On This Day … 02 May

Events

  • 1194 – King Richard I of England gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.
  • 1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes from Loch Leven Castle.
  • 1670 – King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America.
  • 1808 – Outbreak of the Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rise up in rebellion against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorializes this event in his painting The Second of May 1808.
  • 1812 – The Siege of Cuautla during the Mexican War of Independence ends with both sides claiming victory after Mexican rebels under José María Morelos y Pavón abandon the city after 72 days under siege by royalist Spanish troops under Félix María Calleja.
  • 1829 – After anchoring nearby, Captain Charles Fremantle of HMS Challenger, declares the Swan River Colony in Australia.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitring during the Battle of Chancellorsville.
    • He succumbs to pneumonia eight days later.
  • 1866 – Peruvian defenders fight off the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.
  • 1876 – The April Uprising breaks out in Ottoman Bulgaria.
  • 1885 – Cree and Assiniboine warriors win the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.
  • 1889 – Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs the Treaty of Wuchale, giving Italy control over Eritrea.
  • 1906 – Closing ceremony of the Intercalated Games in Athens, Greece.
  • 1941 – World War II: Following the coup d’état against Iraq Crown Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah earlier that year, the United Kingdom launches the Anglo-Iraqi War to restore him to power.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.
  • 1945 – World War II: The surrender of Caserta comes into effect, by which German troops in Italy cease fighting.
  • 1945 – World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberates Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1,000 dead prisoners, most of whom starved to death.
  • 1945 – World War II: A death march from Dachau to the Austrian border is halted by the segregated, all-Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the US Army in southern Bavaria, saving several hundred prisoners.
  • 1952 – A De Havilland Comet makes the first jetliner flight with fare-paying passengers, from London to Johannesburg.
  • 1964 – Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the American aircraft carrier USNS Card while it is docked at Saigon.
    • Two Viet Cong combat swimmers had placed explosives on the ship’s hull.
    • She is raised and returned to service less than seven months later.
  • 1982 – Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.
  • 1989 – Cold War: Hungary begins dismantling its border fence with Austria, which allows a number of East Germans to defect.
  • 1995 – During the Croatian War of Independence, the Army of the Republic of Serb Krajina fires cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing seven and wounding over 175 civilians.
  • 2000 – President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
  • 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man, is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
  • Anniversary of the Dos de Mayo Uprising (Community of Madrid, Spain).

People (Births)

  • 1567 – Sebald de Weert, Dutch captain, vice-admiral of the Dutch East India Company (d. 1603).
  • 1579 – Tokugawa Hidetada, Japanese shōgun (d. 1632).
  • 1750 – John André, English soldier and spy (d. 1780).
  • 1882 – Isabel González, Puerto Rican activist who helped pave the way for Puerto Ricans’ American citizenship (d. 1971).
  • 1892 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (d. 1918).
  • 1901 – Edouard Zeckendorf, Belgian doctor, army officer and mathematician (d. 1983).
  • 1910 – Alexander Bonnyman, Jr., American lieutenant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1943).
  • 1917 – Văn Tiến Dũng, Vietnamese general and politician, 6th Minister of Defence for Vietnam (d. 2002).
  • 1920 – Guinn Smith, American pole vaulter, soldier, and pilot (d. 2004).
  • 1924 – Hugh Cortazzi, English soldier, historian, and diplomat, British Ambassador to Japan (d. 2018).
  • 1935 – Faisal II of Iraq, the last King of Iraq (d.1958).
  • 1971 – Fatima Yusuf, Nigerian sprinter.
  • 1977 – Jan Fitschen, German runner.
  • 1982 – Timothy Benjamin, Welsh sprinter.
  • 1996 – Schuyler Bailar, American swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 821 – Liu Zong, general of the Tang Dynasty.
  • 1450 – William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English admiral (b. 1396).
  • 1802 – Herman Willem Daendels, Dutch general and politician, Governor-General of the Dutch Gold Coast (b. 1762).
  • 1929 – Charalambos Tseroulis, Greek general and politician, Greek Minister for Military Affairs (b. 1879).
  • 1947 – Dorothea Binz, German SS officer (b. 1920).
  • 1957 – Joseph McCarthy, American captain, lawyer, judge, and politician (b. 1908).
  • 1969 – Franz von Papen, German general and politician, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1879).
  • 1974 – James O. Richardson, American admiral (b. 1878).
  • 1993 – André Moynet, French race car driver, pilot, and politician (b. 1921).
  • 1999 – Douglas Harkness, Canadian colonel and politician (b. 1903).
  • 2011 – Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabian terrorist, founder of Al-Qaeda (b. 1957).
  • 2015 – Stuart Archer, English colonel and architect (b. 1915).
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