May 5th in History

This day in historyMay 5 is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 240 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 553,  The Second Council of Constantinople begins.

In 1215,  Rebel barons renounce their allegiance to King John of England — part of a chain of events leading to the signing of the Magna Carta.

In 1260,  Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.

In 1494,  Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica and claims it for Spain.

In 1640,  King Charles I of England dissolves the Short Parliament.

In 1762,  Russia and Prussia sign the Treaty of St. Petersburg.

In 1789,  In France, the Estates-General convenes for the first time since 1614.

In 1809,  Mary Kies becomes the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.

In 1809,  The Swiss canton of Aargau denies citizenship to Jews.

In 1811,  In the second day of fighting at the Peninsular War Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro the French army, under Marshall André Masséna, drive in the Duke of Wellington‘s overextended right flank, but French frontal assaults fail to take the town of Fuentes de Onoro and the Anglo-Portuguese army holds the field at the end of the day.

Full length portrait of Napoleon in his forties, in high-ranking white and dark blue military dress uniform. He stands amid rich 18th-century furniture laden with papers, and gazes at the viewer. His hair is Brutus style, cropped close but with a short fringe in front, and his right hand is tucked in his waistcoat.In 1821,  Emperor Napoleon I dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. He was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and its associated wars. As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814, and again in 1815. Napoleon dominated European affairs for nearly two decades while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He won the large majority of his 60 major battles and seized control of most of continental Europe before his ultimate defeat in 1815. One of the greatest commanders in history, his campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide and he remains one of the most celebrated and controversial political figures in Western history. In civil affairs, Napoleon implemented several liberal reforms across Europe, including the abolition of feudalism, the establishment of legal equality and religious toleration, and the legalization of divorce. His lasting legal achievement, the Napoleonic Code, has been adopted by dozens of nations around the world.

In 1835,  In Belgium, the first railway in continental Europe opens between Brussels and Mechelen.

In 1860,  Giuseppe Garibaldi sets sail from Genoa, leading the expedition of the Thousand to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and giving birth to the Kingdom of Italy.

In 1862,  Cinco de Mayo: troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.

In 1864,  American Civil War: The Battle of the Wilderness begins in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

In 1865,  In North Bend, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), the first train robbery in the United States takes place.

In 1866,  Memorial Day first celebrated in United States at Waterloo, New York.

In 1877,  American Indian Wars: Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.

In 1886,  The Bay View Tragedy: A militia fires into a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, killing seven.

In 1891,  The Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.

In 1904,  Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics at the Huntington Avenue Grounds, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.

In 1905,  The trial in the Stratton Brothers case begins in London, England; it marks the first time that fingerprint evidence is used to gain a conviction for murder.

In 1920,  Authorities arrest Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for alleged robbery and murder.

In 1925,  Scopes Trial: serving of an arrest warrant on John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

In 1925,  The government of South Africa declares Afrikaans an official language.

In 1934,  The first Three Stooges short, Woman Haters, is released.

In 1936,  Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In 1940,  World War II: Norwegian refugees form a government-in-exile in London

In 1940,  World War II: Norwegian Campaign – Norwegian squads in Hegra Fortress and Vinjesvingen capitulate to German forces after all other Norwegian forces in southern Norway had laid down their arms.

In 1941,  Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the country commemorates the date as Liberation Day or Patriots’ Victory Day.

In 1944,  German troops execute 216 civilians in the village of Kleisoura in Greece

In 1945,  World War II: Canadian and British troops liberate the Netherlands and Denmark from German occupation when Wehrmacht troops capitulate.

In 1945,  World War II: The Prague Uprising begins as an attempt by the Czech resistance to free the city from German occupation.

In 1946,  The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In 1949,  The Treaty of London establishes the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as the first European institution working for European integration.

In 1950,  Bhumibol Adulyadej crowns himself King Rama IX of Thailand.

In 1955,  West Germany gains full sovereignty.

In 1961,  The Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 3Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.

In 1964,  The Council of Europe declares May 5 as Europe Day.

In 1972,  Alitalia Flight 112 crashes into Mount Longa near Palermo, Sicily, killing all 115 aboard, making it the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in Italy.

In 1973,  Secretariat (horse) wins the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5, a still standing record.

In 1980,  Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service storms the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.

In 1981,  Bobby Sands dies in the Long Kesh prison hospital after 66 days of hunger-striking, aged 27.

In 1987,  Iran-Contra affair: start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America

In 1991,  A riot breaks out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shoot a Salvadoran man.

In 1994,  The signing of the Bishkek Protocol between Armenia and Azerbaijan effectively freezes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In 1994,  American teenager Michael P. Fay is caned in Singapore for theft and vandalism, a punishment that many in the United States deemed to be excessive for a teenager committing a non-violent crime. However, significant numbers of Americans were also in favor of it.

In 2002,  George Sidney, American director and producer (b. 1916) died of complications from lymphoma in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 85. He was interred at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery. He was an American film director and film producer who worked primarily at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Born in Long Island City, New York, Sidney began his career as an assistant at MGM until being assigned to direct the Our Gang comedies, which MGM had just acquired from Hal Roach, in 1938. Sidney, then age 21, was the youngest Our Gang senior director the series would have, and was only nine years older than the eldest Our Gang kid, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer‘s brother Harold Switzer. Sidney was Jewish. After a year of working on Our Gang shorts, Sidney moved on to the Crime Does Not Pay series and popular Pete Smith specialties. He soon graduated to features, including The Harvey Girls (1946), The Three Musketeers (1948), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Pal Joey (1957), and Elvis Presley‘s Viva Las Vegas (1964). His last film was Half a Sixpence (1967). Sidney became good friends with MGM animation directors William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Hanna and Barbera’s Jerry Mouse appeared alongside Gene Kelly in Sidney’s film Anchors Aweigh (1945). After MGM closed its animation studio in 1957, Sidney helped Hanna and Barbera form a deal with Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures, to form the successful television animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions, for which Sidney served as President/CEO for ten years, and was the majority shareholder in the company. Sidney later featured Hanna-Barbera’s Fred Flintstone, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear in Bye Bye Birdie.

In 2006,  The government of Sudan signs an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army.

In 2007,  All 114 aboard Kenya Airways Flight 507 die when the pilots lose control of the plane and it crashes in Douala, Cameroon.

In 2010,  Mass protests in Greece erupt in response to austerity measures imposed by the government as a result of the Greek debt crisis.

In 2014,  11 people are missing after a Chinese cargo ship collides with a Marshall Islands registered container ship off the coast of Hong Kong.

In 2014,  22 people die after two boats carrying illegal immigrants collide in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Greece.

1965 drawing of a Electric arc driven wind tunnel designed by Holderer

In 2015,  Oscar Holderer, German-American scientist and engineer (b. 1919) dies in Huntsville on May 5, 2015 at the age of 95, a few days after suffering a stroke. He was an engineer who worked for Nazi Germany during World War II before coming to the United States and working in the Apollo space program. He was survived by his second wife, Jan Smith Dunlap Holderer, with whom he had two stepchildren: Clifford Dunlap and Mary Gaither. He had two sons with his first wife Inge Spors Holderer, to whom he was married for 50 years: Thomas and Michael. Holderer had four grandchildren and three great-grandchilden at the time of his death. He was the last known surviving member of the original Operation Paperclip team. Upon his death, Buckabee described Holderer as “a very talented man, not only an aeroballistics expert but very accomplished in design and fabrication”. Holderer received 19 patents during his life. He was inducted into the Space Camp Hall of Fame in 2008 .

In 2019,  A Russian jet plane burst into flames while attempting an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow killing at least 41 people

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