Today in History – May 5th

1494 – On his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus sighted Jamaica and landed at Discovery Bay.

1809 – Mary Kies was the first woman issued a US patent for weaving straw.

1814 – British attacked Fort Ontario, Oswego, New York (War of 1812)

1847 – American Medical Association organized (Philadelphia)

1862 – Cinco de Mayo: Troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halt a French invasion in the Battle of Puebla in Mexico.

1865 – First US train robbery (North Bend, Ohio)

1866 – Memorial Day first celebrated in United States at Waterloo, New York.

1870 – The British and Foreign Society for Improving the Embossed Literature of the Blind adopted Braille as the best format for blind people.

1877 – Indian Wars: Sitting Bull led his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.

1891 – The Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) had its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.

1893 – Panic of 1893 caused a large crash on the NY Stock Exchange

1905 – The trial in the Stratton Brothers case began in London, England; it marked the first time that fingerprint evidence was used to gain a conviction for murder.

1917 – Eugene Bullard earned his pilot’s license from Aéro-Club de France and became the first African-American military pilot (French Air Service)

1921 – Perfume Chanel No. 5 was released by fashion designer Coco Chanel

1922 – Construction began on Yankee Stadium (Bronx)

1925 – Dayton teacher John T. Scopes arrested for teaching evolution in Tennessee

1930 – Amy Johnson takes off – first woman to fly solo from England to Australia

1936 – Edward Ravenscroft patented screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip

1942 – US began rationing sugar during WW II

1943 – Postmaster General Frank C Walker invented Postal Zone System

1947 – Mississippi Valley flooding kills 16 and causes $850 Million in damages

1947 – Pulitzer prize awarded to Robert Penn Warren (All the King’s Men)

1948 – First squadron of jet aircraft aboard a carrier

1952 – Pulitzer prize awarded to Herman Wouk for this novel “The Caine Mutiny”

1952 – “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (also known as “Vitameatavegamin”) episode of “I Love Lucy” premiered, which garnered 68% of US television viewers

1961 – Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into outer space, on a sub-orbital flight.

1962 – West Side Story soundtrack album went to #1 and stayed at #1 for 54 weeks which is more than 20 weeks longer than any other album

1965 – First large-scaled US Army ground units arrived in South Vietnam

1969 – Milwaukee Bucks signed #1 NBA Draft pick, UCLA center Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

1975 – A’s released pinch runner Herb Washington, who played 104 games without batting, pitching, or fielding. He did steal 30 bases and score 33 runs.

1979 – Masterpiece Radio Theater began broadcasting

1981 – After 66 days on hunger strike, 26 year old Provisional IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands died in the Maze Prison. Nine more hunger strikers died in the following 3 months.

1986 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation announced Cleveland, Ohio was chosen as the site of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum

1987 – Congress began Iran-Contra hearings

1989 – Mike Tyson got his second speeding ticket for drag racing in Albany, New York

1992 – American country singer Tammy Wynette was hospitalized with bile duct infection

1993 – Three eight-year-old boys were murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas, ultimately leading to the conviction of the West Memphis Three.

1997 – “Married With Children” final episode was aired on Fox TV

2000 – Conjunction of Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn & Moon

2012 – Japan shuts down its nuclear reactors leaving the country without nuclear power for the first time since 1970

2015 – Scientists announced the discovery of the oldest and most distant galaxy known to man, EGS-zs8-1

2015 – “Traveller” debut album by Chris Stapleton was released (Grammy Award Best Country Album 2016, Billboard Album of the Year 2016)

2018 – Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover released the music video to new single “This is America” to wide acclaim.

2018 – Electric cigarette exploded and killed a man in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It was the first death from a vaping product.

2020 – Global confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 3.65 million, US cases passed 70,000 while the UK became the most affected in Europe with 29,427 known deaths.