An OAS car bomb exploded at the docks of Algiers, killing 96 people. The deaths of 14 other people and the injury of 147 overall made the occasion "the bloodiest single day in the modern history of Algeria's capital".
The value of the Canadian dollar was put at a fixed exchange rate at 92.5 United States cents (USD 0.925) after having had a fluctuating value since September 30, 1950. The Canadian Exchange Fund would purchase U.S. dollars in order to keep the Canadian dollar from going more than one percent above 92+1⁄2¢ American, until May 30, 1970.
The Mikawashima train crash killed 160 people in Japan in the collision involving three separate trains near Tokyo. Engineer Norifumi Minakami drove a freight train through a red signal and sideswiped a commuter train. As surviving passengers climbed out of that train, a third train ran through them, then plunged over an embankment.
Dr. Masaki Watanabe of Japan performed the very first arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear, a common injury for athletes. The first patient to receive the procedure was a 17-year-old basketball player, who was returned to playing six weeks after the meniscectomy and resection of his right knee by Dr. Watanabe.
U.S. Ambassador to Canada Livingston Merchant, in his final month as envoy, made a final visit to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in Ottawa. At the meeting Diefenbaker angrily brought out an American memorandum that had been left behind during President Kennedy's visit in May 1961. The President's handwritten notes in the margin included the letters "OAS", the Organization of American States, "but Diefenbaker read Kennedy's handwriting as 'SOB'" and threatened to use the memo (and the suggestion that Kennedy thought that Diefenbaker was a "son of a bitch") in the upcoming June 18 elections. After conferring with his superiors, the ambassador later told Diefenbaker that he was personally reluctant to report "anything which could be construed as a threat" and that publication of the memo would "make difficult future relations". The memo was never used, but Kennedy and Diefenbaker never trusted each other again.
Seattle businessman Stanley McDonald inaugurated a cruise ship service that would eventually become Princess Cruises, starting with the departure of the Canadian steamer SS Yarmouth from San Francisco for the first of 17 ten-day cruises to the 1962 Seattle World's Fair and back. After a successful six-month lease of the Yarmouth, McDonald would spend more than three years in making plans for the Princess Cruise line (which would be made famous by The Love Boat television series) on a regular series of winter tours from Los Angeles to Acapulco, starting at the end of 1965. "Yarmouth Cruises, Inc."
The first nuclear explosion to be caused by an American ballistic missile, rather than by a bomb dropped from an aircraft or at a fixed site, was accomplished at Christmas Island, 1,200 miles from its launch site. Previous ICBM tests had been done without a nuclear warhead. The USS Ethan Allen fired the armed Polaris A-2 missile, from underwater, to its target.
The National Bowling League rolled its last game, with the Detroit Thunderbirds defeating the Twin Cities Skippers, 27-15, to sweep the best 3-of-five "World Series of Bowling" for the first, and only, NBL championship.
Died:Thomas Gilcrease, 72, American philanthropist and collector of indigenous artifacts of the Americas
Three officials of the Central Intelligence Agency met with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and implored him to stop investigation of Mafia crime boss Sam Giancana. For the first time, the CIA revealed that it had offered $150,000 to several organized criminals to carry out a "hit" against Cuba's Prime Minister, Fidel Castro.  The secret meeting would become public in 1975, with the release of the Rockefeller Commission's report on an investigation of the CIA.
The six-member township council of Centralia, Pennsylvania, voted in favor of improving the new landfill at the edge of town, in time for Memorial Day ceremonies. Every year, the contents of the city dump would be set afire, despite a state law prohibiting the practice, and the May 27 burning would prove to be the end of Centralia.
At the request of the U.S. Department of State, the Immigration and Naturalization Service agreed to issue a United States visa to Marina Oswald so that her husband Lee Harvey Oswald could return to the U.S.
The Japanese monster film Mothra opened in the United States, after having premiered in Japan on July 30, 1961.
Pravda, the official newspaper for the Soviet Communist Party, printed the official response to pleas to prevent the continued tearing down of Moscow's monasteries and churches. The plea had been in an editorial in the magazine Moskva about the urban renewal decisions of the Architectural Planning Administration. The editorials were unsigned, but apparently approved by First Secretary Khrushchev. The day before, three of the journalists from Moskva were informed that the article was anti-Soviet.
Oliver Franks, Chancellor of the University of East Anglia, was made a life peer.
Born:John Ngugi, Kenyan athlete and 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the 5000 metre race in Kigumo, Muranga District
Nine men, on a fishing trip, died in shark-infested waters after their boat sank off the coast of Newport Beach, California. Chester McMain of Norwalk was taking the Happy Jack on its first voyage when it ran into rough weather. Though they were wearing life jackets, the sharks apparently pulled them underwater. Searchers on the fishing boat Mardic located six bodies the next day, with sharks swimming around the group.
The Philippines continued to distance itself from its past as an American protectorate, changing its name on postage and coinage to Pilipinas.
Thalidomide was withdrawn from sale in Japan, bringing an end to the worldwide distribution of the morning sickness drug that had caused birth defects. Dainippon Pharmaceutical halted further shipments; about 1,200 "thalidomide babies" were born in Japan.
British soldiers erected a barbed wire barricade along Hong Kong's 12-mile border with the People's Republic of China. The purpose was to block refugees from fleeing China into Hong Kong. At the time, as many as 4,000 people were attempting to flee Communist China into the British colony. The next day, British administrators imposed penalties on any Hong Kong resident attempting to assist a refugee's escape.
The Panchen Lama, leader of the Tibetan people since the nation's conquest by Communist China, presented a 70,000-word petition to visiting Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, pleading for relief for the suffering of Tibetans under Communist rule. Repression of Tibetan Buddhists eased to some extent after the Panchen Lama's bold move.
Al Oerter became the first person to throw the discus more than 200 feet, setting a mark of 61.10 m (200'5") at Los Angeles.
Marilyn Monroe made her last significant public appearance, singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" at a birthday party for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. The event was part of a fundraiser to pay off the Democratic Party's four million-dollar debt remaining from Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign. Monroe was stitched into a $12,000 dress "made of nothing but beads" and wore nothing underneath as she appeared at the request of Peter Lawford; President Kennedy thanked her afterward, joking, "I can now retire from politics after having had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way."
Typhoon Hope became the second typhoon of the season, peaking at 95 mph (153 km/h) winds on the following night.
The first specifically built coronary care unit in the world opened at the Bethany Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, under the planning of cardiologist Dr. Hughes Day. Other CCUs followed in Toronto, Sydney, New York and Philadelphia, and by 1970, most major hospitals had units designed to treat heart attacks.
Egypt's President Gamel Abdel Nasser unveiled his "National Charter of the Arab Socialist Union", proclaiming that the "Arab Revolution" would win its "battle of destiny" by "enlightened thought", "free movement" and "clear perception" of the revolution's objectives.
Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed on a farm near Unionville, Missouri, after the in-flight detonation of a bomb near the rear lavatory. All 45 passengers and crew, on the Boeing 707 jet flight from Chicago to Kansas City, were killed. Contact was lost at 9:15 pm and the plane had disappeared from radar at 9:40 after leaving behind a 60-mile line of debris, including a briefcase with the initials "T.G.D."; Thomas G. Doty, one of the passengers, who had been on his way to Kansas City to face criminal charges for armed robbery, had taken out $300,000 in insurance payable to his wife, and had bought sticks of dynamite at a hardware store, before carrying out the murder-suicide.
The first successful reattachment (replantation) of a severed limb was accomplished by Dr. Ronald A. Malt at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Everett Knowles, a 12-year-old boy, had had his right arm severed at the shoulder by a freight train. A year after the limb was saved, Everett could move all five fingers and bend his wrist, and by 1965, he was again playing baseball and tennis.
U.S. President Kennedy signed a Presidential Directive waiving the quota against accepting immigrants from China. Since 1943, the quota for Chinese immigrants had been only 105 per year. Within three years, President Lyndon Johnson would put the quota for Asian nations at the same level as that for European nations.
Drilling for the first subway in Montreal commenced at 8:00 am, as a crew began to bore a 1.2-mile-long tunnel under Berri Street, to run between Metropolitan Boulevard and Jean Talon Street.
Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times in the Aurora 7space capsule, then splashed down 250 miles off course in the fourth mission of Project Mercury. He was located and rescued by the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. Carpenter's rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 7:45 am local time, went around the Earth three times, then began its return at 1:30. Instead of being tilted 34° toward the horizon, the capsule was inclined at 25° and overshot its mark, landing at 1:41 pm. Carpenter deployed a rubber raft and stayed afloat for another three hours before being spotted.
Pursuant to the township council resolution of May 7, the contents of the new landfill in Centralia, Pennsylvania, were burned as part of a cleanup on the day before Memorial Day. As had been done in the past, the volunteer fire department then extinguished the blaze. The new landfill, however, had been placed above an abandoned coal mine and the fire continued to burn underground, ultimately reducing Centralia to a ghost town.
On the same day, in the Philippines, 30 people were killed and 10 injured when a bus, carrying students on a holiday outing, fell off of a wooden bridge and was swept away by the Alalum Falls near the town of Sumilao in the Bukidnon province on southern Mindanao.
A speeding freight train crashed through the back of a passenger train near Voghera, Italy, killing 62 people. Most of the dead were vacationers on their way to the French Riviera.
The hanging of Adolf Eichmann, 56, German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, began at 11:58 pm local time "on an improvised scaffold in a third story storeroom" at the Ramleh prison near Tel Aviv. Eichmann, who had been captured by agents of Israel's Mossad on March 21, 1960, and then taken from Argentina to Israel for his role in the extermination of 6,000,000 European Jews, would become the first person to be legally executed in the history of modern Israel. The body was cremated soon afterward and Eichmann's ashes scattered over the Mediterranean Sea.
^Chris Epting, The Birthplace Book: A Guide to Birth Sites of Famous People, Places, and Things
(Stackpole Books, 2009) p 179
^"Algerian Carnage Takes Lives Of 110", Sarasota Herald-Tribune, May 3, 1962, p1
^"A History of the Canadian Dollar" (Bank of Canada) pp61-62, p71; Michael Hart, A Trading Nation: Canadian Trade Policy from Colonialism to Globalization (UBC Press, 2003) p222
^"Biggest N-Test Exploded", Sarasota Herald-Tribune, May 3, 1962, p1
^"Zombies: Do They Exist?", TIME Magazine, October 17, 1983; Andre J. Louis, Voodoo in Haiti: Catholicism, Protestantism & A Model of Effective Ministry in the Context of Voodoo In Haiti (Tate Publishing, 2007) p166
^"Engineer Arrested After Train Crash Kills 163 In Japan", Nashua (NH) Telegraph, May 4, 1962, p1
^Mark D. Miller and Brian J. Cole, Textbook of Arthroscopy (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2004) pp 4–5
^Jamie Glazov, Canadian Policy toward Khrushchev's Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2003) p147
^Edelgard Mahant and Graeme S. Mount, Invisible and Inaudible in Washington: American Policies Toward Canada (University of British Columbia Press, 1999) p48
^Scheina, Robert L., Latin America: A Naval History 1810-1987, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987, ISBN0-87021-295-8, p. 225.
^"Super Spurs turn Cup Final into a Soccer Classic", The Observer (London), May 6, 1962, p20
^"Tottenham English Soccer King Again", Miami News, May 6, 1962, p1C
^"Cruise Ship to Make Fair Runs", The Daily Chronicle (Centralia WA), April 18, 1962, p7
^"Just Announced! Fabulous 10-day Seattle World's Fair Cruise... from just $195 round trip", advertisement, Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1962, p25
^Peter Plowman, The SITMAR Liners: Past and Present (Rosenberg Publishing, 2004) pp189-190
^Donald A. MacKenzie, Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance (MIT Press, 1993) pp342-343; "Sub Fires Nuclear Warhead", Youngstown (OH) Vindicator, May 6, 1962, p1
^"Segni Wins Presidency After Melee", Spokane Spokesman-Review, May 7, 1962, p1
^Michael J. Walsh, ed., Butler's Lives of the Saints (HarperCollins, 1991) p 361
^"Detroit Wins Title In U.S. Pin Loop, May 7, 1962, p19
^"Thunderbirds Sweep Bowling World Series", Lansing (MI) State Journal, May 7, 1962, C-1
^"For the Record", Sports Illustrated, May 21, 1962, p 117
^Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy: His Life (Simon and Schuster, 2002) p171
^Andrew Downer Crain, The Ford Presidency: A History (McFarland, 2009) p123
^Mary M. Stolberg, Bridging the River of Hatred: The Pioneering Efforts of Detroit Police Commissioner George Edwards (Wayne State University Press, 2002) p177
^ abDavid DeKok, Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire (Globe Pequot, 2009)
^Amanda Vaill, Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins (Random House Digital, 2008) p 344
^Theodore S. Creedman, Historical Dictionary of Costa Rica (Scarecrow Press, 1991) p 222
^Harold H. Martin, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events : Years of Change and Challenge, 1940-1976 (University of Georgia Press, 1987) p 349–350
^Donald M. Pattillo, Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry (University of Michigan Press, 2001) p209
^Vincent P. Benitez, The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years (ABC-CLIO, 2010) p6
^ abThe Warren Commission Report: Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Associated Press, 1964)
^"Shark-Mangled Bodies Found At Sea", Toledo Blade, May 14, 1962, p2; "Sharks Eat Sea Victims", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 14, 1962, p1
^Charles J-H. MacDonald, Old Ties and New Solidarities: Studies on Philippine Communities (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000) p276
^"New India President In Plea for Unity", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 14, 1962, p2
^Robert N. Minor, Radhakrishnan:
A Religious Biography (SUNY Press, 1987)
^"Royal Houses of Spain and Greece Joined", Lewiston (ME) Daily Sun, May 15, 1962, p1
^Angel Smith, Historical Dictionary of Spain (Scarecrow Press, 2009) p368
^McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 June 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
^James W. Marquart, et al., The Rope, The Chair, and the Needle: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1923–1990 (University of Texas Press, 1998) p 116
^"U.S. Jets Land In Thailand", Miami News, May 16, 1962, p1
^Corinna Laughlin and Jennifer Kerr Breedlove, Sourcebook for Sundays Seasons and Weekdays 2009 (Liturgy Training Publications, 2008) p 283
James B. Roberts and Alexander Skutt, The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book (McBooks Press,2006) pp 564-565
^Warren Upham, Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001)
^Kunio Goto, A Social History of Science and Technology in Contemporary Japan (Trans Pacific Press, 2006) pp 489–490
^Plácido Domingo, with Helena Matheopoulos, Plácido Domingo: My Operatic Roles (Baskerville Publishers, 2000) p53
^"Barbed Wire Curtain Halts Flight To Hong Kong", Miami News, May 18, 1962, p1
^"Hong Kong Refugee Aid Is Banned", Miami News, May 19, 1962, p1
^Tséring Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947 (Columbia University Press, 1999) pp271-273
^Peter Matthews, Historical Dictionary of Track and Field (Scarecrow Press, 2012) p 64
^"$1,000,000 Raised for Party at JFK 'Birthday Salute'", St. Joseph (MO) News-Press, May 20, 1962, p1
^Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy (Arcade Publishing, 1999) p 161
^Nigel I. Jowett, et al., Comprehensive Coronary Care (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007) p 16; "Resuscitating a Circulation Abstract to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Coronary Care Unit Concept", by W. Bruce Fye, M.D., Circulation magazine, May 1, 1962, pp1886-93
^Norman Polmar, Spyplane: The U-2 History Declassified (Zenith Imprint, 2001) p182
^Arthur Goldschmidt, A Brief History of Egypt (Infobase Publishing, 2008) p174
^"$10 Million AFL Suit Ruled Out", The Milwaukee Sentinel, May 22, 1962, p 2–3
^"JET LINER CRASH KILLS 45 IN WILD MIDWEST STORM", Miami News, May 23, 1962, p1; "Bomb Ripped Jet On Which 45 Perished", Miami News, May 27, 1962, p1
^"Brief Case Clue To Jet Crash Studied By FBI", Miami News, May 29, 1962, p 2; "Death Plane Passengers Had Bought Dynamite", Miami News, June 17, 1962, p 1
^Wilson Casey, Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World (Penguin, 2009); "He Takes a Grip on Life: A boy who made medical history puts his sewed-on arm to work", LIFE Magazine, August 2, 1963, pp 31–34
^Victor Nee and Brett De Bary Nee, Longtime Californ': A Documentary Study of an American Chinatown (Stanford University Press, 1986) p 254
^"Subway Started, New Tenders Set", Montreal Gazette, May 24, 1962, p3
^Todd Shepard, The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (Cornell University Press, 2008) p131
^Donald C. Hodges and Ross Gandy, Mexico, the End of the Revolution (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002) pp1 02-103
^"CARPENTER LIFTED SAFELY FROM SEA: Overshot Target By 250 Miles In 3 Orbital Flight", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 25, 1962, p 1
^Peter Manning, Electronic and Computer Music (Oxford University Press, 2004) p203
^Alfred F. Havighurst, Britain in Transition: The Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 1985) p643
^"Racist Wins Alabama Bid for Primary", Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1962, p11; "Alabama Chooses Foe Of Integration", Miami News, May 30, 1962, p10A
^"1929 Stock Market-- Big Question 1962"; "World Exchanges Suffer Heavy Blows", Miami News, May 30, 1962, p1