#May3 : Today In History

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752 – Mayan king Bird Jaguar IV of Yaxchilan in modern-day Chiapas, Mexico assumes the throne. 1481 – The largest of three earthquakes strikes the island of Rhodes and causes an estimated 30,000 casualties. 1491 – Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga is baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I. 1715 – A total solar eclipse was visible across northern Europe, and northern Asia, as predicted by Edmond Halley to within 4 minutes accuracy. 1791 – The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. 1802 – Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city. 1808 – Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia. 1808 – Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are executed near Príncipe Pío hill. 1815 – Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples is defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war. 1830 – The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened. It's the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel. 1837 – The University of Athens is founded in Athens, Greece. 1849 – The May Uprising in Dresden begins – the last of the German revolutions of 1848. 1855 – American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua. 1860 – Charles XV of Sweden–Norway is crowned king of Sweden. 1867 – The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island. 1877 – Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world has its first game. 1901 – The Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, Florida. 1913 – Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film is released, marking the beginning of the Indian film industry. 1915 – The poem In Flanders Fields is written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. 1920 – A Bolshevik coup fails in the Democratic Republic of Georgia. 1921 – West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to enforcement issues. 1921 – Ireland divides into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. 1937 – Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. 1939 – The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. 1942 – World War II: Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that results in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia. 1945 – World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay. 1947 – New post-war Japanese constitution goes into effect. 1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable. 1951 – London's Royal Festival Hall opens with the Festival of Britain. 1951 – The United States Senate Committee on Armed Services and United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman. 1952 – Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole. 1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time, on the CBS network. 1957 – Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, to Los Angeles. 1960 – The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opens in New York City's Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time. 1960 – The Anne Frank House museum opens in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 1960 – The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is established. 1963 – The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the "Birmingham campaign" protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing new-found attention to the African-American Civil Rights Movement. 1973 – The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1,451 feet as the world's tallest building. 1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial email (which would later become known as "spam") is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States. 1986 – Twenty-one people are killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb explodes in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo airport in Sri Lanka. 1987 – A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop the restrictor plate for the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega. 1999 – The southwestern portion of Oklahoma City is devastated by an F5 tornado, killing forty-five people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado is one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. This tornado also produces the highest wind speed ever recorded, measured at 301 +/- 20 mph (484 +/- 32 km/h). 2000 – The sport of geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet. 2001 – The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947. 2002 – A military MiG-21 aircraft crashes into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight. 2003 – New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses. 2015 – Two gunmen launch an attempted attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which was held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting.

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