What a time May 31, 1859, was. On that day, the famous clock known as Big Ben rung out for the first time over the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London.
The name “Big Ben” originally just applied to the bell but later came to refer to the clock itself. The name is believed to come from either Sir Benjamin Hall, the London commissioner of works at the time, or heavyweight boxer Benjamin Caunt, also the largest of his kind.
The woman who famously sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” had a birthday herself June 1, 1926.
Marilyn Monroe, baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was born in Los Angeles. She became known for such movies as “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “Some Like It Hot.” She was also notably married to baseball great Joe DiMaggio and, later, playwright Arthur Miller.
Speaking of movies, on June 2, 1989, the boys’ prep school drama “Dead Poets Society” (starring Robin Williams and partially filmed in nearby Delaware) was released.
The film earned Williams an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, one of four nominations the film would receive, including Best Director and Best Picture. The movie won for Best Original Screenplay. Williams played John Keating, a charismatic English teacher who encourages his students to embrace life passionately a la the great poets.
So go out there and seize the day!