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This Day in History - May 3

May 3

495 – Pope Gelasius asserts that his authority is superior to Emperor Anastasius

1469 – Political advisor and writer Niccolo Machiavelli is born

1481 – Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror dies

1568 – French forces murder hundreds of Spanish in Florida

1775 – William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and secretary of state for colonies of British King George III, instructs colonial Governor Josiah Martin of North Carolina to organize an association of Loyalists to raise militias

1791 – The Constitution of May 3 is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

1810 – George Gordon, Lord Byron, swims across the Hellespont, a tumultuous strait in Turkey now referred to as the Dardanelles

1849 – Reformer Jacob Riis is born

1851 – A great fire breaks out in San Francisco

1855 – Macon Allen becomes the first black to be admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts

1859 – France declares war on Austria

1859 – Cowboy and author Andy Adams is born

1863 – The Battle of Chancellorsville rages for a second day

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train arrives in Springfield, Illinois’

1898 – Fourth Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, is born

1903 – Singer and actor Bing Crosby is born aka Harry Lillis *many different records with different dates

1912 – Poet and writer May Sarton is born

1913 – Playwright William Inge is born

1913 – The first Indian full-length feature film is premiered-Raja Harishchandra

1915 – A combined Austro-German force succeeds in defeating the Russian army near the Dunajec River during a 10-day-long period of fighting in the Carpathian Mountains on the Galician front in Austria-Hungary

1916 – Irish activist Patrick Pearse dies

1919 – Lyricist Betty Comden is born

1919 – Folksinger and writer Pete Seeger is born

1920 – Jazz pianist John Lewis is born

1920 – Middleweight champion boxer, Walker Smith Jr. aka Sugar Ray Robinson is born

1926 – US Marines land in Nicaragua

1926 – Trade Union Congress calls for a British general strike one minute to midnight to support striking coal miners

1933 – Singer and songwriter James Brown is born

1937 – Margaret Mitchell wins a Pulitzer Prize for “Gone With the Wind”

1940 – President Franklin Roosevelt addresses approximately 4,000 women attending a women’s division meeting of the DNC

1942 – The Battle of the Coral Sea begins- the first modern naval engagement in history.  A Japanese force succeeds in occupying Tulagi of the Solomon Islands

1945 – German ship Cap Arcona, filled with prisoners is sunk by the Royal Air Force in the East Sea, killing 5,800 and becoming one of the largest maritime losses of life in history

1946 – The International Military Tribunals begin hearing the case against 28 Japanese military and government officials accused of committing war crimes during WWII, in Tokyo, Japan

1947 – Japan’s postwar constitution goes into effect

1948 – The US Supreme Court issues a decision in the US v. Paramount Pictures, et al., the government’s antitrust lawsuit against Paramount and seven other major movie studios, ruling that the studios were guilty and marking the beginning of the end for the Hollywood studio system as independent producers were now able to compete with studios for audiences and actors

1951 – The Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees hold closed session hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by President Harry Truman

1952 – The first airplane lands at the geographic North Pole

1958 – Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is published

1961 – President John F. Kennedy receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from George Washington University

1962 – Two commuter trains and a freight train collide near Tokyo, Japan, killing over 160 people and injuring many more

1965 – The 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in Okinawa, departs for Japan

1968 – After three days of fighting, the US Marines retake Dai Do complex in Vietnam, only to find that the North Vietnamese had evacuated

1968 – The US and North Vietnam choose Paris as the site for peace talks

1971 – James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin, is caught trying to break out of jail

1978 – The Digital Equipment Corporation sends the world’s first spam email

1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman prime minister of Great Britain

1980 – Cari Lightner, 13, is killed by drunk driver Clarence Busch while walking to a church carnival.  The event led Cari’s mother, Candy, to found Mother’s Against Drunk Driving aka MADD

1982 – A British submarine sinks Argentina’s only cruiser during the Falkland Islands War

1986 – 54-year old Willie Shoemaker, aboard 18/1 shot Ferdinand, becomes the oldest jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby

1987 – Actress and singer Dalida dies

1992 – Exxon executive Sidney Reso dies in a storage vault, four days after being abducted from the driveway of his Morris Township, New Jersey.  His kidnappers shot him in the arm, bound and gagged him and then placed him in a wooden box that was hidden in a virtually airless storage space.  They also carried out their ransom plans, despite Reso’s death, asking for $18.5 million.  Their complex ransom notes and DNA from the pay phones at Exxon stations where they made their calls, led authorities to Arthur and Irene Seale.  Arthur received 95 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine, while Irene received a 20-year sentence.  Interestingly enough, the chief judge of New York’s highest court, Sol Wachtler, enamored by the Seale’s case, used the same tactics to terrorize his former lover Joy Silverman and her teenage daughter.  Authorities thought Seale was involved at first, due to the similarities in the letters used.  Justice Wachtler was convicted of stalking and sent to prison

1999 – Cricket player Godfrey Evans dies

1999 – An F5 tornado produces the highest wind speeds ever recorded at 301 mph, when it struck parts of Oklahoma City, killing 45 people and injuring 665

2007 – Madeleine McCann of Rothley, England is kidnapped while on a family vacation in Portugal.  Her body has never been found

2014 – Politician Jim Oberstar dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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