This Day in History - May 1

May 1

408 – Theodosius II succeeds to the throne of Constantinople

1308 – King Albert is murdered by his nephew John because he refused his share of the Habsburg lands

1486 – Christopher Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to fund his expedition to the West Indies

1493 – Physician and alchemist Philippus Paracelsus is born

1707 – Acts of Union comes into force, uniting England and Scotland to form the UK of Great Britain

1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy is adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature

1764 – Architect of the US Capitol, Benjamin Henry Latrobe is born

1769 – Duke of Wellington and Prime Minister of the UK, Arthur Wellesley, is born

1786 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera, Le Nozze di Figaro premieres in Vienna

1805 – The state of Virginia passes a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state or risk either imprisonment or deportation

1830 – Reformer Mother Jones is born

1839 – Chemist and inventor of rayon, Louis-Marie-Hilaire Bernigaud is born

1840 – The world’s first adhesive postage stamp is issued in the UK

1841 – The first emigrant wagon train leaves Missouri for California

1851 – The Great Exhibition opens in the Crystal Palace in London

1852 – Adventurer and performer Calamity Jane is born

1863 – The Battle of Chancellorsville begins as Union General Joe Hooker starts his attack against Confederate General Robert E. Lee

1867 – Reconstruction in the South begins with black voter registration

1873 – Missionary and explorer David Livingstone dies

1877 – President Rutherford Hayes withdraws all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction

1878 – Inventor of the first naval aircraft-carrying ship and the first man to film a total eclipse of the Sun, James Graham is born

1886 – US general strike for 8-hour working days begins

1887 – General Alan Gordon Cunningham, commander of the British forces that capture Ethiopia to liberate it from Italian invaders, is born

1896 – American General during WWII, Mark Clark is born

1898 – The US Navy under Commodore George Dewey defeats the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines

1904 – Composer Antonin Dvorak dies

1909 – Singer Kate Smith is born

1915 – The luxury liner Lusitania leaves New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe

1915 – The International Congress of Women adopts its resolutions on peace and women’s suffrage in The Hague, Netherlands

1916 – Actor Glenn Ford is born

1923 – Author Joseph Heller is born

1924 – Novelist and screenwriter Terry Southern is born

1925 – The All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the world’s largest trade union, is founded

1926 – Ford Motor Company becomes one of the first companies to adopt a five-day, 40-hour work week

1927 – Adolf Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin

1931 – The Empire State Building opens in New York

1934 – The Philippine legislature accepts a US proposal for independence

1937 – President Roosevelt signs an act of neutrality, keeping the US out of WWII

1940 – Writer Bobbie Ann Mason is born

1941 – The film Citizen Kane, directed by and starring Orson Welles, opens in New York

1944 – The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes its first flight

1945 – Martin Bormann, the private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin

1945 – Adolf Hitler’s death is announced on German radio

1948 – North Korea is established

1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first black to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book, Annie Allen-a book of poetry

1958 – President Eisenhower proclaims Law Day to honor the role of law in the creation of the US

1960 – Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia

1960 – Architect who designed the Bristol Central Library, Charles Holden, dies

1961 – Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba

1963 – James Whittaker of Redmond, Washington, becomes the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest

1967 – Singer, songwriter, and actor Tim McGraw is born

1968 – In the second day of battle, US Marines, with the support of naval fire, continue their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do

1969 – Senator George Aiken urges the Nixon administration to began an immediate “orderly withdrawal” of US troops from South Vietnam

1970 – Students from Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, Ohio, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia

1972 – North Vietnamese troops capture Quang Tri City

1978 – Naomi Uemura becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone

1986 – The Tass News Agency reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident

1987 – Tennis player, Shahar Pe’er is born

1990 – Singer and actor Sergio Franchi dies

1991 – Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson steals his 939th base to break Lou Brock’s record

1994 – Race car driver Ayrton Senna dies

1997 – After 18 years of Conservative rule, the Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, wins a landslide victory in British parliamentary elections

2002 – Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams is indicted on a series of charges, including aggravated manslaughter, in connection with the shooting death of limousine driver Costas Christofi at Williams’ estate in February

2003 – A record-breaking wave of more than 500 tornadoes begin across the southern and Midwestern US

2011 – Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear

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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