This Day in History - May 5

May 5

1260 – Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire

1494 – Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica and named it Santa Gloria

1776 – British Lieutenant General Henry Clinton issues an offer of amnesty to the Patriots, asking them to return their allegiance to the king, offering a full pardon to all except for Continental Army Brigadier General Robert Howe and North Carolina Patriot Cornelius Harnett

1813 – Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is born

1814 – British attack the American forces at Fort Ontario, Oswego, New York

1816 – The Examiner publishes John Keats’ first poem

1818 – Philosopher Karl Marx is born

1821 – Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena

1830 – Hatmaker, John B. Stetson is born

1834 – The first mainland railway line opens in Belgium

1861 – Electrical engineer who invented the mercury-vapor lamp, Peter Cooper Hewitt is born

1862 – Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Williamsburg, part of the Peninsular Campaign

1862 – Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeat troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla

1864 – A battle takes place deep in the forest between Union General Ulysses Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee

1877 – Sitting Bull leads his followers to Canada in search of a safe haven from the US Army

1883 – Baseball player Charles Albert “Chief” Bender is born

1886 – A bomb explodes on the fourth day of a worker’s strike in Chicago

1890 – Writer Christopher Morley is born

1891 – Carnegie Hall opens in New York as Music Hall

1899 – Radio comedy writer and performer Freeman Gosden is born

1904 – Boston Red Sox pitcher Cy Young throws a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers

1909 – Biographer Carlos Baker is born

1912 – Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing

1916 – US Marines invade the Dominican Republic

1917 – Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first black aviator

1919 – Italian delegates return to Paris peace conference after having left abruptly eleven days prior during feisty negotiations over territory Italy would receive after WWI

1920 – Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder

1934 – The first Three Stooges film is released

1935 – American Jesse Owens sets the long jump record

1941 – Emperor Haile Selassie re-enters Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, five years to the day of when it was occupied by Italy

1942 – General Joseph Stilwell learns that the Japanese have cut his railway out of China and is forced to lead his troops into India

1943 – Actor and screenwriter Michael Palin is born

1944 – Wife of inventor Karl Benz and first person to drive a car over a long distance, Bertha Benz, dies

1945 – Holland and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control

1945 – In Lakeview, Oregon, Mrs. Elsie Mitchell and five neighborhood children are killed while attempting to drag a Japanese balloon out of the woods. Unbeknownst to them, the balloon was a Japanese bomb, which exploded, making them the only known American civilians to be killed in the continental US during WWII

1949 – The Council of Europe is founded

1955 – The Federal Republic of Germany becomes a sovereign state when the US, France and Great Britain end their occupation of West Germany

1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space

1965 – 173rd Airborne Brigade arrives in Bien Hoa-Vung, Vietnam-the first regular US Army unit deployed there

1968 – US Air Force planes hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam in support of attacking infantrymen

1969 – Pulitzer Prize awards Norman Mailer for his ‘nonfiction novel’ Armies of the Night, an account of the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon

1970 – US forces capture Seoul, Cambodia

1977 – 2nd Chancellor of West Germany, Ludwig Erhard dies

1980 – The British Special Air Service terminate the Iranian Embassy siege in London where six gunmen held 26 people hostage for six days

1981 – Imprisoned IRA militant Bobby Sands dies from starvation, for refusing food for 66 days in protest of his treatment as a criminal rather than a political prisoner by British authorities

1985 – President Ronald Reagan angers Jewish leaders by visiting the Bitburg war cemetery in Germany in his effort to visit all the victims of WWII. Unbeknownst to Reagan, the cemetery he was visiting held the graves of 49 of Hitler’s infamous SS (Schutzstaffel), the paramilitary organization that carried out the massacre of approximately 6 million people in death camps

1987 – Congress opens Iran-Contra hearings

1988 – Singer, songwriter, and musician, Adele is born

1995 – A hailstorm and torrential rains leave 17 dead and many others seriously wounded in Dallas and Tarrant counties in Texas. It was the worst recorded hailstorm to hit the US in the 20th century

1995 – Russian chess player Mikhail Botvinnik dies

2000 – The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align-Earth’s moon is also nearly in alignment, leading to the Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such alignment occurs about once every century

2000 – Cyclist Gino Bartali dies

2002 – Spider-Man becomes the first movie to top $100 million in an opening weekend

2004 – A suitcase is found holding the partial remains of William McGuire, floating in the water near Virginia Beach. In the next week, two more suitcases holding remains will turn up. His wife, Melanie, who was having an affair with her physician boss, was convicted and sentenced for his murder

2013 – Singer, songwriter, and journalist, Greg Quill 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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