On This Day in History May 3

May 3 – Events:

  • 1491 – Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptized by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
  • 1494 – Christopher Columbus first sights land that will be called Jamaica.
  • 1715 – “Edmund Halley’s” total solar eclipse.
  • 1791 – The May Constitution of Poland (first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Polish Sejm.
  • 1802 – Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.
  • 1808 – Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.
  • 1808 – Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.
  • 1815 – Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples is defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.
  • 1837 – The University of Athens is founded. It is the oldest university in the eastern Mediterranean.
  • 1849 – The May Uprising in Dresden begins – the last of the German revolutions of 1848.
  • 1860 – Charles XV of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden.
  • 1867 – The Hudson’s Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.
  • 1901 – Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, FL.
  • 1916 – Easter Rising leaders are executed in Dublin.
  • 1921 – West Virginia imposes the first state sales tax.
  • 1924 – Aleph Zadik Aleph is formed in Omaha, Nebraska by Sam Beber
  • 1928 – Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.
  • 1933 – Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to head the United States Mint.
  • 1937 – Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
  • 1939 – The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • 1942 – Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that resulted in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia.
  • 1945 – World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the RAF in Lübeck Bay.
  • 1946 – World War II: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo against 28 Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  • 1947 – New post-war Japanese constitution goes into effect.
  • 1948 – U.S. Supreme Court rules that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
  • 1951 – London’s Royal Festival Hall opens.
  • 1951 – The Festival of Britain opens.
  • 1951 – The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations The Third of May by Francisco Goya (refering to the event of 1808) Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
  • 1952 – U.S. Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict land a plane at the North Pole.
  • 1956 – The judo World Championships are first held.
  • 1957 – Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.
  • 1959 – The first Grammy Awards are announced.
  • 1960 – The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opens in New York City’s Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
  • 1960 – The Anne Frank House opened in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • 1973 – The Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out as the world’s tallest building.
  • 1979 – Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher to become United Kingdom’s first female prime minister as the Labour government is ousted in parliamentary elections.
  • 1986 – Twenty-one people are killed and 41 injured after a bomb explodes in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka.
  • 1987 – A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop restrictor plate racing the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega.
  • 1991 – The Declaration of Windhoek is signed.
  • 1999 – Oklahoma City is slammed by an F5 tornado killing 42 people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado was one of 66 from the Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak.
  • 1999 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time in its history at 11,014.70.
  • 1999 – Stephen Hendry defeats Mark Williams 18-11 to win the World Snooker Championship for a record seventh time.
  • 2000 – The sport of Geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.
  • 2001 – The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.
  • 2002 – A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.
  • 2003 – New Hampshire’s famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses.
  • 2006 – Armavia Flight 967 crashes into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.
  • 2006 – Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in prison in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • 2007 – English toddler Madeleine McCann disappears during her families holiday in Portugal.

May 3 – Birthdays:

  • 612 – Constantine III, Byzantine Emperor (d. 641)
  • 1415 – Cecily Neville, mother of Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (d. 1495)
  • 1428 – Pedro González de Mendoza, Spanish cardinal and statesman (d. 1495)
  • 1446 – Margaret of York, wife of Charles I, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1503)
  • 1469 – Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author (d. 1527)
  • 1662 – Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, German architect (d. 1736)
  • 1695 – Henri Pitot, Italian-born French engineer (d. 1771)
  • 1713 – Alexis Clairault, French mathematician (d. 1765)
  • 1761 – August von Kotzebue, German dramatist (d. 1819)
  • 1764 – Elisabeth of France, sister of Louis XVI, guillotined 1794
  • 1768 – Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist (d. 1838)
  • 1826 – Charles, Crown Prince of Sweden-Norway (d. 1872)
  • 1835 – Alfred Austin, English poet (d. 1913)
  • 1844 – Richard D’Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario (d. 1901)
  • 1849 – Bernhard von Bülow, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1929)
  • 1857 – George Gore, American baseball player (d. 1933)
  • 1859 – Andy Adams, American author (d. 1935)
  • 1860 – John Scott Haldane, Scottish physiologist (d. 1936)
  • 1860 – Vito Volterra, Italian mathematician (d. 1940)
  • 1861 – Emmett Dalton, American outlaw (d. 1937)
  • 1867 – J.T. Hearne, English cricketer (d. 1944)
  • 1870 – Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1948)
  • 1873 – Pavlo Skoropadsky, Ukrainian general (d. 1945)
  • 1874 – François Coty, French perfume manufacturer (d. 1934)
  • 1874 – V. Walfrid Ekman, Swedish oceanographer (d. 1954)
  • 1877 – Karl Abraham, German psychoanalyst (d. 1925)
  • 1879 – Fergus McMaster, Australian businessman (d. 1950)
  • 1886 – Marcel Dupré, French organist and composer (d. 1971)
  • 1888 – Beulah Bondi, American actress (d. 1981)
  • 1891 – Tadeusz Peiper, Polish poet (d. 1969)
  • 1892 – George Paget Thomson, English physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975)
  • 1893 – Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian writer and public benefactor (d. 1975)
  • 1895 – Cornelius Van Til, philosopher and Christian apologist (d. 1987)
  • 1896 – Dodie Smith, English novelist and playwright (d. 1990)
  • 1896 – Karl Allmenroder, German World War I Ace (d. 1917)
  • 1898 – Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1978)
  • 1901 – Gino Cervi, Italian actor (d. 1974)
  • 1902 – Alfred Kastler, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1984)
  • 1903 – Bing Crosby, American singer and actor (d. 1977)
  • 1905 – Werner Fenchel, German mathematician (d. 1988)
  • 1905 – Sebastian Shaw, English actor (d. 1994)
  • 1906 – Anna E. Roosevelt, American radio personality (d. 1975)
  • 1906 – Mary Astor, Academy Award-winning American actress (d. 1987)
  • 1910 – Norman Corwin, American radio pioneer
  • 1912 – Virgil Fox, American organist (d. 1980)
  • 1913 – William Inge, American playwright (d. 1973)
  • 1915 – Stu Hart, Canadian professional wrestler and trainer (d. 2003)
  • 1916 – Léopold Simoneau, French Canadian tenor (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – Ted Bates, English former footballer (d. 2003)
  • 1919 – Betty Comden, American lyricist (d. 2006)
  • 1919 – John Cullen Murphy, American comic strip artist (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Pete Seeger, American singer
  • 1920 – John Lewis, American jazz pianist and composer (Modern Jazz Quartet) (d. 2001)
  • 1921 – Joe Ames, American singer
  • 1921 – Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer (d. 1989)
  • 1922 – Len Shackleton, English former footballer (d. 2000)
  • 1923 – Ralph Hall, American politician
  • 1923 – George Hadjinikos, Greek pianist and conductor
  • 1924 – Yehuda Amichai, Israeli poet (d. 2000)
  • 1924 – Ken Tyrrell, English founder of eponymous F1 racing team (d. 2001)
  • 1928 – Dave Dudley, American singer (d. 2003)
  • 1932 – Robert Osborne, American film historian
  • 1933 – James Brown, American singer and dancer (d. 2006)
  • 1933 – Steven Weinberg, American physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1933 – Alex Cord, American actor
  • 1934 – Georges Moustaki, Egyptian born Greek-French singer and songwriter
  • 1934 – Henry Cooper, English boxer
  • 1935 – Ron Popeil, American inventor
  • 1937 – Nélida Piñon, Brazilian writer
  • 1937 – Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons)
  • 1938 – Chris Cannizzaro, American baseball player
  • 1940 – Konrad “Conny” Plank, German record producer and musician
  • 1940 – Clemens Westerhof, Dutch football manager
  • 1941 – Edward “Monk” Malloy, American university president
  • 1942 – Vera Cáslavská, Czech gymnast
  • 1945 – Davey Lopes, American baseball player and coach
  • 1946 – Norm Chow, American football coach
  • 1946 – Silvino Francisco, South African snooker player
  • 1947 – Doug Henning, Canadian magician (d. 2000)
  • 1950 – Howard Ashman, American lyricist (d. 1991)
  • 1951 – Christopher Cross, American musician
  • 1951 – Tatyana Tolstaya, Russian writer
  • 1952 – Allan Wells, British athlete
  • 1954 – Gary Young, American drummer (Pavement)
  • 1955 – David Hookes, Australian cricketer (d. 2004)
  • 1956 – Marc Bellemare, French Canadian lawyer and politician
  • 1957 – Rod Langway, American ice hockey player
  • 1958 – Kevin Kilner, American actor
  • 1958 – Sandi Toksvig, Danish comedian, author, and UK radio presenter
  • 1959 – David Ball, English musician (Soft Cell)
  • 1959 – Uma Bharati, Indian politician
  • 1959 – Ben Elton, British comedian and author
  • 1960 – Amy Steel, American actress
  • 1961 – Steve McClaren, English footballer and manager
  • 1961 – Joe Murray, American cartoonist
  • 1962 – Anders Graneheim, Swedish bodybuilder
  • 1963 – Jeff Hornacek, American basketball player
  • 1963 – Jamie Reeves, British strongman
  • 1963 – Sally Whittaker, English actress
  • 1964 – Ron Hextall, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1965 – Rob Brydon, Welsh comedian
  • 1966 – Peter Abbay, American actor
  • 1966 – Darren Morgan, Welsh snooker player
  • 1968 – Shane Minor, American singer
  • 1971 – Josey Scott, American singer (Saliva)
  • 1972 – Shonie Carter, American MMA fighter
  • 1974 – Dulé Hill, American actor
  • 1974 – Princess Haya bint Hussein of Jordan
  • 1975 – Maksim Mrvica, Croatian pianist
  • 1975 – Eva Santolaria, Spanish actress
  • 1976 – Jeff Halpern, American ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Mashima Hiro, Japanese Mangaka of Rave Master and Fairy Tail
  • 1978 – Paul Banks, American vocalist (Interpol)
  • 1979 – Steve Mack, American professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Zuzana Ondrášková, Czech tennis player
  • 1980 – Marcel Vigneron, American chef (Top Chef)
  • 1981 – Farrah Franklin, American singer (former member of Destiny’s Child)
  • 1982 – Igor Olshansky, Ukrainian-born American football player
  • 1983 – Joseph Addai, American football player
  • 1983 – Romeo Castelen, Dutch footballer
  • 1983 – Márton Fülöp, Hungarian footballer
  • 1984 – Nam Sang-mi, South Korean actress and model
  • 1985 – Jemal Johnson, American soccer player

May 3 – Deaths:

  • 1152 – Matilda of Boulogne, Queen of England (b. 1105)
  • 1160 – Peter Lombard, Italian scholar and bishop (b. c.1100)
  • 1270 – King Béla IV of Hungary (b. 1206)
  • 1294 – John I, Duke of Brabant (b. 1252/1253)
  • 1481 – Mehmed II, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1432)
  • 1598 – Anna Guarini, Italian singer (b. 1563)
  • 1606 – Henry Garnet, English Jesuit (executed) (b. 1555)
  • 1622 – Pedro Páez, Spanish Jesuit missionary (b. 1564)
  • 1679 – James Sharp, English archbishop (assassinated) (b. 1613)
  • 1693 – Claude de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, French courtier (b. 1607)
  • 1704 – Heinrich Ignaz Biber, Bohemian composer (b. 1644)
  • 1724 – John Leverett the Younger, American President of Harvard (b. 1662)
  • 1750 – John Willison, Scottish minister and writer (b. 1680)
  • 1752 – Samuel Ogle, British provincial Governor of Maryland (b. c. 1692)
  • 1758 – Pope Benedict XIV (b. 1675)
  • 1763 – George Psalmanazar, British impostor (b. 1679)
  • 1764 – Francesco Algarotti, Italian philosopher (b. 1712)
  • 1779 – John Winthrop, American astronomer (b. 1714)
  • 1793 – Martin Gerbert, German theologian and historian (b. 1720)
  • 1839 – Ferdinando Paer, Italian composer (b. 1771)
  • 1856 – Adolphe Charles Adam, French composer (b. 1803)
  • 1918 – Charlie Soong, Christian Missionary
  • 1921 – Théodore Pilette, Belgian racing driver (b. 1883)
  • 1942 – Thorvald Stauning, Prime Minister of Denmark (b. 1873)
  • 1958 – Frank Foster, English cricketer (b. 1889)
  • 1969 – Zakir Hussain, 3rd President of India, (b. 1897)
  • 1972 – Bruce Cabot, American film director (b. 1904)
  • 1987 – Dalida, French singer (b. 1933)
  • 1988 – Lev Semenovich Pontryagin, Russian mathematician (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Milton Caniff, American cartoonist (Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon) (b. 1907)
  • 1989 – Christine Jorgensen, American transexual (b. 1926)
  • 1989 – Edward Ochab, Polish Communist politician (b. 1906)
  • 1991 – Jerzy Kosinski, Polish-born writer (b. 1933)
  • 1992 – George Murphy, American dancer, actor and politician (b. 1902)
  • 1996 – Alex Kellner, American baseball player (b. 1924)
  • 1996 – Jack Weston, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 1997 – Narciso Yepes, Spanish classical guitarist (b. 1927)
  • 1999 – Steve Chiasson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1967)
  • 2000 – John Joseph Cardinal O’Connor, Catholic Archbishop of New York (b. 1920)
  • 2001 – Billy Higgins, American drummer (b. 1936)
  • 2002 – Barbara Castle, British politician (b. 1910)
  • 2003 – Suzy Parker, American actress (b. 1932)
  • 2004 – Anthony Ainley, British actor (b. 1932)
  • 2004 – Ken Downing, British racing driver (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – Darrell Johnson, American baseball player (b. 1928)
  • 2006 – Karel Appel, Dutch painter (b. 1921)
  • 2006 – Pramod Mahajan, Indian politician (b. 1949)
  • 2006 – Earl Woods, Athlete and father of Tiger Woods (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Warja Honegger-Lavater, Swiss illustrator (b. 1913)
  • 2007 – Wally Schirra, American astronaut (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Knock Yokoyama, Japanese comedian and politician (b. 1932)

May 3 – Holidays:

  • World Press Freedom Day.
  • Constitution Day in Poland and Japan.
  • Roman Catholicism:
    • Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, aka the Invention of the True Cross.
    • Saint Apostle Philip
    • Saint Apostle James the Lesser
    • Saint Alexander I
    • Saint Juvenal of Narni (d. 369)
    • Saint Ansfrid (c. 1008)
    • Antonia and Alexander (martyrs of 313)
    • Black Madonna of Czestochowa Queen and Protector of Poland (since April 1, 1656)
  • Eastern Orthodox:
  • St Theodosius of Kiev
  • Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Abhai
  • Coptic Church
  • Saint Sarah
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