This Day in History – May 5
Today is the 125th day of 2021. There are 240 days left in the year.
1862: Mexican army defeats invading French forces in the Battle of Puebla. May 5 is now Mexico’s National Day, Cinco de Mayo.
1494: During his second voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus first sights Jamaica.
1570: Turkey declares war on Venice for refusing to surrender Cyprus. Spain comes to Venice’s aid, but the Turks conquer Cyprus fully three years later.
1646: British forces under King Charles I surrender to Scots at Newark, England.
1762: Russia and Prussia sign Treaty of St Petersburg, under which Russia restores all conquests and forms defensive and offensive alliance.
1808: Napoleon Bonaparte forces Spain’s King Charles IV to abdicate in favour of him in Madrid. He appoints his brother Joseph Bonaparte to rule.
1821: France’s Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St Helena.
1824: British troops take over Rangoon, Burma – now Myanmar.
1891: New York’s Carnegie Hall (then named “Music Hall”) has its official opening night, featuring Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky as a guest conductor.
`: US Congress passes the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act, which requires Chinese in the United States to be registered or face deportation.
1893: Panic hits the New York Stock Exchange; by year’s end, the country is in the throes of a severe depression.
1925: Schoolteacher John T Scopes is charged in Tennessee with violating a state law that prohibited teaching Darrwin’s theory of evolution. Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was later set aside.
1936: Italian forces occupy Addis Ababa, ending Abyssinian – now Ethiopia – War.
1941: Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa after the Italians were driven out with the help of Allied forces.
1945: In the only fatal attack of its kind during World War II, a Japanese balloon bomb explodes on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing the pregnant wife of a minister and five children. Denmark and the Netherlands are liberated as a German surrender went into effect.
1954: General Alfredo Stroessner heads coup against civilian President Federico Chavez, beginning 34-year dictatorship in Paraguay.
1955: Allies restore the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany – West Germany – and it joins North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The baseball musical Damn Yankees opens on Broadway.
1961: Astronaut Alan B Shepard Jr becomes America’s first space traveller as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard Mercury capsule Freedom 7.
1964: Israel announces that first water is flowing from its new pipeline from Sea of Galilee to Negev Desert, despite Arab objections to the project.
1965: First large US military units arrive in Vietnam.
1973: Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby, the first of his Triple Crown victories.
1978: Marxist terrorists of Red Brigades in Italy announce they are carrying out death sentence against former Premier Aldo Moro, whose body is found two days later.
1981: Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands dies at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food.
1989: Estonia’s Communist Party removes 22 party leaders in sweep that gives greater strength to reformers.
1994: Singapore canes American teenager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by US President Bill Clinton.
1996: Thousands of civilians flee Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, as civil war rages.
1998: Tommy McCook, saxophonist and founding member of the Skatalites, dies
1999: Indonesia and Portugal sign an agreement allowing the people of East Timor to vote on whether to remain part of Indonesia or seek independence.
2002: Fidel Castro releases from prison one of Cuba’s most prominent dissidents, Vladimiro Roca, who was convicted of sedition for publishing a pamphlet that called for democratic and economic reforms.
2003: Rwanda frees more than 22,000 detainees, most of whom were held in connection with the 1994 massacre of some 800,000 ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu by Hutu militias. Around 80,000 genocide suspects remain in prison, with many yet to stand trial.
2004: Greece’s attempts to calm security fears about the Summer Olympics are rocked by three bombs that explode before dawn – 100 days before the games begin. No one is injured in the blasts that officials attribute to self-styled anarchists or other domestic extremists.
2005: Russian security forces say they have foiled a major terrorist attack, discovering a truck bomb and a cache of poisons near the Chechen capital, days before dozens of dignitaries arrive in Moscow for celebrations marking the Allied victory over Nazi Germany.
2007: A Kenya Airways Boeing 737-800 carrying 114 and bound for the Kenyan capital Nairobi, crashes near the Cameroonian city of Douala, where it had taken off during a storm, killing all aboard.
2012: The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks against the US repeatedly declines to answer a judge’s questions, and his co-defendants kneel in prayer in what appear to be a concerted protest against the military proceedings at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba.
2013: Israel rushes to beef up its rocket defences on its northern border to shield against possible retaliation after carrying out two airstrikes in Syria over 48 hours – an unprecedented escalation of Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war.
2014: Egypt’s former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, seen as certain to become the next president, says the Muslim Brotherhood will never return if he is elected, accusing it of using militant groups to destabilise the country.
Soeren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher-theologian (1813-1855); Karl Marx, German socialist (1818-1883); France’s Empress Eugenie (1826-1920); Nellie Bly, US journalist/adventurer (1867-1922); Tammy Wynette, US singer (1942-1998); Michael Palin, British actor/comedian (1943- ); Adele, British soul singer (1988- ); Chris Brown, R&B singer (1989- ); Michelle Freeman, Jamaican track and field athlete who was an Olympic bronze medalist, (1969- ); O’Neil Gordon “Collie” Smith, Jamaican and West Indian cricketer (1933-1959)
– AP/Jamaica Observer