- 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, final battle between the Houses of Lancaster and York: Prince of Wales, Edward of Westminster killed and King Edward IV restored to his throne. Re-restores political stability to England until his death in 1483.
- 1814 King Ferdinand VII of Spain signs the Decree of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism
- 1904 Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal.
- 1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings play their first official game as the sport's first professional side against the Great Western Base Ball Club winning 45-9
"The Don't Make A Wave Committee," a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to the "Greenpeace Foundation"
On May 4, 1972
Cowboy Bill Pickett invents bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground
On May 4, 1893
- 1941 Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (23) weds Ethel Arnold
- 1944 Baseball player Ted Williams marries Doris Soule (divorced 1954)
- 1962 Actor Christopher Plummer (32) weds columnist Patricia Lewis at the Marylebone Registry office in London
- 1969 Actor Dustin Hoffman (31) weds actress Anne Byrne (25)
- 1991 Actress Sharon Gless and producer Barney Rosenzeig marry