526 (Earthquake) Antioch, Byzantine Empire (Turkey)
May 1 is Law Day, begun in 1958. "A national
day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores
how law and the legal process have contributed to the freedoms
that all Americans share."
1951 - Great Exhibition opened in the Crystal Palace
in London with over 10,000 exhibitors.
1941 - Citizen Kane debuted at the RKO Palace Theater
in New York City.
1960 - American U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet
1983 - V miniseries began broadcasting on NBC
2011 - Osama bin Laden was reported killed by U.S.
forces in Pakistan.
1670 - Hudson's Bay Company was chartered by King
Charles II of England.
1960 - Dick Clark concluded his second day of testimony
in the Payola scandal, saving his career. "Believe me
this is not as unusual as it may seem. I think the crime I
have committed, if any, is that I made a great deal of money
in a short time on little investment. But that is the record
1965 - The Rolling Stones made their second appearance
on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1982 - The Weather Channel began broadcasting in the
2008 - Cyclone Nargis, Myanmar
2008 - Marvel's Iron Man was released in theaters.
1951 - The Senate Armed Forces and Foreign Relations
Committees began hearings of General Douglas MacArthur.
1952 - Flying US Air Force C-47, Lieutenant Colonel
Joseph O. Fletcher and Lieutenant Colonel William P. Benedict
becme the first to land a plane on the North Pole.
1977 - British journalist David Frost interviewed
former President Richard Nixon.
1980 - 13-year-old Cari Lightner of Fair Oaks, California,
was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Her mother, Candy Lightner,
later founded the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving
1986 - 54-year-old Willie Shoemaker, riding 18:1shot
Ferdinand, becamethe oldest jockey ever to win the Kentucky
1991- The final episode of Dallas was broadcast on
the CBS network; it was resurrected 21 years later on TNT.
2007 - Nearly 4 year old Madeleine McCann of Rothley,
England, disappeared during a family vacation at a resort
in southern Portugal.
May 4 is Star Wars Day. "May the Fourth be with
1886 - A labor protest in Haymarket Square in Chicago,
Illinois resulted in 100 wounded and 8 police officers killed.
1948 - Norman Mailer's first novel, The Naked and
the Dead, was published.
1970 - Jeffrey Glenn Miller, Allison B. Krause, William
Knox Schroeder and Sandra Lee Scheuer were killed by National
Guard troops at Ohio's Kent state campus.
1990 - Jesse Tafero was executed in Florida after
his electric chair malfunctioned three times, causing his
hair & head to catch fire.
1821 - Corsica-born Napoleon Bonaparte died as a British
prisoner on the remote island of Saint Helena in the southern
1862 - General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated a French
army led by General Charles Latrille de Lorencez that was
attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town
in east-central Mexico. This was the initial Cinco de Mayo
cause for celebration.
1961 - Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was
launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, the
first American astronaut to travel into space.
2002 - Spider-Man was released and became the fastest
movie ever to earn more than $100 million at the box office,
raking in $114.8 million by Sunday, May
1840 (Tornado) Natchez, Mississippi
1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive
order creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
1937 - The Hindenburg exploded over Lakehurst, New
Jersey, killing 36 passengers and crewmembers.
1954 - Roger Bannister broke four-minute mile (3:59.4)
at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England
1956 - Elvis Presley appeared on the Milton Berle
1984 - Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry
Shearer, collectively called Spinal Tap, performed at CBGB's
2013 - Michelle Knight, Amada Berry and Gina DeJesus
were freed after being held for years in the home of Ariel
1896 - Dr. H. H. Holmes, one of America's first well-known
serial killers, was hanged to death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Over 200 bodies were found in his property.
1902 (Volcano) Mount Pelee (Mount Pele), Martinique
1915 - A German U-boat sank the Lusitania
1994 - Norway's most famous painting, 'The Scream'
by Edvard Munch (1893), was recovered almost three months
after it was stolen from a museum in Oslo.
1998 - Germany's Daimler-Benz announced the purchase
of the Chrysler Corporation, forming DaimlerChrysler AG. It
was sold again in 2006, forming Chrysler LLC.
1902 (Tornado) Goliad, Texas
1945 - V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) was celebrated
in America and Great Britain.
1963 - Dr No, starring Sean Connery, opened in theaters.
1984 - The Soviet Union announced that they were boycotting
the 1984 Olympics.
2010 - Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live, thanks
to a push by fans on Facebook. She won an Emmy for her appearance.
1887 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West show opened in London,
1914 - Although referred to since the late 1800s,
US President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Mother's
Day holiday on this date.
1950 - L. Ron Hubbard (Lafayette Ronald Hubbard) published
Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
1955 - Harpo Marx appeared on a very special I Love
1960 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved
the world's first commercially produced birth-control bill-Enovid-10.
1961 - Newton Minow, Chairman of the Federal Communications
Commission, referred to television as the "vast wasteland"
1992- The Golden Girls aired their series finale.
1869 - Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads
completed the Transcontinental Railroad.
1877 - US President Rutherford B. Hayes has the White
House's first telephone installed in the 'telegraph room.'
1924 - J. Edgar Hoover as named acting director of
the Bureau of Investigation (now the FBI).
1980 - The US Government gave Chrysler a $1.5 billion
1994 - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was sworn in as the
first black president of South Africa.
1942 - Go Down, Moses, by William Faulkner, was published
1947 - B.F. Goodrich Co. announced the development
of tubeless tire.
1950 - Evelyn and Paul Trent took the McMinnville
1953 (Tornado) Waco, Texas
1980 - Bob Marley died from lung cancer
1996 - Captain Planet and The Planeteer series came
to an end.
1997 - IBM's supercomputer Deep Blue defeated chess
champion Garry Kasparov.
1932 - The body of the Lindbergh baby was found less
than a mile from the Lindbergh home in Hopewell, New Jersey.
1963 - Bob Dylan walked out on The Ed Sullivan Show
before his planned appearance over the lyrics to the song
he would perform: 'Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues.'
1993- The Wonder Years television series came to an
1995 - Day time soap opera As The World Turns aired
its 10,000th episode
2008 (Earthquake) Sichuan, China
1607 - English in Virginia founded Jamestown, the
first permanent English settlement in North America.
1972 - A fire at the Playtown Cabaret nightclub in
Osaka, Japan killed 118 people.
1973 - Bobby Riggs beat Margaret Court in a $10,000
winner-take-all challenge tennis match. Billie Jean King played
him on September 20, 1973 and won the second BATTLE OF THE
1981 - Pope John Paul II was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca.
1985 - Philadelphia Mayor W. Wilson Goode ordered
police to raid the MOVE headquarters, and a small bomb was
detonated on top of 6221 Osage Avenue. Six adults and five
children were killed in the fire that destroyed the entire
1796 - Edward Jenner, a doctor from Gloucestershire,
England successfully tested his vaccination for smallpox.
1804 - Lewis and Clark expedition left St. Louis,
Missouri, on a mission to explore the Northwest from the Mississippi
River to the Pacific Ocean.
1842 - Alfred Lord Tennyson published Poems.
1948 - In Tel Aviv, Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion
proclaimed the State of Israel
1955 - The Warsaw Pact was signed between the Soviet
Union, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia,
and Bulgaria in response to the west's North Atlantic Treaty
1973 - Skylab as launched
1998 - 76.3 million people tuned in for the series
finale of Seinfeld
1998 - Celebrity Deathmatch premiered on MTV
1793 - Diego Marín Aguilera flew a glider for
approximately 1,000 feet during one of the first attempted
manned flights, in Spain.
1800 - President John Adams ordered the new US federal
government to leave Philadelphia and move to the nation's
new capital in Washington DC.
1862 - President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into
law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It was
later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.
1895 - A guesstimated F5 tornado hit Sherman, Texas
and killed 73 people.
1942 - Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAACs) was formed,
granting women official military status.
2001 - The final Friends episode aired on NBC, titled
"The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding"
1964 - Motown Records got its first #1 hit with 'My
Guy' by Mary Wells.
1983 - The concert special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today,
Forever was broadcast by NBC; Michael Jackson performed his
"moonwalk" dance for the first time on television
1996 - 12 million people tuned in for the series finale
of Murder, She Wrote on CBS. The show was the longest running
American Murder-Mystery drama
1998 - Unsolved Mysteries true-crime series ended.
2014 - Broadcast journalist and TV personality Barbara
Walters retired from ABC News and from daytime program 'The
1536 - The annulment of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn's
1792 - The New York Stock Exchange was formed
1954 - The US Supreme Court handed down an unanimous
decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling
that racial segregation in public educational facilities was
1965 - Written in 1955, the FBI Laboratory, after
a formal investigation that began in 1964, declared the lyrics
of "Louie Louie" to be officially "Unintelligible
at any speed."
1970 - Thor Heyerdahl and a multinational crew set
out from Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean in Ra II in 57
2000 - The final episode of Beverly Hills 90210 aired
2004 - The first legal same-sex marriages in the US
were performed in the state of Massachusetts.
1946 - A UFO, with living creatures inside, was reported
by Gosta Carlsson, in Sweden.
1958 - Team Lotus made its Formula One debut in the
Monaco Grand Prix.
1980 (Volcano Eruption) Mount St. Helens in Washington
erupted with a 5.1 magnitude, causing a massive avalanche
and killed 57 people.
1980 - Ian Curtis of post-punk band Joy Division committed
suicide. The remaining members went on to form New Order.
1998 - Murphy Brown TV series ended on CBS.
2001 - Based on William Steig's 1990 children's book,
Shrek was released in movie theaters.
1965 - Pete Townshend wrote "My Generation"
today, his 20th birthday on a train. He was on a train because
his car, a 1935 Packard hearse, was ordered away by the Queen.
1994 - In Living Color (FOX) and L.A. Law (NBC) came
to an end
1996 - Sundance Channel made its debut.
1997 - Avian flu, A(H5N1), killed a three-year-old
boy in Hong Kong, its first victim.
2006 - The Da Vinci Code opened in theaters.
2009 - Glee premiered on FOX
1873 - Levi Strauss patented copper-riveted jeans,
designed to help prevent tears in the fabric.
1927 - American aviator Charles A. Lindbergh took
off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, on the
world's first solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean
(New York to Paris.)
1957 - Pilot Milton Torres was ordered to intercept
a UFO over East Anglia, UK
1993 - 80 million people watched the series finale
of Cheers on NBC
1994- The Joan Rivers Show (FOX) came to an end
1995 - Star Search (syndicated) came to an end.
1995 - Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of the White
House, was closed to traffic
1996 - NBC's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series came
to an end
1997 - Roseanne series came to an end on ABC
2003 - America's Next Top Model premiered on UPN
1975 - Carol Burnett was added to the Hollywood Walk
1992- The first episode of The Real World aired on
1992- The final episode of MacGyver aired on ABC
1999- All My Children actress Susan Lucci finally
received an Emmy award for her role as Erica Kane. She had
been previously nominated a record 18 times with no win.
2008 - David Cook won American Idol season seven
1455 - England's War of the Roses began when the Yorkists
defeated King Henry VI's Lancastrian forces at St. Albans.
1927 (Earthquake) Gulang/Gansu, China
1960 (Earthquake) Chile killed 5,000 and left 2,000,000
1992 - Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the
1993- NBC broadcasted the graduation episode (series
finale) for Saved By The Bell
1995- Blossom came to an end on NBC
2011 (Tornado) Joplin, Missouri
1934 - Bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde ere shot to death
in stolen Ford Deluxe near Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
1960 (Tsunami) Caused by yesterday's earthquake off
the coast of Chile, a tsunami travelled across the Pacific
Ocean and killed 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii.
1994 - Star Trek: The Next Generation aired its final
episode titled "All Good Things". It aired at 6pm
rather than being part of the prime-time line-up
1995 - ABC's Full House came to an end
2005 - Tom Cruise famously jumped around on Oprah
Winfrey's couch, proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes
2007 - Jordin Sparks won America Idol season six
2012 - Phillip Phillips won American Idol season eleven
1775 - John Hancock was elected president of the Second
1884 - Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first public telegraph
message - "What Hath God Wrought?" through the Washington-to-Baltimore
1883 - The Brooklyn Bridge over the East River opened,
connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.
1935 - The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies
2-1 in Major League Baseball's first-ever night game at Crosley
Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1943 - Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death"
began working at the Auschwitz, Poland concentration camp.
1991 - Thelma and Louise, starring Geena Davis and
Susan Sarandon, was released. Their car was a 1966 Ford Thunderbird.
1995 - ABC made the announcement that an episode of
All My Children was deleted from broadcast due to the recent
Oklahoma City bombing. In the storyline a character was supposed
to explode a church in which her ex was re-marrying.
2006 - Taylor Hicks won American Idol season five
1935 - At Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
Babe Ruth hit his 714th (and final) home run.
1977 - Star Wars opened Memorial Day weekend, marking
the biggest entertainment juggernaut in modern popular culture.
1977 - Chinese government removed the ban on the works
of William Shakespeare, the biggest entertainment juggernaut
in the Elizabethan era.
1992 - Jay Leno made his debut as the new host of
The Tonight Show.
1994 - George Swanson was buried in Brush Creek Cemetery,
in the driver's seat of his 1984 white Corvette in Hempfield
1996 - Sublime singer/guitarist Bradley Nowel died
from a heroin overdose. He was not 27
2005 - Carrie Underwood won season four of America
Idol on FOX.
2011- Oprah Winfrey hosted the final episode of her
her daytime show.
1293 (Eartquake) Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan, killing
1869 - Boston University was chartered by the Commonwealth
1896 - Charles Dow published the first edition of
the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
1897 - Bram Stoker's Dracula novel began being sold
in the UK.
1917 (Tornadoes) Matoon and Charlestown Illinois
1977 - George Willig illegally climbed the South Tower
of New York City's World Trade Center.
1990 - The final episode of The Tracey Ullman Show
aired on FOX
2012 - Planet Green became Destination America on
In 1994, the National League and American League Baseball
M.V.P.s were Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas, respectively.
Jeff and Frank were both born on the exact same day: May 27,
1896 (Tornado) St. Louis and East St. Louis, Missouri
1937 - The Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco
with Marin County, California opened. Today was "Pedestrian
Day" - cars were allowed the following day.
1941 - The British navy sank the German battleship
Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France, killing over 2,000
1963 - Bob Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin'
Bob Dylan, was released.
1983 - Benton Fireworks Disaster, Tennessee
1994- The Arsenio Hall Show came to an end on FOX
585 BC - A solar eclipse occurred, as predicted by
the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales. Knowing this exact
date helped historians find other exact and near exact historical
1830 - US President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian
Removal Act which relocated Native Americans.
1892 - In San Francisco, California, John Muir organized
the Sierra Club.
1902 - Owen Wister's The Virginian was published by
Macmillan Press. The book made the American Cowboy an icon.
1935 - John Steinbeck's first successful novel, Tortilla
Flat, was published.
1937 - Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen
Volkswagens mbH, later renamed Volkswagenwerk, or Volkswagon
1964 - The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
1987 - Matthias Rust, a 19-year-old amateur pilot
from West Germany, took off from Helsinki, Finland, in his
Cessna, and landed in Red Square, the heart of the Soviet
1998 - Former Saturday Night Live actor and comedian
Phil Hartman was shot and killed by his wife Brynn, in a murder/suicide.
1999 - In Milan, Italy, after 22 years of restoration
work, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper was
put back on display. It is bigger than most people think -
it is life size, almost 29 feet wide.
1453 - Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih
captured Constantinople after a 53-day siege, commonly referred
to as The Fall of Constantinople.
1790 - Rhode Island was the last of the original United
States' colonies to ratify the Constitution and was admitted
as the 13th US state.
1914 - Heavy fog caused a collision between cruise
ship Empress of Ireland and coal freighter, the Storstad on
the St. Lawrence River in Canada that killed 1,073 people,
mostly tourist passengers on the Empress.
1953 - Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay,
a Sherpa of Nepal, became the first explorers to reach the
summit of Mount Everest, which is at 29,035 feet above sea
1954 - First of the annual Bilderberg conferences
was held in the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
1979 - Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson,
was charged with the murder of Judge John Wood.
2004 - The National World War II Memorial was dedicated
in Washington, D.C.
1431 - At Rouen, Normandy, Joan of Arc was burned
at the stake for heresy.
1631 - Gazette de France, the first French newspaper,
1806 - Future US President Andrew Jackson participated
in a duel, killing Charles Dickinson. Dickinson shot first,
wounding Jackson, but Jackson's shot at Dockinson was fatal.
Most of Andrew Jackson's duels were for the questioned honor
of his wife, Rachel.
1911 - The inaugural Indianapolis 500 was run at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana.
1966 - Launch of Surveyor 1, the first US spacecraft
to land on an extraterrestrial body (the Moon).
2008 - The film version of HBO's comedy series Sex
and the City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker was released.
1859 - Big Ben, located at the top London's 320-foot-high
St. Stephen's Tower, began operating.
1889 - Johnston, Pennsylvania Flood
1935 (Earthquake) British India (Pakistan)
1970 (Earthquake) Yungay, Peru
1977 - The Sex Pistol's 'God Save The Queen"
was banned from performing on the BBC.
1997 - Singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley drowned while
swimming in his pool. He was not 27.
2000 - Survivor premiered on CBS
2005 - W. Mark Felt's family announced that assistant
FBI director Felt, was in fact, "Deep Throat" -
the insider who told reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
the details about President Nixon's Watergate scandal.
2006 - The Hills premiered on MTV