May 24 is the 144th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (145th in leap years). There are 221 days remaining.
- 1153 - Malcolm IV becomes King of Scotland.
- 1218 - The Fifth Crusade leaves for Egypt.
- 1430 - Joan of Arc is captured at Compičgne.
- 1487 - Imposter Lambert Simnel is crowned as "King Edward VI" at Dublin.
- 1626 - Peter Minuit buys Manhattan.
- 1689 - The Act of Toleration passes the English Parliament protecting Protestants (Roman Catholics are intentionally excluded).
- 1738 - The Methodist Church is established.
- 1787 - The United States Constitutional Convention is convened after a quorum of delegates arrives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- 1798 - Irish nationalists rebel against British occupation forces believing that French troops were going to invade Ireland.
- 1822 - Battle of Pichincha: Simón Bolívar secures the independence of Quito.
- 1844 - The first electric telegram is sent by Samuel F. B. Morse, from Baltimore, Maryland to Washington, D.C., saying "What hath God wrought?".
- 1846 - Mexican-American War: General Zachary Taylor captures Monterrey, Mexico.
- 1861 - American Civil War: Union troops occupy Alexandria, Virginia.
- 1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge in New York is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.
- 1895 - Henry Irving becomes the first personage from the theatre to be knighted.
- 1899 - The first public parking garage in the United States is opened in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 1900 - Boer War: The United Kingdom annexes the Orange Free State.
- 1915 - World War I: Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary.
- 1921 - Trial of Sacco and Vanzetti opens.
- 1929 - The Cocoanuts, the first film to star the Marx Brothers, opens.
- 1930 - Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Australia becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).
- 1940 - Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
- 1941 - World War II: In the North Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood killing all but three crewmen on what was the pride of the Royal Navy.
- 1943 - Holocaust: Josef Mengele becomes chief medical officer in Auschwitz concentration camp.
- 1956 - In Lugano, Switzerland the first Eurovision Song Contest is held.
- 1958 - United Press International is formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
- 1961 - American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi for "disturbing the peace" after disembarking from their bus.
- 1962 - American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.
- 1968 - Students set fire to the Paris bourse.
- 1968 - The Gateway Arch, in St. Louis, Missouri, is dedicated.
- 1974 - After a nine year run, the Dean Martin Show airs for the last time.
- 1976 - The London to Washington, DC Concorde service begins.
- 1980 - The International Court of Justice calls for the release of United States embassy hostages in Tehran.
- 1988 - Section 28 is passed as law by Parliament in the United Kingdom.
- 1989 - Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of the Yorkshire Ripper, is awarded a six-figure sum in damages after winning a libel action against Private Eye.
- 1991 - Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethopian Jews to Israel.
- 1993 - Eritrea gains its independence from Ethiopia.
- 1993 - Microsoft unveils Windows NT.
- 2000 - Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
- 2001 - Mountain climbing: 15-year-old Sherpa Temba Tsheri becomes the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.
- 1544 - William Gilbert (d. 1603)
- 1616 - John Maitland, Duke of Lauderdale, (d. 1682)
- 1619 - (baptised) Philips Wouwerman, Dutch Baroque painter (d. 1668)
- 1743 - Jean-Paul Marat, French revolutionary (d. 1793)
- 1794 - William Whewell, philosopher (d. 1866)
- 1810 - Abraham Geiger, rabbi and scholar (d. 1874)
- 1811 - Charles Clark, Governor of Mississippi
- 1816 - Emanuel Leutze, painter of Washington Crossing the Delaware (d. 1868)
- 1819 - Queen Victoria (d. 1901)
- 1831 - Richard Hoffman, pianist
- 1836 - Joseph Rowntree, British social reformer (d. 1925)
- 1855 - Arthur Wing Pinero, playwright (d. 1934)
- 1858 - Johan C Braakensiek, political cartoonist
- 1863 - George Grey Barnard, American sculptor (d. 1938)
- 1866 - Armando Frid (d. 1990)
- 1870 - Jan Christian Smuts (d. 1950)
- 1870 - Benjamin Cardozo, US jurist (d. 1938)
- 1878 - Lillian Moller Gilbreth, mother of modern management (d. 1972)
- 1886 - Paul Paray, conductor, composer (d. 1979)
- 1891 - William F. Albright, American archeologist and Biblical scholar (d. 1971)
- 1899 - Suzanne Lenglen, French tennis player
- 1899 - Henri Michaux, French poet
- 1905 - Zdenek Blazek, composer (d. 1988)
- 1909 - Wilbur Mills, United States politician (d. 1992)
- 1910 - Nils-Eric Fougstedt (d. 1961)
- 1912 - Joan Hammond, soprano
- 1913 - Willi Daume, German Olympic organizer (d. 1996)
- 1914 - Lilli Palmer, actress (d. 1986)
- 1917 - John Robert Russell, Duke of Bedford (d. 2002)
- 1922 or 1923 - Siobhan McKenna, actress (d. 1986)
- 1925 - Mai Zetterling, entertainer (d. 1994)
- 1926 - Stanley Baxter, actor
- 1928 - William Trevor, writer
- 1930 - Hans-Martin Linde, conductor
- 1934 - Jane Byrne, former mayor of Chicago, Illinois
- 1935 - Joan Micklin Silver, director, writer
- 1936 - Harold Budd, musician
- 1938 - Tommy Chong, actor, comedian
- 1940 - Joseph Brodsky, poet
- 1941 - Bob Dylan (aka Robert Allen Zimmerman)
- 1942 - Derek Quinn, musician
- 1943 - Gary Burghoff, actor
- 1944 - Arthur Brown, musician
- 1944 - Patti LaBelle, singer
- 1945 - Priscilla Presley, actress
- 1946 - Irena Kirszenstein-Szewinska, Russian-born Polish athlete
- 1949 - Jim Broadbent, actor
- 1953 - Alfred Molina, actor
- 1955 - Rosanne Cash, singer
- 1960 - Kristin Scott Thomas, actress
- 1962 - Bev Lidyoff, volleyball player
- 1963 - Joe Dumars, basketball star
- 1965 - John C. Reilly, actor
- 1966 - Eric Cantona, French footballer
- 1967 - Heavy D, rap musician, actor
- 1973 - Dermot O'Leary, TV presenter
- 1979 - Tracy McGrady, basketball player
- 1988 - Billy Gilman, singer
- 592 - St. Simon Stylites the Younger
- 1153 - King David I of Scotland (b. 1084)
- 1543 - Nicolas Copernicus, astronomer (b. 1473)
- 1612 - Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, 1st Viscount Cranborne (b. 1563)
- 1879 - William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, writer, publisher (b. 1805)
- 1883 - Abdel Kadir, Algerian leader (b. 1808)
- 1903 - Marcel Renault, automobile racer
- 1933 - Percy C. Mather, pioneer missionary to Eastern Turkestan
- 1937 - Edward Dunne, mayor of Chicago, IL (b. 1853)
- 1950 - Archibald Wavell, general (b. 1883)
- 1959 - John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State (b. 1888)
- 1963 - Elmore James, blues musician (b. 1918)
- 1969 - Willy Ley, rocket scientist (b. 1906)
- 1974 - Duke Ellington, composer, musician (b. 1899)
- 1981 - George Jessel, vaudevillian (b. 1898)
- 1995 - Harold Wilson, British statesman and prime minister (b. 1916)
- 1997 - Edward Mulhare, actor (b. 1923)
- 2003 - Lady Rachel Kempson, actress (b. 1910)
- 2004 - Henry Ries, American photographer (b. 1917)
Holidays and observances
Victoria Day is celebrated in Canada on this date or the Monday before it (in Quebec, it is known as Patriotes Day (Journée nationale des patriotes). It is regarded as a public holiday.
Bermuda Day, National Day of Bermuda.
Eritrea, National Day
May 23 - May 25 - April 24 - June 24 - listing of all days
ca:24 de maig
es:24 de mayo
eo:24-a de majo
oc:24 de mai
pt:24 de Maio
wa:24 di may