408 Theodosius II succeeds to the throne of Constantinople.
1308 King Albert is murdered by his nephew John, because he refused his share of the Habsburg lands.
1486 Christopher Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West Indies.
1805 The state of Virginia passes a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
1863 The Battle of Chancellorsville begins as Union Gen. Joe Hooker starts his three-pronged attack against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
1867 Reconstruction in the South begins with black voter registration.
1877 President Rutherford B. Hayes withdraws all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.
1898 The U.S. Navy under Commodore George Dewey defeats the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines.
1915 The luxury liner Lusitania leaves New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe.
1927 Adolf Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
1931 The Empire State Building opens in New York.
1934 The Philippine legislature accepts a U.S. proposal for independence.
1937 President Franklin Roosevelt signs an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II.
1941 The film Citizen Kane–directed and starring Orson Welles–opens in New York.
1944 The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes its first flight.
1945 Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin.
1948 North Korea is established.
1950 Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry called Annie Allen.
1960 Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia.
1961 Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba.
1968 In the second day of battle, U.S. Marines, with the support of naval fire, continue their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do.
1970 Students from Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, Ohio, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia.
1986 The Tass News Agency reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
2011 Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear.
Born on May 1
1493 Philippus Paracelsus, physician and alchemist.
1764 Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol.
1769 Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.
1830 Mother (Mary Harris) Jones, reformer and labor organizer.
1839 Louis-Marie-Hilaire Bernigaud, French chemist, inventor of rayon.
1878 James Graham, inventor of the first naval aircraft-carrying ship and first man to film a total eclipse of the Sun.
1896 Mark Clark, American general during World War II.
1909 Kate Smith, singer.
1916 Glenn Ford, actor (The Blackboard Jungle).
1923 Joseph Heller, American author (Catch 22).
1924 Terry Southern, novelist and screenwriter (Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider).
1940 Bobbie Ann Mason, American writer (Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country).
"Football is very simple." - Kaiser Franck