On This Day … 10 May


  • AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, opens a full-scale assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city’s Third Wall to the northwest.
  • 1291 – Scottish nobles recognise the authority of Edward I of England pending the selection of a king.
  • 1497 – Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
  • 1503 – Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.
  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier visits Newfoundland.
  • 1655 – England, with troops under the command of Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, annexes Jamaica from Spain.
  • 1688 – King Narai nominates Phetracha as regent, leading to the revolution of 1688 in which Phetracha becomes king of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
  • 1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by reducing taxes on its tea and granting it the right to sell tea directly to North America. The legislation leads to the Boston Tea Party.
  • 1774 – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette become King and Queen of France.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: A small Colonial militia led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold captures Fort Ticonderoga.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Representatives from the Thirteen Colonies begin the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
  • 1796 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon wins a victory against Austrian forces at Lodi bridge over the Adda River in Italy. The Austrians lose some 2,000 men.
  • 1801 – First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declare war on the United States of America.
  • 1833 – The desecration of the grave of the viceroy of southern Vietnam Lê Văn Duyệt by Emperor Minh Mạng provokes his adopted son to start a revolt.
  • 1857 – Indian Rebellion of 1857: In India, the first war of Independence begins. Sepoys mutiny against their commanding officers at Meerut.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton leads a 10-regiment “Attack-in-depth” assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, would provide the idea for the massive assault against the Bloody Angle on 12 May. Upton is slightly wounded but is immediately promoted to brigadier general.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is captured by US troops near Irwinville, Georgia.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: In Kentucky, Union soldiers ambush and mortally wound Confederate raider William Quantrill, who lingers until his death on 06 June.
  • 1877 – The lower chamber of the Romanian Parliament sanctions the Declaration of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, proclaimed the previous day in the Senate by Mihail Kogălniceanu.
  • 1922 – The United States annexes the Kingman Reef.
  • 1940 – World War II: German fighters accidentally bomb the German city of Freiburg.
  • 1940 – World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin.
  • 1940 – World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
  • 1940 – World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.
  • 1940 – World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.
  • 1941 – World War II: The House of Commons in London is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
  • 1941 – World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invades the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.
  • 1946 – First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.
  • 1948 – The Republic of China implements “temporary provisions” granting President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers to deal with the Communist uprising; they will remain in effect until 1991.
  • 1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.
  • 1967 – The Northrop M2-F2 crashes on landing, becoming the inspiration for the novel Cyborg and TV series The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia begins with an assault on Hill 937. It will ultimately become known as Hamburger Hill.
  • 1972 – In the Vietnam War, the US had two fighter ace crews. The USAF’s Ritchie and DeBellevue scored their first kill while the USN’s Cunningham and Driscoll scored their third, fourth and fifth kills.
  • 1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan.
  • 2012 – The Damascus bombings are carried out using a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside of a military intelligence complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 55 people and injuring 400 others.
  • Confederate Memorial Day (North Carolina and South Carolina).

People (Births)

  • 874 – Meng Zhixiang, Chinese general and emperor (d. 934).
  • 1760 – Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, French captain, engineer, and composer (d. 1836).
  • 1770 – Louis-Nicolas Davout, French general and politician, French Minister of War (d. 1823).
  • 1775 – Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle, French general (d. 1809).
  • 1813 – Montgomery Blair, American lieutenant and politician, 20th United States Postmaster General (d. 1883).
  • 1890 – Alfred Jodl, German general (d. 1946).
  • 1903 – Otto Bradfisch, German economist, jurist, and SS officer (d. 1994).
  • 1915 – Denis Thatcher, English soldier and businessman, Spouse of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2003).
  • 1923 – Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan general and politician, 3rd President of Azerbaijan (d. 2003).
  • 1926 – Hugo Banzer, Bolivian general and politician, 62nd President of Bolivia (d. 2002).

People (Deaths)

  • 1641 – Johan Banér, Swedish field marshal (b. 1596).
  • 1691 – John Birch, English soldier and politician (b. 1615).
  • 1726 – Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, English soldier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire (b. 1670).
  • 1807 – Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, French general (b. 1725).
  • 1818 – Paul Revere, American engraver and soldier (b. 1735).
  • 1863 – Stonewall Jackson, American general (b. 1824).
  • 1897 – Andrés Bonifacio, Filipino soldier and politician, President of the Philippines (b. 1863).
  • 1945 – Richard Glücks, German SS officer (b. 1889).
  • 1945 – Konrad Henlein, Czech soldier and politician (b. 1898).
  • 1962 – Shunroku Hata, Japanese field marshal and politician, 48th Japanese Minister of War (b. 1879).
  • 2012 – Gunnar Sønsteby, Norwegian captain and author (b. 1918).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.