On This Day

Historical Events on May 3

  • 1374 BC Solar eclipse (2m 07s) seen at Ugarit by Mesopotamian astronomers "On the day of the new moon, in the month of Hiyar, the Sun was put to shame, and went down in the daytime, with Mars in attendance."
  • 1294 John II becomes Duke of Brabant and Limburg
  • 1342 Count Hartmann II becomes ruler of Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
  • 1382 Battle of Beverhoutsveld near Bruges in modern-day Belgium - the army of Ghent beats a drunken Bruges militia
  • 1491 Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1512 Pope Julius II opens 5th Council of Lateran at St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome

The Warrior Pope Julius II
The Warrior Pope
Julius II
  • 1558 Ferdinand I officially appointed Holy Roman Emperor after his brother Charles abdicated in 1556
  • 1616 Treaty of Loudun ends French civil war

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1621 Francis Bacon accused of bribery

Statesman/Philosopher Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
  • 1624 Spanish silver fleet sails to Panama
  • 1629 French huguenot leader Duke De Rohan signs accord with Spain
  • 1640 English Upper house accepts Act of Attainder
  • 1654 Bridge at Rowley, Massachusetts begins charging tolls for animals
  • 1660 Sweden, Poland, Brandenburg & Austria sign Peace of Oliva
  • 1661 Johannes Hevelius observes 3rd transit of Mercury ever to be seen
  • 1662 Royal charter granted to Connecticut

  • 1678 French conquering fleet at Curacao, 1200 die

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1715 Edmond Halley observes total eclipse phenomenon "Baily's Beads"

Astronomer, Mathematician and Physicist Edmond Halley
Astronomer, Mathematician and Physicist
Edmond Halley
  • 1722 Pierre de Marivaux' "La Double Inconstance" premieres in Paris
  • 1747 Willem IV appointed viceroy of Holland/Utrecht
  • 1765 1st North American medical college opens in Philadelphia
  • 1791 Constitution of May 3 is proclaimed by the Great Sejm (Parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, becoming the 1st modern constitution in Europe
  • 1802 Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city

Battle of InterestThe Third of May 1808

1808 Day depicted by Spanish painter Goya in his "The Third of May", painted 1814

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The Third of May 1808, by Francisco de Goya
The Third of May 1808, by Francisco de Goya
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  • 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

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1810 English poet Lord Byron swims the Hellespont (modern day Dardanelles)

Romantic Poet Lord Byron
Romantic Poet
Lord Byron
  • 1815 Battle at Tolentino: Austria beats King Joachim of Naples
  • 1822 Society for the Propagation of the Faith founded in Lyon, France
  • 1830 1st regular steam train passenger service starts
  • 1837 The University of Athens is founded
  • 1841 New Zealand proclaimed a colony independent of New South Wales
  • 1845 1st African American lawyer, Macon B Allen, admitted to the bar in Massachusetts
  • 1845 Fire kills 1,600 in popular theater in Canton, China
  • 1846 Mexican Army begins the Siege of Fort Texas near Brownsville, Texas, during the Mexican–American War
  • 1849 The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848

  • 1851 Sixth major fire in San Francisco destroys 1500-2000 buildings
  • 1855 Antwerp-Rotterdam railway opens
  • 1860 Charles XV of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden
  • 1861 General Winfield Scott presents his Anaconda Plan for the North against the South in American Civil War
  • 1861 Lincoln asks for 42,000 Army Volunteers and another 18,000 seamen
  • 1863 Battle of Salem Church, Virginia
  • 1863 The Second Battle of Fredericksburg occurs in Virginia, part of the Chancellorsville Campaign of the American Civil War
  • 1864 3rd day in Battle at Alexandria Louisiana: Confederate assault
  • 1867 The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.
  • 1886 M A Maclean elected 1st mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1898 Camp Merriman forms at Presidio San Francisco (see 0517)
  • 1900 26th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Boland aboard Lieut Gibson wins in 2:06.25
  • 1901 Fire destroys 1,700 buildings in Jacksonville, Florida
  • 1902 28th Kentucky Derby: Jimmy Winkfield on Alan-a-Dale wins in 2:08.75
  • 1903 AVC Heracles (SC Heracles '74) soccer team forms in Almelo
  • 1906 British-controlled Egypt takes Sinai peninsula from Turkey
  • 1909 35th Kentucky Derby: Vincent Powers on Wintergreen wins in 2:08.2
  • 1910 Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States is renamed the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

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1915 John McCrae writes the poem "In Flanders Fields"

World War I Soldier & Poet John McCrae
World War I Soldier & Poet
John McCrae
  • 1916 Irish Nationalists Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke are executed by firing squad following their involvement in the Easter Rising
  • 1917 1st performance of Ernest Bloch's symphony "Israel"
  • 1917 Ernest Bloch's "Schelomo" premieres in Carnegie Hall, NYC
  • 1919 Afghanistan Emir Amanoellah begins war against Great Britain
  • 1921 West Virginia imposes 1st state sales tax
  • 1922 Mayor Hylan closes streets for building of Yankee Stadium
  • 1922 Salt layer find at Winterswijk
  • 1923 1st nonstop north American transcontinental flight (NY-San Diego) completed
  • 1924 Aleph Zadik Aleph is formed in Omaha, Nebraska by Sam Beber

Volunteers Help Defeat General StrikeVolunteers Help Defeat General Strike

1926 Britain's Trade Union Congress calls for the country's first ever general strike, begins at 1 minute to midnight in support striking coal miners, lasts 9 days

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Walking to work in the General Strike. Photo: Daily Mail
Walking to work in the General Strike. Photo: Daily Mail
Read Article
  • 1926 Pulitzer prize awarded to Sinclair Lewis (Arrowsmith)
  • 1926 US Marines land in Nicaragua (9 months after leaving), stay until 1933
  • 1928 Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.
  • 1929 Prussia bans anti-fascists
  • 1932 24 tourists begin 1st air-charter holiday (London-Basle, Switzerland)
  • 1933 Nellie T Ross the 1st female director of the US Mint takes office
  • 1936 French People's Front wins elections

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1936 NY Yankee Joe DiMaggio makes his major-league debut, gets 3 hits

Baseball Player Joe DiMaggio
Baseball Player
Joe DiMaggio

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1937 Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for "Gone With the Wind"

  • 1938 Concentration camp at Flossenburg goes into use
  • 1938 Lefty Grove defeats Tigers 4-3 for 1st of record 20 consecutive wins at his home field Fenway Park; he doesn't lose there until May 12 1941

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1938 Vatican recognizes Franco-Spain

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1939 The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Subhash Chandra Bose
  • 1941 -4] German air raid on Liverpool

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1941 67th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro aboard Whirlaway, 1st leg of successful Triple Crown

Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Eddie Arcaro
Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
Eddie Arcaro
  • 1942 Japanese troop attack Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo, Solomon Islands during WWII
  • 1942 German Luftwaffe again bombs Exeter, destroying its town centre
  • 1942 Nazis execute 72 OD'ers in reprisial in Sachsenhausen, Netherlands
  • 1942 Nazis require Dutch Jews to wear a Jewish star

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Pulitzer prize awarded to Upton Sinclair (Dragon's Teeth)

  • 1943 Strike against obligatory labor camps ends, after 200 killed
  • 1943 US 1st armour division occupies Mateur Tunisia
  • 1944 "Meet Me in St Louis" opens on Broadway
  • 1944 Meat rationing ends in US

Film release premierFilm Premier

1944 "Going My Way", directed by Leo McCarey and starring Bing Crosby premieres in New York (Best Picture 1945)

Singer and Actor Bing Crosby
Singer and Actor
Bing Crosby
  • 1945 1st Polish Armoured Division of the Polish Armed Forces in the West occupies Wilhelmshafen in Germany

  • 1945 Allies arrest German physicist Werner Heisenberg
  • 1945 British troop join in Rangoon
  • 1945 World War II: German ship "Cap Arcona" laden with prisoners sunk by Royal Air Force in East Sea, 5,800 killed - one of largest maritime losses of life
  • 1946 International military tribunal in Tokyo begins
  • 1947 73rd Kentucky Derby: Eric Guerin aboard Jet Pilot wins in 2:06.8

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1947 Japan's post-war constitution goes into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan's right to make war

Emperor of Japan Hirohito
Emperor of Japan

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1948 Pulitzer prize awarded to James Michener & Tennessee Williams

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
  • 1948 1st broadcast of "CBS Evening News" - longest running network news show in the US
  • 1949 1st firing of a US Viking rocket; reached 80 km
  • 1951 Gil McDougald ties major league record with 6 RBIs in 1 inning
  • 1951 NY Yankee Gil McDougald is 5th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (9th)
  • 1951 Royal Festival Hall opens in London
  • 1951 The Festival of Britain opens
  • 1952 "Call Me Madam" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 644 performances
  • 1952 1st landing by an airplane at geographic North Pole
  • 1952 78th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro aboard Hill Gail wins his record fifth Derby
  • 1953 WTVO TV channel 17 in Rockford, IL (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 Westchester conference of American Library Association proclaims "Freedom to Read"
  • 1954 KTEN TV channel 10 in Ada-Ardmore, OK (ABC) begins broadcasting

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1954 Pulitzer prize awarded to Charles A Lindbergh & John Patrick

  • 1954 WHA TV channel 21 in Madison, WI (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1956 Frank Loesser's musical "Most Happy Fella" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 678 performances
  • 1956 A new range of mountains discovered in Antarctica (2 over 13,000')
  • 1958 84th Kentucky Derby: Ismael Valenzuela aboard Tim Tam wins in 2:05
  • 1958 WINS suspends Alan Freed for causing a riot in Boston, he quits
  • 1959 Tiger's Charlie Maxwell hits 4 consecutive HRs in a doubleheader
  • 1960 Musical "Fantasticks" by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones, premieres in NYC (world's longest running musical)

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1960 The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jewish Victim & Diarist of the Holocaust Anne Frank
Jewish Victim & Diarist of the Holocaust
Anne Frank
  • 1961 Warren Spahn pitches a 2 hitter after pitching a no hitter
  • 1962 Express train crashed into wreckage of a commuter train & a freight, killing 163, injuring 400 in Tokyo, Japan

  • 1963 Leslie Narum is only Baltimore Oriole to homer on his 1st at bat
  • 1963 Birmingham officials turn high pressure hoses and dogs on children's crusade protest against segregation prompting widespread condemnation
  • 1965 1st use of satellite TV, Today Show on Early Bird Satellite
  • 1965 3rd Mayor's Trophy Game, Mets beat Yanks 2-1 in 10
  • 1965 Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with the US
  • 1965 Don Steele, begins a 40+ year radio career at KRTH (Los Angeles California)
  • 1965 KTCI TV channel 17 in St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1965 Pulitzer prize awarded to Irwin Unger (Greenback Era)
  • 1966 WDHO (now WNWO) TV channel 24 in Toledo, OH (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1967 African American students seize finance building at Northwestern University
  • 1968 Holland Pirate Radio Station VRON becomes Radio Veronica Intl
  • 1969 "Trumpets of the Lord" closes at Brooks Atkinson NYC after 7 performances
  • 1969 95th Kentucky Derby: Bill Hartack on Majestic Prince wins in 2:01.8
  • 1970 24th NBA Championship: NY Knicks beat LA Lakers, 4 games to 3
  • 1970 Trans-Arabian Pipeline delivery from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterranean interrupted in Syria, driving oil tanker rates to all time highs
  • 1971 "All Things Considered" premieres on 112 National Public Radio stations
  • 1971 Erich Honecker succeeds Walter Ulbricht as East German communist party leader
  • 1971 National Public Radio begins programming
  • 1971 Nixon administration arrests 13,000 anti-war protesters in 3 days
  • 1971 Pulitzer prize awarded to John Toland (Rising Sun)
  • 1973 Chicago's Sears Tower, world's tallest building (443 m), topped out
  • 1975 101st Kentucky Derby: Jacinto Vasquez on Foolish Pleasure wins 2:02
  • 1975 Christa Vahlensieck runs female world record marathon (2:40:15.8)
  • 1976 Panama 747SP lands after record flight around world (46:26)

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1976 Pulitzer prize awarded to Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)

Novelist Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
  • 1977 1977 NFL Draft: Ricky Bell from USC first pick by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 1978 "Sun Day" - solar energy events are held in US
  • 1978 Last cricket test match appearance for Bobby Simpson, at Kingston
  • 1978 WI all set to lose cricket test v Aust at Kingston till riots end game
  • 1978 First unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail ("spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the US west coast

  • 1979 Bobby Bonds hits his 300th HR (2nd to have 300 HRs & 300 stolen bases)
  • 1979 Martin Sherman's "Bent" premieres in London
  • 1979 1979 NFL Draft: Tom Cousineau from Ohio State first pick by Buffalo Bills
  • 1980 106th Kentucky Derby: Jacinto Vasquez on Genuine Risk wins in 2:02

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1980 Giants 1st baseman Willie McCovey hits his 521st & final HR

Baseball Hall of Fame 1st Baseman Willie McCovey
Baseball Hall of Fame 1st Baseman
Willie McCovey
  • 1980 Texas Ranger Ferguson Jenkins becomes 4th to win 100 games in AL & NL
  • 1981 "Can-Can" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • 1981 "Moony, Shapiro Songbook" opens & closes at Morosco Theater NYC
  • 1982 ABC's All Talk network begins on radio (2 west coast stations)
  • 1982 NY Times reports that military will get 25% of NASA's budget

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1982 President Reagan begins 5 minute weekly radio broadcasts

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan

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1983 Soviet leader Yuri Andropov decreases nuclear weapons in Europe

Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov
Soviet General Secretary
Yuri Andropov
  • 1983 US bishops condemn nuclear weapons
  • 1983 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Edmonton Oilers beat Chicago Black Hawks, 4 games to 0
  • 1985 Date of $5 million check in "A View To A Kill"
  • 1986 112th Kentucky Derby: Bill Shoemaker aboard Ferdinand wins in 2:02.8
  • 1986 Air Lanka crashes, killing 22
  • 1986 Cubs 3rd baseman Ron Cey hits his 300th & 301st HR
  • 1986 NASA launches Goes-G, it fails to achieve orbit

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1986 NY Yankee Don Mattingly is 6th to hit 3 sacrifice flies in a game

MLB 1st Baseman Don Mattingly
MLB 1st Baseman
Don Mattingly
  • 1986 31st Eurovision Song Contest: Sandra Kim for Belgium wins singing "J'aime la vie" in Bergen
  • 1987 "Mikado" closes at Virginia Theater NYC after 46 performances
  • 1987 Miami Herald reports a woman spent Friday & Saturday with Gary Hart
  • 1988 4,200 kg Colombian cocaine in seized at Tarpon Springs Florida
  • 1988 Jasper Johns' "Diver" sold for $4,200,000
  • 1991 356th & final episode of CBS second longest running series "Dallas", (2nd only to "Gunsmoke")
  • 1991 The Declaration of Windhoek (on press freedom) signed by African journalists

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991 Cam Neely is injured on a cheap shot by Ulf Samuelsson, an injury that would limit him to only 162 games for the remainder of his NHL career and force him to retire at 31

NHL Star Cam Neely
NHL Star
Cam Neely
  • 1992 Balt's Gregg Olson, 25, is youngest to record 100 saves

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1992 NY Met Eddie Murray is 24th to hit 400 HRs

MLB 1st Baseman Eddie Murray
MLB 1st Baseman
Eddie Murray

  • 1992 Ohio Glory wins 1st WLAF game (after 6 loses), beat Frankfurt 20-17
  • 1993 "Kiss of the Spider Woman" opens at Broadhurst NYC for 906 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

1994 29th Academy of Country Music Awards: Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Wynonna win

Country Music Singer and Songwriter Garth Brooks
Country Music Singer and Songwriter
Garth Brooks
Country Singer Vince Gill
Country Singer
Vince Gill
  • 1994 D66/Dutch Liberal Party win Dutch 2nd Parliamentary election
  • 1995 "My Thing of Love" opens at Beck Theater NYC for 16 performances
  • 1995 Australia beat West Indies to regain the Frank Worrell Cricket Trophy
  • 1995 David Bell debuts for the Indians (3rd generation player, Gus & Buddy)
  • 1996 Martin Moxon & Michael Vaughan make 362 1st wkt Yorks v Glam
  • 1997 123rd Kentucky Derby: Gary Stevens aboard Silver Charm wins in 2:02.3

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1997 Garry Kasparov begins chess match with IBM supercomputer Deep Blue

Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist Garry Kasparov
Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist
Garry Kasparov
  • 1997 42nd Eurovision Song Contest: Katrina and the Waves for United Kingdom wins singing "Love Shine a Light" in Dublin
  • 1999 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado was one of 66 from the 1999 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 World Snooker Championship, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield: Stephen Hendry of Scotland defeats Welshman Mark Williams, 18-11 for a record 7th world crown
  • 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.

Film release premierFilm Premier

2002 "Spider-Man", starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, premieres

  • 2003 New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses.