On This Day … 01 May


  • 475 BC – Roman consul Publius Valerius Poplicola celebrates a Roman triumph for his victory over Veii and the Sabines.
  • 305 – Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman emperor.
  • 524 – King Sigismund of Burgundy is executed at Orléans after an 8-year reign and is succeeded by his brother Godomar.
  • 1169 – Norman mercenaries land at Bannow Bay in Leinster, marking the beginning of the Norman invasion of Ireland.
  • 1328 – Wars of Scottish Independence end: By the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, England recognises Scotland as an independent state.
  • 1455 – Battle of Arkinholm, Royal forces end the Black Douglas hegemony in Scotland.
  • 1576 – Stephen Báthory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, marries Anna Jagiellon and they become co-rulers of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1707 – The Act of Union joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain takes effect.
  • 1778 – American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet begins in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
  • 1794 – War of the Pyrenees: The Battle of Boulou ends, in which French forces defeat the Spanish and regain nearly all the land they lost to Spain in 1793.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Union Army completes its capture of New Orleans.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville begins.
  • 1865 – The Empire of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay sign the Treaty of the Triple Alliance.
  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: Battle of Manila Bay: The Asiatic Squadron of the United States Navy destroys the Pacific Squadron of the Spanish Navy after a seven-hour battle. Spain loses all seven of its ships, and 381 Spanish sailors die. There are no American vessel losses or combat deaths.
  • 1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives.
  • 1919 – German troops enter Munich to suppress the Bavarian Soviet Republic.
  • 1941 – World War II: German forces launch a major attack during the siege of Tobruk.
  • 1944 – World War II: Two hundred Communist prisoners are shot by the Germans at Kaisariani, Athens in reprisal for the killing of General Franz Krech by partisans at Molaoi.
  • 1945 – World War II: A German newsreader officially announces that Adolf Hitler has “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. The Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, by order of Stalin.
  • 1945 – World War II: Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda commit suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children are also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda.
  • 1945 – World War II: Forces of the Soviet Red Army liberate Allied prisoners of war imprisoned at Stalag Luft I near Barth, Germany.
  • 1945 – World War II: Up to 2,500 people die in a mass suicide in Demmin following the advance of the Red Army.
  • 1945 – World War II: Yugoslav Partisans liberate Trieste.
  • 1946 – The Paris Peace Conference concludes that the islands of the Dodecanese should be returned to Greece by Italy.
  • 1947 – Portella della Ginestra massacre against May Day celebrations in Sicily by the bandit and separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano where 11 persons are killed and 33 wounded.
  • 1960 – Cold War: U-2 incident: Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
  • 1965 – Cross-Strait relations: Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China, takes place.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: Protests erupt following the announcement by Richard Nixon that the U.S. and South Vietnamese forces would attack Vietnamese communists in a Cambodian Campaign.
  • 1982 – Operation Black Buck: The Royal Air Force attacks the Argentine Air Force during Falklands War.
  • 1995 – Croatian War of Independence: Croatian forces launch Operation Flash.
  • 2003 – Invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the “Mission Accomplished” speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), US President George W. Bush declares that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”.
  • 2019 – Naxalite attack in Gadchiroli district: Sixteen army soldiers, including a driver, killed in an IED blast. Naxals targeted an anti-Naxal operations team.
  • Armed Forces Day (Mauritania).

People (Births)

  • 1730 – Joshua Rowley, English admiral (d. 1790).
  • 1735 – Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen, Dutch admiral and philanthropist (d. 1819).
  • 1769 – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1852).
  • 1872 – Sidónio Pais, Portuguese soldier and politician, 4th President of Portugal (d. 1918).
  • 1887 – Alan Cunningham, Anglo-Irish general and diplomat, High Commissioners for Palestine and Transjordan (d. 1983).
  • 1896 – Mark W. Clark, American general (d. 1984).
  • 1896 – J. Lawton Collins, American general (d. 1987).
  • 1906 – Horst Schumann, German SS officer and physician (d. 1983).
  • 1909 – Endel Puusepp, Estonian-Soviet military pilot and politician (d. 1996).
  • 1912 – Otto Kretschmer, German admiral (d. 1998).
  • 1923 – Marcel Rayman, Polish soldier (d. 1944).
  • 1925 – Scott Carpenter, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2013).
  • 1932 – Sandy Woodward, English admiral (d. 2013).
  • 1971 – Artur Kohutek, Polish hurdler and soldier.

People (Deaths)

  • 1813 – Jean-Baptiste Bessières, French general (b. 1768).
  • 2008 – Philipp von Boeselager, German soldier and economist (b. 1917).

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