tommy John, Major League Baseball pitcher
- 1946 - George Best, footballer
- 1950 - Bernie Taupin, songwriter
- 1959 - Morrissey, singer
- 1968 - James Luecke, saxophonist, musician
- 1970 - Naomi Campbell, fashion model, actress
- 1972 - Annabel Chong, erotic actress
- 1978 - Naung Naung Latt,fashion model boy, singer
- 337 - Constantine the Great, Roman emperor (b. 272)
- 1667 - Pope Alexander VII (b. 1599)
- 1885 - Victor Hugo, author (b. 1802)
- 1939 - Ernst Toller, author
- 1939 - Jiri Mahen, author
- 1967 - Langston Hughes, writer (b. 1902)
- 1972 - Cecil Day-Lewis, poet and writer (b. 1904)
- 1972 - Margaret Rutherford, actress (b. 1892)
- 1990 - Rocky Graziano, boxer (b. 1922)
- 1992 - Zellig Harris, linguist (b. 1909)
- 2004 - Richard Biggs, actor (Days of Our Lives, Babylon 5) (b. 1960)
Holidays and observances
May 21 - May 23 - April 22 - June 22 -- listing of all days
es:22 de mayo
eo:22-a de majo
pt:22 de Maio
wa:22 d' may