This Day in History - May 4

May 4

1471 – In England, the Yorkists defeat the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury

1626 – American Indians sell Manhattan Island for $24 in cloth and button

1675 – King Charles II of England commissions the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

1715 – A French manufacturer debuts the first folding umbrella

1776 – Rhode Island declares independence from England

1795 – Thousands of rioters enter jails in Lyons, France and kill 99 Jacobin prisoners

1796 – Educator and author Horace Mann is born

1799 – Indian King Tipu Sultan dies

1814 – Napoleon Bonaparte disembarks at Portoferraio on the Island of Elba in the Mediterranean

1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain returns Spain to absolutism with the signing of the Decree of the 4th of May

1820 – Publisher Joseph Whitaker is born

1825 – Biologist Thomas Henry Huxley is born

1827 – English explorer John Hanning Speke is born

1847 – Jack Slade, who would later become a victim of the Montana vigilantes, joins the army

1863 – The Battle of Chancellorsville ends when the Union Army retreats

1864 – Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s forces cross the Rapidan River and meet Lee’s Confederate army

1865 – Abraham Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois

1874 – Electrical engineer and broadcaster Frank Conrad is born

1884 – American nutritionist and biochemist Agnes Fay Morgan is born

1886 – A peaceful labor protest in Haymarket Square in Chicago turns into a riot, leaving more than 100 injured and eight police officers dead and eight others charged with the murder

1903 – Bulgarian activist Gotse Delchev dies

1904 – The US takes over construction of the Panama Canal

1916 – Germany agrees to limit its submarine warfare in order to avert a diplomatic break with the US and President Woodrow Wilson, who had demanded it

1916 – Journalist, author and activist Jane Jacobs is born

1924 – Author E. Nesbit dies

1927 – A balloon rises over 40,000 feet for the first time

1928 – Irish poet Thomas Kinsella is born

1928 – 4th President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak is born

1929 – Actress and UN special ambassador, Aubrey Hepburn is born

1930 – Mahatma Gandhi is arrested by the British

1939 – Novelist Amos Oz is born

1942 – The Battle of the Coral Sea commences

1942 – The US begins food rationing

1945 – Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov informs US Secretary of State Stettinius that the Red Army has arrested 16 Polish peace negotiators who had met with a Soviet army colonel near Warsaw in March.  When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill learns of this, he sent a telegram to President Harry Truman, expressing his concerns of ongoing Russian occupation of Central and Eastern Europe

1948 – Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead is published

1949 – Novelist Graham Swift is born

1953 – Ernest Hemingway wins a Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea

1959 – The Grammy is presented for the first time to winners Ella Fitzgerald and Perry Como

1961 – 13 civil rights activists known as Freedom Riders, begin a bus trip through the South

1961 – Secretary of State Dean Rusk reports that Viet Cong forces have grown to 12,000 and they have killed or kidnapped more than 3,000

1965 – San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays hits his 512th career home run to break Mel Ott’s National League record for home runs

1970 – Ohio National Guardsmen open fire on student protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine others

1977 – British journalist David Frost interviews former President Richard Nixon

1979 – Margaret Thatcher is sworn in as Britain’s first female prime minister

1980 – Josip Broz Tito, communist leader of Yugoslavia, dies

1989 – Golfer Rory McIlroy is born

1990 – Jesse Tafero is executed in Florida after his electric chair malfunctions three times, causing flames to leap from his head.  The death stirred a national debate on human methods of execution and several states discontinued use of the electric chair as a means

1994 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat reach an agreement in Cairo on the first stage of Palestinian self-rule

2002 – An EAS Airplane crashes in the town of Kano, Nigeria, killing 148

2014 – Tennis player Elena Baltacha dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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