Queen travels to Ireland
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom will pay the first royal visit to Ireland in a century when she touches down in Dublin on May 17. A spokesman for a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army warned the Queen, calling her a "war criminal" and saying she was not "welcome on Irish soil."
The winner of the May 21 Run for the Black-Eyed Susans will take home a $660,000 prize from a $1.1 million prize pool as horses embark on the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Besides a three-year break in the 1890s, the Preakness Stakes have run every year since 1873.
Voters in Western New York will head to the polls on May 24 to elect a replacement for resigned and disgraced former U.S. Rep. Chris Lee. The Republican Lee resigned after it was revealed that he had sent shirtless pictures of himself in an attempt to solicit a woman on Craigslist. The traditionally Republican district shows signs of a close race with Republican state assemblywoman Jane Corwin barely leading in polls.
In two separate Western states, two high-profile defendants will go to court. In Arizona, Jared Loughner, accused of killing six and wounding others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January, will be in court on May 25 to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial. In Utah, Brian David Mitchell, convicted of kidnapping a then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002, could face a life sentence during his sentencing hearing.
Obama's state visit
President Barak Obama's first state visit to the United Kingdom concludes on May 26 after three days in the British Isles. Except for Lyndon Johnson, Queen Elizabeth has hosted every president for a state visit to the UK since 1952.
Harvard University's May 26 commencement will feature Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who herself is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2010, The Economist magazine called Sirleaf "arguably the best president the country has ever had."