Today in History: May 5

Today in History: May 5

Pick a day:

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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.

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.