Today in History: May 5 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: May 5

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
May 5

1494 Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.
1814 British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, New York.
1821 Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.
1834 The first mainland railway line opens in Belgium.
1862 Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Williamsburg, part of the Peninsular Campaign.
1862 Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeat troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.
1886 A bomb explodes on the fourth day of a workers’ strike in Chicago.
1912 Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing.
1916 U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic.
1917 Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earns a flying certificate with the French Air Service.
1920 Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder.
1935 American Jesse Owens sets the long jump record.
1942 General Joseph Stilwell learns that the Japanese have cut his railway out of China and is forced to lead his troops into India.
1945 Holland and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control.
1961 Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.
1965 173rd Airborne Brigade arrives in Bien Hoa-Vung, Vietnam, the first regular U.S. Army unit deployed to that country.
1968 U.S. Air Force planes hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam in support of attacking infantrymen.
1969 Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for his ‘nonfiction novel’ Armies of the Night, an account of the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon.
1987 Congress opens Iran-Contra hearings.
2000 The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align – Earth’s moon is also almost in this alignment – leading to Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such a ‘grand confluence’ occurs about once in every century.
Born on May 5
1813 Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher.
1818 Karl Marx, German philosopher (The Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital).
1830 John B. Stetson, American hat maker.
1861 Peter Cooper Hewitt, electrical engineer, inventor of the mercury-vapor lamp.
1883 Charles Albert “Chief” Bender, baseball player.
1890 Christopher Morley, writer (Kitty Foyle).
1899 Freeman F. Gosden, radio comedy writer and performer (Amos ‘n’ Andy).
1909 Carlos Baker, biographer.
1943 Michael Palin, actor and screenwriter (Monty Python’s Flying Circus).