On This Day in History May 1

May 1 – Events:

  • 305 – Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor.
  • 1328 – Wars of Scottish Independence end: Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton – England recognizes Scotland as an independent nation.
  • 1576 – Stefan Batory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, marries Anna Jagiellon and they become the co-rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1707 – The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the   Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1751 – The first cricket match is played in America.
  • 1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  • 1776 – Establishment of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.
  • 1778 – American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet begins in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
  • 1785 – Kamehameha the king of Hawaii defeat Kalanikupule and established the Kingdom of Hawaii.
  • 1786 – Opening night of the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1834 – The British colonies abolish slavery.
  • 1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, was issued in the United Kingdom.
  • 1846 – The few remaining Mormons left in Nauvoo, Illinois, formally dedicated the Nauvoo Temple.
  • 1848 – The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta was founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • 1851 – The Great Exhibition opens in London by Queen Victoria.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville begins.
  • 1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.
  • 1884 – Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States.
  • 1886 – The start of the general strike which eventually wins the eight-hour workday in the United  States. These events are today commemorated as May Day or Labour Day in most industrialized countries.
  • 1893 – The World’s Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago.
  • 1894 – Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, arrives in Washington, D.C..
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The Battle of Manila Bay – The United States Navy destroys the  Spanish Pacific fleet in the first battle of the war.
  • 1900 – The Scofield mine disaster kills 200 in Scofield, Utah in the now fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.
  • 1901 – The Pan-American Exposition opens in Buffalo, New York.
  • 1915 – RMS Lusitania departs New York City on her two hundred and second and final crossing  of the North Atlantic.  Six days later, the ship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 Americans, rousing American sentiment against Germany.
  • 1925 – The All-China Federation of Trade Unions is officially founded.
  • 1927 – The first cooked meals on a scheduled flight are introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris.
  • 1927 – The Union Labor Life Insurance Company is founded by the American Federation of Labor.
  • 1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto is officially named.
  • 1931 – The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City.
  • 1940 – The 1940 Summer Olympics are cancelled due to war.
  • 1941 – World War II: German forces launch Operation Mercury the largest airborne invasion to date in their bid to capture Crete.
  • 1941 – World War II: German forces launch a major attack on Tobruk.
  • 1945 – Soviet troops raise the Soviet Flag over the Reichstag, in Berlin.
  • 1945 – A German newsreader officially announces Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany.”
  • 1946 – Start of 3 year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians.
  • 1946 – The Paris Peace Conference decided that the islands of the Dodecanese are to be returned to Greece by the Italians.
  • 1948 – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established, with Kim Il-sung as “president.”
  • 1950 – Guam is organized as a United States commonwealth.
  • 1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
  • 1956 – A doctor in Japan reports an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system,” marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.
  • 1960 – Formation of western Indian state, Maharashtra.
  • 1960 – Cold War: U-2 Crisis – Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking off a diplomatic crisis.
  • 1961 – The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaims Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.
  • 1965 – Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between ROC and PRC.
  • 1970 – Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon U.S. forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.
  • 1971 – Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) is formed to take over U.S. passenger rail service.
  • 1977 – 36 people are killed in Istanbul, Taksim Square during the Labour Day celebrations.
  • 1978 – Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
  • 1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as “spam”) is sent by a DEC marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
  • 1982 – The 1982 World’s Fair opens in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1982 – Baptism by fire of Argentine Air Force during Falklands War.
  • 1983 – Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
  • 1987 – Pope John Paul II beatifies Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
  • 1989 – Disney-MGM Studios opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
  • 1991 – Rickey Henderson would steal his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category.
  • 1991 – Nolan Ryan, pitches his seventh career no-hitter (breaking his own record).
  • 1992 – On the third day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, African American activist and criminal Rodney King appeared in public before television news cameras to appeal for calm and plead for peace, asking, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”
  • 1994 – Last day of the standing Spion Kop Grandstand for Liverpool F.C., perhaps the most famous stand in English Football
  • 1995 – Croatian forces launch Operation Flash during the Croatian War of Independence
  • 1997 – Tasmania becomes the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality.
  • 2004 – Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia join the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.
  • 2006 – The Puerto Rican government closes the Department of Education and 42 other government agencies due to significant shortages in cash flows.
  • 2007 – The Los Angeles May Day mêlée occurred, in which the Los Angeles Police Department response to a May Day pro-immigration rally became a matter of controversy.

May 1 – Birthdays:

  • 1218 – John I, Count of Hainaut (d. 1257)
  • 1218 – Rudolph I of Germany, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (d. 1291)
  • 1285 – Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel, English politician (d. 1326)
  • 1582 – Marco da Gagliano, Italian composer (d. 1643)
  • 1594 – John Haynes, Massachusetts colonial magistrate
  • 1672 – Joseph Addison, English politician and writer (d. 1719)
  • 1738 – King Kamehameha I, King of Hawaii (d. 1819)
  • 1769 – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, English statesman (d. 1852)
  • 1804 – Aleksey Khomyakov, Russian poet (d. 1860)
  • 1829 – José de Alencar, Brazilian novelist (d. 1877)
  • 1831 – Emily Stowe, Canadian physician and suffragist (d. 1903)
  • 1851 – Laza Lazarevic, Serbian writer and psychiatrist (d. 1891)
  • 1852 – Calamity Jane, American Wild West performer (d. 1903)
  • 1852 – Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Spanish neuroscientist, Nobel laureate (d. 1934)
  • 1872 – Sidónio Pais, Portuguese military and politician (d. 1918)
  • 1881 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French palaeontologist and philosopher (d. 1955)
  • 1884 – Francis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe, British politician, naval officer and racing driver (d. 1964)
  • 1887 – Alan Gordon Cunningham, British army officer (d. 1983)
  • 1896 – Mark Wayne Clark, American general (d. 1984)
  • 1896 – J. Lawton Collins, American general (d. 1987)
  • 1901 – Heinz Eric Roemheld, American film composer (d. 1985)
  • 1901 – Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian (d. 1945)
  • 1905 – Henry Koster, German film director (d. 1988)
  • 1905 – Paul Desruisseaux, French Canadian lawyer, businessman and politician (d. 1982)
  • 1906 – Horst Schumann, Nazi physician (d. 1983)
  • 1907 – Oliver Hill, civil rights attorney
  • 1908 – Giovanni Guareschi, Italian journalist (d. 1968)
  • 1909 – Kate Smith, American singer (d. 1986)
  • 1909 – Yiannis Ritsos, Greek poet, winner of the Lenin Peace Prize, 9 times candidate for the Nobel Prize (d. 1990)
  • 1912 – Otto Kretschmer, German U-Boat commander (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Louis Nye, American comedian and actor (d. 2005)
  • 1913 – Walter Susskind, Czech conductor (d. 1980)
  • 1915 – Archie Williams, American athlete (d. 1993)
  • 1916 – Glenn Ford, Canadian actor (d. 2006)
  • 1917 – John Beradino, American actor and baseball player (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Danielle Darrieux, French singer and actress
  • 1918 – Jack Paar, American television host (d. 2004)
  • 1918 – Gersh Budker, Russian physicist (d. 1977)
  • 1919 – Lewis Hill, American pacifist and founder of Pacifica Radio (d. 1957)
  • 1919 – Dan O’Herlihy, Irish film actor (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Joseph Heller, American novelist (d. 1999)
  • 1924 – Art Fleming, American game show host (d. 1995)
  • 1924 – Karel Kachyna, Czech film director (d. 2004)
  • 1924 – Terry Southern, American screenwriter (d. 1995)
  • 1925 – Chuck Bednarik, American football player
  • 1925 – Scott Carpenter, American astronaut
  • 1926 – Peter Lax, Hungarian Mathematician
  • 1928 – Desmond Titterington, Northern Irish racer (d. 2002)
  • 1929 – Ralf Dahrendorf, German-born sociologist and politician
  • 1929 – Sonny James, American country music singer and songwriter
  • 1930 – Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles
  • 1930 – Little Walter, American blues singer (d. 1995)
  • 1934 – Joan Hackett, American actress (d. 1983)
  • 1934 – Shirley Horn, American jazz singer and pianist (d. 2005)
  • 1934 – Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Mexican politician
  • 1935 – Ann Robinson, American actress
  • 1937 – Una Stubbs, English actress
  • 1939 – Judy Collins, American folk singer
  • 1939 – Max Robinson, American broadcast journalist (d. 1988)
  • 1940 – Elsa Peretti, Italian jewelry designer
  • 1944 – Suresh Kalmadi, Indian politician
  • 1945 – Rita Coolidge, American singer
  • 1946 – Joanna Lumley, English actress
  • 1946 – John Woo, Hong Kong director
  • 1949 – Tim Hodgkinson, English composer and musician (Henry Cow)
  • 1949 – Paul Teutul, Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers
  • 1950 – Dann Florek, American actor
  • 1950 – Danny McGrain, Scottish footballer
  • 1951 – Antony Worrall Thompson, English celebrity chef
  • 1954 – Ray Parker Jr., American singer and songwriter
  • 1954 – Joel Rosenberg, science fiction author
  • 1957 – Catherine Frot, French actress
  • 1957 – Ko Otani, Japanese composer
  • 1960 – Steve Cauthen, American jockey
  • 1961 – Marilyn Milian, current judge on The People’s Court
  • 1962 – Maia Morgenstern, Romanian actress
  • 1962 – Ted Sundquist, General Manager of the Denver Broncos
  • 1964 – Yvonne van Gennip, Dutch speed skater
  • 1967 – Tim McGraw, American musician
  • 1968 – Oliver Bierhoff, German footballer
  • 1968 – Sol Kyung-gu, South Korean actor
  • 1968 – D’arcy Wretzky, American musician (The Smashing Pumpkins)
  • 1969 – Wes Anderson, American director and writer
  • 1971 – Ajith Kumar, Indian film actor
  • 1973 – Curtis Martin, American football player
  • 1973 – Oliver Neuville, German footballer
  • 1975 – Marc-Vivien Foé, Cameroonian footballer (d. 2003)
  • 1975 – Jodhi May, British actress
  • 1975 – Alexei Smertin, Russian footballer
  • 1976 – Darius McCrary, American actor
  • 1977 – Vera Lischka, Austrian swimmer
  • 1977 – Dan Regan, American musician (Reel Big Fish)
  • 1979 – Mauro Bergamasco, Italian rugby player
  • 1979 – Ben Easter, actor
  • 1979 – MC Harvey (Michael Harvey), British musical artist
  • 1980 – Jan Heylen, Belgian racing driver
  • 1981 – Aliaksandr Hleb, Belarusian footballer
  • 1981 – Derek Asamoah, Ghanaian Footballer
  • 1981 – Wes Welker, American football player
  • 1982 – Tommy Robredo, Spanish tennis player
  • 1983 – The Human Tornado (Craig Williams), American professional wrestler
  • 1984 – Alexander Farnerud, Swedish footballer
  • 1984 – Farah Fath, American actress
  • 1984 – Keiichiro Koyama, Japanese musician (member of NEWS (band))
  • 1985 – Drew Sidora, American actress
  • 1986 – Cristian Benítez, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1986 – Adam Casey, Australian footballer
  • 1987 – Shahar Pe’er, Israeli tennis player
  • 1988 – Graeme Owens, English footballer
  • 1990 – Caitlin Stasey, Australian actress
  • 1997 – Ariel Gade, American Actress

May 1 – Deaths:

  • 408 – Arcadius, Eastern Roman emperor (b. 337/338)
  • 1118 – Edith of Scotland, first wife of Henry I of England (b. c. 1080)
  • 1308 – Albert I of Habsburg (murdered) (b. 1255)
  • 1539 – Isabella of Portugal, queen of Spain and empress of Germany (b. 1503)
  • 1555 – Pope Marcellus II (b. 1501)
  • 1572 – Pope Pius V (b. 1504)
  • 1731 – Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer (b. 1677)
  • 1738 – Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle, English statesman (b. c. 1669)
  • 1772 – Gottfried Achenwall, German statistician (b. 1719)
  • 1813 – Jean-Baptiste Bessières, French marshal (killed in combat) (b. 1768)
  • 1873 – David Livingstone, Scottish missionary (b. 1813)
  • 1899 – Ludwig Büchner, German philosopher and physician (b. 1824)
  • 1904 – Antonín Dvorák, Czech composer (b. 1841)
  • 1913 – John Barclay Armstrong, Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal (b. 1850)
  • 1935 – Henri Pélissier, French cyclist (b. 1889)
  • 1937 – Snitz Edwards, American actor (b. 1868)
  • 1943 – Johan Oscar Smith, Norweigian Christian leader and founder of Smith’s Friends (b.1871)
  • 1945 – Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda (suicide with his wife Magda Goebbels) (b.  1897)
  • 1965 – Spike Jones, American band leader, musician, and comedian (b. 1911)
  • 1968 – Harold Nicolson, British diplomat, author and politician (b. 1886)
  • 1968 – Jack Adams, Canadian ice hockey player, coach and general manager (b.1895)
  • 1970 – Crown Prince Euimin, Crown Prince Korea (b. 1897)
  • 1976 – Alexandros Panagoulis, Greek poet who fought the military junta in Greece (b. 1939)
  • 1976 – T.R.M. Howard, civil rights leader, entrepreneur, surgeon (b. 1908)
  • 1978 – Aram Khachaturian, Armenian composer (b. 1903)
  • 1982 – William Primrose, Scottish violist (b. 1903)
  • 1986 – Hylda Baker, English comedy actress (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Hugo Peretti, American songwriter and record producer (b. 1916)
  • 1989 – Sally Kirkland, fashion editor at LIFE (b. 1912)
  • 1989 – Douglass Watson, American actor (b. 1921)
  • 1990 – Sergio Franchi, Italian tenor (b. 1926)
  • 1993 – Pierre Bérégovoy, French Prime Minister (b. 1925)
  • 1993 – Ranasinghe Premadasa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (b. 1924)
  • 1994 – Ayrton Senna, Brazilian race car driver and three-time F1 world champion (b. 1960)
  • 1998 – Eldridge Cleaver, American activist (b. 1935)
  • 2000 – Steve Reeves, American actor (b. 1926)
  • 2003 – Miss Elizabeth, American wrestler (b. 1960)
  • 2006 – Big Hawk, American rapper (b.1969)
  • 2006 – Johnny Paris, American saxophonist (Johnny and the Hurricanes) (b. 1940)

May 1 – Holidays:

  • May Day, Labour Day, Workers’ Day, Day of the International Solidarity of Workers.
  • Italy – national holiday (Giorno dei Lavoratori).
  • Brazil – national holiday (Dia do Trabalho).
  • Switzerland – official feast of Spring.
  • Czech Republic – “National Love Day” – couples tend to flock to the memorial of the poet Karel Hynek Mácha in Prague and kiss.
  • Lei Day – Hawaiian holiday for the Lei.
  • Beltane, Lá Bealtaine, the first day of Summer in modern Ireland was celebrated by the Celts, and is now also celebrated by Neopagans and Wiccans.
  • Northern Europe – Walpurgis Night.
  • Roman Empire – all-female festival in honor of Bona Dea.
  • Roman Empire – fourth and last day of the Floralia in honor of Flora.
  • Malta – public holiday (L-Ewwel ta’ Mejju (1st May Day), or Jum il-Haddiem (Worker’s Day)).
  • Maharashtra Day (Maharashtra Divas) – Maharastra, India.
  • Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
  • Saint James the Less.
  • Saint Philip the Apostle.
  • Saint Andeol.
  • Saint Asaph
  • Saint Brieuc.
  • Saint Sigismund of Burgundy.
  • Saint Theodulf.
  • Saint Augustin Schoeffer
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