May 4th in History

This day in history

May 4 is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 241 days remaining until the end of the year.

Little-Colorful-Bird-PicturesThis is Bird Day  in the United States. Bird Day is a holiday established by Oil City, Pennsylvania school superintendent Charles Babcock in 1894. It was the first holiday in the United States dedicated to the celebration of birds. Babcock intended it to advance bird conservation as a moral value.


In 585, A.D., The war between Lydia and Media (in Asia Minor) ended by a solar eclipse.

In 1256,  The Augustinian monastic order is constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.

In 1415,  Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.

In 1471, Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 1493,  Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcation.

In 1559, Elizabeth’s “Act of Uniformity” is passed by Parliament

In 1626,  Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.

In 1635, Virginia Gov. John Harvey, accused of treason, is removed from office by the House of Burgesses.

In 1675,  King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Isaac Barrow.jpgIn 1677,  Isaac Barrow, English mathematician and theologian (b. 1630) dies. He was an English Christian theologian and mathematician who is generally given credit for his early role in the development of infinitesimal calculus; in particular, for the discovery of the fundamental theorem of calculus. His work centered on the properties of the tangent; Barrow was the first to calculate the tangents of the kappa curve. Isaac Newton was a student of Barrow’s, and Newton went on to develop calculus in a modern form. The lunar crater Barrow is named after him.

In 1686, first volume of Isaac Newton’s “Principia” published.

In 1686,  The Municipality of Ilagan is founded in the Philippines.

In 1770, Capt James Cook in Endeavor lands at Botany Bay in Australia.

In 1776,  Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1789, There was a mutiny on the “Bounty” as the crew of the British ship set Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific, and set sail to Pitcairn Island. A popular book about the event has been passed down generation to generation as one of the classic works of literature.

In 1799,  Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ends when the city is invaded and Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.

In 1817, Britain and the United States signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, in which they agreed not to have guns or ships of war on the frontier waters of the Great Lakes.

In 1896, The addressograph was patented by J.S. Duncan of Sioux City, IA. An addressograph is an address labeler and labeling system. It was a development of the invention he had made in 1892. His earlier model consisted of a hexagonal wood block onto which he glued rubber type which had been torn from rubber stamps. While revolving, the block simultaneously inked the next name and address ready for the next impression. The “Baby O” model was put into production on the July 26, 1893, in a small back room of the old Caxton Building in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1914, W.H. Carrier patented the design of his air conditioner.

In 1919, the first successful jump with Army Air Corp (rip-cord type) parachute was made by Leslie Ervin, but it was almost a perfect landing until he broke his ankle.

In 1923, The Ford Motor Company starts a partial payment plan for the small car buyer.

In 1932, the first yellow fever vaccine for humans was announced.

In 1934, President FDR signed the Home Owners Loan Act.

In 1937, the first commercial flight across Pacific was by Pan Am.

Douglas Leigh.jpg

Douglas Leigh with Mickey Rooney with images of early EPOK signs,

In 1937, The first animated-cartoon electric sign was displayed on a building on Broadway in New York City. The sign was the creation of Douglas Leigh. It consisted of several thousand light bulbs and presented a four-minute show that featured a cavorting horse and ball-tossing cats.

In 1939, Hitler claims German-Polish non-attack treaty still in effect.

800px-1940CrosleyIn 1939, Small cars were offered for sale in the U.S. for the first time. Actually, these little cars would make today’s compact cars look like land yachts! Imagine a car that sold for $325, was 10-feet long, had an 80-inch wheelbase and a four-gallon gas tank. We just described the Crosley which became fairly popular back in 1939 — but wouldn’t survive.

In 1940, Rudolf Hess becomes commandant of concentration camp Auschwitz.

In 1942, A Coffee rationing begins in the U.S.

In 1942, A pollster George Gallup said most Americans preferred to call the ongoing global conflict “World War II” or “The Second World War” (other suggestions had included “Survival War” or “War of World Freedom.)

Large explosion aboard USS Lexington (CV-2), 8 May 1942 (80-G-16651).jpg

The American aircraft carrier USS Lexington explodes on 8 May 1942, several hours after being damaged by a Japanese carrier air attack.

In 1942, The Battle of the Coral Sea (4–8 May 1942) was the first battle of World War II in which the Allies were able to stop a major advance of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Japanese forces, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier, had orders to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands. The US intercepted their communications, and sent two carrier task forces and a joint AustralianAmerican cruiser force to stop them. On 3–4 May Japanese forces took Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were sunk or damaged by aircraft from the US carrier Yorktown. On 7–8 May the opposing carrier forces exchanged airstrikes in the Coral Sea. Yorktown was damaged, and the USS Lexington was scuttled (explosion pictured). After the loss of the Japanese carrier Shōhō and heavy damage to Shōkaku, the Port Moresby invasion was scrapped, and never reattempted. The Japanese losses led to a greater loss a month later at the Battle of Midway, where all four of their large aircraft carriers were sunk. Two months later, the Allies launched the Guadalcanal Campaign, hastening Japan’s ejection from the South Pacific.

In 1944, Exercise “Tiger” ended with 750 U.S. soldiers dead in a D-Day rehearsal after their convoy ships were attacked by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands, on the southwest coast of England.

In 1945, British commands attack Elbe & occupies Lauenburg. US fifth army reaches Swiss border. Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1945,  World War II: Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.

In 1945,  World War II: The German surrender at Lüneburg Heath includes all Wehrmacht units in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany.

In 1946,  In San Francisco Bay, U.S. Marines from the nearby Treasure Island Naval Base stop a two-day riot at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary; 5 people are killed in the riot.

bird1In 1952, War with Japan officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United States and 47 other nations took effect. Dwight D. Eisenhower was relieved, at his own request, of the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe and replaced by General Matthew Ridgway.

In 1953,  Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

In 1959,  The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.

In 1961,  American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.

In 1961,  Malcolm Ross and Victor Prather attain a new altitude record for manned balloon flight ascending in the Strato-Lab V open gondola to 113,740 feet (34.67 km).

In 1965, Richard Helms replaces Marshall S Carter as deputy director of CIA.

In 1965, the U.S. Marines evacuated the Americans during Dominican Republic revolution; they stayed until October 1966.

In 1969, French President Charles de Gaulle resigned his office after voters rejected major government reforms in a referendum.

In 1970,  Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: The Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the Cambodian Campaign of the United States and South Vietnam.

In 1972,  The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to “Greenpeace Foundation“.

In 1974, A federal jury in New York acquitted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans of charges in connection with a secret $200,000 contribution to President Nixon’s re-election campaign from financier Robert Vesco.

In 1975, North Vietnamese forces were invading Saigon, when helicopters evacuated the last American civilians from the South Vietnamese capital…the Americans giving up the Vietnam war and exiling themselves from Indochina.

In 1978,  The South African Defence Force attacks a SWAPO base at Cassinga in southern Angola, killing about 600 people.

In 1979,  Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

In 1980, President Carter accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran.

In 1982,  Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.

In 1983Darth Vader, Sith Lord died this day, movie wise.

In 1986, The Soviet Union told the world about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Initially the report stated the fire had killed 2 people, with 197 hospitalized. Nine months later, they reported 31 deaths and 231 cases of radiation sickness.

In 1988,  The PEPCON disaster rocks Henderson, Nevada, as tons of Space Shuttle fuel detonate during a fire.

In 1988, An Aloha Airlines flight from Hilo to Honolulu turned into a tragedy…and a miracle. 18 feet of the Boeing 737’s hull ripped away. A flight attendant was sucked through the hole to her death…her body dropping 24-thousand feet into the Pacific. Scores of passengers and crew were injured. Yet the pilot managed to land the torn-open jet on Maui.

In 1989,  Iran–Contra affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges; the convictions were properly later overturned on appeal.

In 1990 – Latvia proclaims the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation

In 1992, The Afghan government formally ceded power to triumphant Islamic guerrillas in Kabul three days after Mujahideen forced entered the capital, ending 14 years of armed resistance and civil war.

In 1994, Former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty in Alexandria, Virginia, to espionage and tax evasion charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 1993, Attorney General Reno says she ordered the ill-fated end to Waco, Texas, standoff after being convinced David Koresh would never give up voluntarily, and that mass suicide was unlikely. What an idiot!

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord regarding Palestinian autonomy granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

In 1998, A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “UnabomberTheodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.

In 2000, Ken Livingstone becomes the first Mayor of London.

In 2001, The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, opens to the public.

In 2002, An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashes in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.

In 2007, Greensburg, Kansas is almost completely destroyed by a 1.7 mi wide EF-5 tornado.

In 2014,  Three people are killed and 62 injured in a pair of bombings on buses in Nairobi, Kenya.

In 2015, The Parliament of Malta moves from the Grandmaster’s Palace to a purpose-built Parliament House.

In 2015, A Madison County firefighter died May 3rd in the morning after a tree fell during a vehicle fire, according to the Madison County Fire Department. Fire department crews responded to a vehicle fire on Highway 18 and Medon-Malesus Road. During the fire, a tree broke and fell on top of firefighter Chris Blankenship, trapping him underneath the tree, according to a news release from Madison County Fire Chief Eric Turner.

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