1 May 1918
Private Robert Cruickshank is awarded the Victoria Cross for actions under heavy fire east of the Jordan River in Palestine.
2 May 1915
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer is killed by shellfire near Ypres, Belgium. His death inspires Major John McCrae to write In Flanders Fields.
4 May 1951
The 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group is formed for service in
6 May 2008
Warrant Officer David Schultz plunges into enemy fire to extract casualties after an ambush in Afghanistan. He is awarded the Star of Military Valour and is appointed to the Order of Military Merit.
7 May 1945
Nazi Germany unconditionally surrenders to the Allies in Europe.
9 May 2007
Dwight Wilson, one of the last surviving Canadian veterans of the First World War, dies in Toronto at the age of 106.
10 May 1990
The Canadian Space Agency Act receives royal assent.
11 May 1943
In an attempt to expel Japanese invaders, the 7th Division of the U.S. army deploys to Attu Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
12 May 1870
The Manitoba Act is given royal assent, creating the province of Manitoba.
15 May 1918
In Ottawa, 5,000 farmers protest the government’s breach of promise to exempt their sons from conscription. The policy is maintained.
17 May 2006
Captain Nichola Goddard dies in a firefight in the Panjwaii District of Afghanistan. She is the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in action.
18 May 1974
As part of Operation Smiling Buddha, India detonates its first nuclear bomb at a test site in Pokhran, Rajasthan, becoming the sixth nation to do so.
20 May 1932
Amelia Earhart departs Harbour Grace, Nfld., and flies non-stop for nearly 15 hours before landing in Northern Ireland, making her the first woman to make a solo transatlantic flight.
21 May 1939
King George VI unveils the National War Memorial in Ottawa before 100,000 spectators, calling the memorial the “spontaneous response of the nation’s conscience.”
25 May 2009
North Korea tests its second nuclear weapon, causing tension with the international community.
26 May 1972
The U.S. and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
28 May 1916
The Canadian government is advised to abandon the Ross rifle after it proves unreliable in combat.
29 May 1982
The National War Memorial in Ottawa is rededicated to include the Second World War and Korean War.