Today In History - Tuesday, May 3rd

2007


British girl Madeleine McCann is snatched from her bed in holiday apartment 5A of the Ocean Club Holiday Resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, and is still missing to this day.
2006


Armavia Flight 967 crashes into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.
Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in prison in Alexandria, Virginia.
2003


New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses.
2002


A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.
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.
2000


The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.
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.
Stephen Hendry defeats Mark Williams 18-11 to win the World Snooker Championship for a record seventh time.
The southwestern portion of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is devastated by an F5 tornado, killing forty-five people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado is one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. This tornado also produces the highest wind speed ever recorded, measured at 301 +/- 20 mph (484 +/- 32 km/h).
1991


The Declaration of Windhoek is signed.
1987


A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop the restrictor plate for the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega.
1986


Twenty-one people are killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb explodes in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka.
1979


Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher becomes the United Kingdom's first female prime minister as the Labour government is ousted in parliamentary elections.
1978


The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as "spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
1973


The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world's tallest building.
1963


The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the "Birmingham campaign" protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
1960


The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opens in New York City's Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
The Anne Frank House museum opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1957


Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.
1952


Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole.
The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time, on the CBS network.
1951


London's Royal Festival Hall opens.
The Festival of Britain opens.
The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.
The Kentucky Derby is televised for the first time.
London's Royal Festival Hall opens with the Festival of Britain.
1948


The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
1947


On 26 July 1945, Allied leaders Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, and Chiang Kai-shek issued the Potsdam Declaration, which demanded Japan's unconditional surrender. This declaration also defined the major goals of the post surrender Allied occupation: "The Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established" (Section 10). In addition, the document stated: "The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government" (Section 12). The Allies sought not merely punishment or reparations from a militaristic foe, but fundamental changes in the nature of its political system. In the words of political scientist Robert E. Ward: "The occupation was perhaps the single most exhaustively planned operation of massive and externally directed political change in world history."

The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms the Emperor of Japan is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and exercises a purely ceremonial role without the possession of sovereignty.

The constitution, also known as the "Postwar Constitution" ( 戦後憲法 Sengo-Kenpō?) or the "Peace Constitution" ( 平和憲法 Heiwa-Kenpō?), is most characteristic and famous for the renunciation of the right to wage war contained in Article 9 and to a lesser extent, the provision for de jure popular sovereignty in conjunction with the monarchy.
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.
1945


World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay.
1942


World War II: Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that results in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia.
1939


The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
1937


Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1933


Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to head the United States Mint.
1928


Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.
1924


Aleph Zadik Aleph is formed in Omaha, Nebraska by Sam Beber.
1921


West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to enforcement issues.
1920


A Bolshevik coup fails in the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
1916


The leaders of the Easter Rising are executed in Dublin.
1915


The poem In Flanders Fields is written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.
1913


Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film is released, marking the beginning of the Indian film industry.
1901


The Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, Florida.
1877


Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world has its first game.
1867


The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.
1865


Abraham Lincoln's Burial
Abraham Lincoln is finally buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery ,with his son Willie, after three weeks on a funeral train.
1860


Charles XV of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden.
1855


American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.
1849


The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848.
1837


The University of Athens is founded in Athens, Greece.
1830


The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened. It's the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.
1815


Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples is defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.
1808


Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.
Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are executed near Príncipe Pío hill.
1802


Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.
1791


The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
1715


"Edmund Halley's" total solar eclipse (the last one visible in London, United Kingdom for almost 900 years).
1494


Christopher Columbus first sights land that will be called Jamaica.
1491


Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.
1481


The largest of three earthquakes strikes the island of Rhodes and causes an estimated 30,000 casualties.
752


Mayan king Bird Jaguar IV of Yaxchilan in modern-day Chiapas, Mexico assumes the throne.