May 2<<May 2008>>Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 12 345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031MMVIII
- 1194 - King Richard I of England gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.
- 1230 - William de Braose, 10th Baron Abergavenny is hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great.
- 1335 - Otto the Merry, Duke of Austria, becomes Duke of Carinthia.
- 1568 - Mary I of Scotland escapes from Loch Leven Castle, where she had been imprisoned by Sir William Douglas.
- 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.
- 1672 - John Maitland becomes Duke of Lauderdale and Earl of March.
- 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.
- 1816 - Marriage of Léopold of Saxe-Coburg and Charlotte Augusta.
- 1829 - After anchoring nearby, Captain Charles Fremantle of the 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 reconnoitering for the Battle of Chancellorsville. He succumbs to pneumonia eight days later.
- 1866 - Peruvian defenders fight off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.
- 1876 - The April Uprising breaks out in Bulgaria.
- 1885 - Good Housekeeping magazine goes on sale for the first time.
- 1885 - Cree and Assiniboine warriors win the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.
- 1885 - The Congo Free State is established by King Léopold II of Belgium.
- 1889 - Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, which gives Italy control over Eritrea.
- 1900 - Oscar II, King of Sweden, declares support for the United Kingdom at the time of the Second Boer War.
- 1918 - General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
- 1920 - The first game of the Negro National League baseball is played in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 1932 - Comedian Jack Benny's radio show airs for the first time.
- 1933 - Gleichschaltung: Adolf Hitler bans trade unions.
- 1945 - World War II: Fall of Berlin: The Soviet Union announces the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoist their red flag over the Reichstag building. German forces surrender in Italy. German forces surrender to the New Zealand Army in Trieste.
- 1946 - The "Battle of Alcatraz" takes place, killing two guards and three inmates.
- 1952 - The world's first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 makes its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.
- 1955 - Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
- 1963 - Berthold Seliger launches near Cuxhaven, a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres. It is the only sounding rocket developed in Germany.
- 1964 - Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the USS Card while docked at Saigon. Viet Cong forces are suspected of placing a bomb on the ship.
- 1964 - First ascent of Shishapangma the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.
- 1969 - The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City.
- 1982 - Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.
- 1986 - The 1986 World Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, opens.
- 1994 - in Poland bus disaster 32 people died.
- 1995 - During the Croatian War of Independence, Serb forces fire cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing 7 and wounding over 175 civilians.
- 1998 - The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy.
- 1999 - Panamanian election, 1999: Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman to be elected President of Panama.
- 2000 - President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.
- 2000 - Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveils the Man With Two Hats monument in Apeldoorn and the other in Ottawa on May 11, 2000. Symbolically linking both Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout World War II.
- 2002 - Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala.
- 2004 - Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria.
- 2008 - Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar killing over 130,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.
- 1360 - Yongle, Emperor of China (d. 1424)
- 1451 - René II, Duke of Lorraine (d. 1508)
- 1458 - Leonor of Viseu, queen of Portugal (d. 1525)
- 1551 - William Camden, English historian (d. 1623)
- 1601 - Athanasius Kircher, German Jesuit scholar (d. 1680)
- 1660 - Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer (d. 1725)
- 1695 - Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni, Italian-born architect (d. 1766)
- 1702 - Friedrich Christoph Oetinger, German theologian (d. 1782)
- 1729 - Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (d.1796)
- 1737 - William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1805)
- 1740 - Elias Boudinot, President of the American Continental Congress (d. 1821)
- 1750 - John André, British Army officer of the American Revolutionary War (d. 1780)
- 1772 - Novalis, German writer (d. 1801)
- 1773 - Henrik Steffens, Norwegian-born philosopher (d. 1845)
- 1802 - Heinrich Gustav Magnus, German chemist and physicist (d. 1870)
- 1810 - Hans Christian Lumbye, Danish composer (d. 1874)
- 1828 - Désiré Charnay, French archaeologist (d. 1915)
- 1843 - Elijah McCoy, Canadian-born Inventor (d. 1929)
- 1859 - Jerome Klapka Jerome, English writer (d. 1927)
- 1860 - Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist/Zionist (d. 1904)
- 1865 - Clyde Fitch, American playwright (d. 1909)
- 1873 - Jurgis Baltrušaitis, Lithuanian poet (d. 1944)
- 1879 - James F. Byrnes, American politician, statesman, and Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1972)
- 1881 - Alexander Kerensky, Russian politician (d. 1970)
- 1885 - Hedda Hopper, American gossip columnist (d. 1966)
- 1886 - Gottfried Benn, German author (d. 1956)
- 1887 - Vernon Castle, English dancer (d. 1918)
- 1887 - Eddie Collins, American baseball player (d. 1951)
- 1890 - E. E. Smith, American writer (d. 1965)
- 1892 - Manfred von Richthofen, German World War I pilot - the Red Baron (d. 1918)
- 1895 - Lorenz Hart, American lyricist (d. 1943)
- 1896 - Helen of Greece and Denmark, queen of Romania (d. 1982)
- 1897 - J. Fred Coots, American songwriter (d. 1985)
- 1903 - Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author (d. 1998)
- 1906 - Philippe Halsman, American photographer (d. 1979)
- 1906 - Aileen Riggin, American swimmer (d. 2002)
- 1907 - Pinky Lee, American vaudeville performer (d. 1993)
- 1910 - Alexander Bonnyman, U.S. Marine (d. 1943)
- 1912 - Axel Cäsar Springer, German publisher (d. 1985)
- 1913 - Nigel Patrick, English actor (d. 1981)
- 1915 - Doris Fisher, American songwriter (d. 2003)
- 1915 - Peggy Mount, English actress (d. 2001)
- 1920 - Jean-Marie Auberson, Swiss conductor (d. 2004)
- 1920 - Otto Buchsbaum, Austrian writer and ecological activist (d. 2000)
- 1921 - Satyajit Ray, Indian director (d. 1992)
- 1922 - A.M. Rosenthal, Canadian-born newspaper editor (d. 2006)
- 1922 - Serge Reggiani, Italian-born French singer and actor (d. 2004)
- 1924 - Theodore Bikel, Austrian-born actor and singer
- 1925 - Roscoe Lee Browne, American actor (d. 2007)
- 1926 - Gérard D. Lévesque, Quebec politician (d. 1993)
- 1927 - Ray Barrett, Australian actor
- 1929 - Link Wray, American guitarist (d. 2005)
- 1930 - Marco Pannella, Italian politician and nonviolent leader
- 1935 - King Faisal II of Iraq (d. 1958)
- 1935 - Lance LeGault, American actor
- 1935 - Luis Suárez Miramontes, former Spanish footballer and manager
- 1936 - Engelbert Humperdinck, Indian-born singer
- 1936 - Michael Rabin, American violinist (d. 1972)
- 1937 - Lorenzo Music, American actor (d. 2001)
- 1938 - Chief Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (d. 1996)
- 1939 - Sumio Iijima, Japanese physicist
- 1941 - Clay Carroll, American baseball player
- 1942 - Jacques Rogge, Belgian International Olympic Committee president
- 1945 - Sarah Weddington, American attorney
- 1945 - Bianca Jagger, Nicaraguan socialite, ex-wife of Mick Jagger
- 1945 - Gene Deckerhoff, American sports announcer
- 1945 - Judge Dread, English musician (d. 1998)
- 1946 - Lesley Gore, American singer
- 1946 - David Suchet, English actor
- 1948 - Larry Gatlin, American musician
- 1949 - Alan Titchmarsh, English television presenter
- 1950 - Duncan Gay, Australian politician
- 1950 - Lou Gramm, American rock vocalist and songwriter (Foreigner)
- 1952 - Christine Baranski, American actress
- 1952 - Mari Natsuki, Japanese singer, dancer and actress
- 1953 - Valery Gergiev, Russian-born conductor
- 1954 - Roberta Pedon, American glamour model (d. 1982)
- 1955 - Donatella Versace, Italian fashion designer
- 1956 - David Rhodes, English guitarist
- 1958 - David O'Leary, Irish football manager and player, notable for managerial stint at Leeds United A.F.C.
- 1959 - Tony Wakeford, English musician (Sol Invictus)
- 1961 - Steve James, English snooker player
- 1961 - Phil Vickery, English celebrity chef
- 1962 - Stephen Daldry, English film director
- 1962 - Elizabeth Berridge, American actress
- 1962 - Ray Traylor, American professional wrestler (d. 2004)
- 1962 - Jimmy White, English snooker player
- 1965 - Félix José, Dominican baseball player
- 1966 - Belinda Stronach, Canadian politician
- 1967 - Mika Brzezinski, American journalist
- 1968 - Midorikawa Hikaru, Japanese voice actor
- 1968 - Jeff Agoos, American soccer player
- 1968 - Ziana Zain, Malaysian singer and actress
- 1969 - Brian Lara, Trinidadian West Indies cricketer
- 1972 - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, American professional wrestler and actor
- 1972 - Paul Adcock, English footballer
- 1973 - Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, German film director and screenwriter
- 1974 - Horacio Carbonari, Argentine former footballer
- 1974 - Garðar Thór Cortes, Icelandic tenor
- 1974 - Andy Johnson, Welsh footballer
- 1975 - David Beckham, English footballer
- 1977 - Luke Hudson, American baseball player
- 1977 - Fredrik Malm, Swedish politician
- 1978 - Steve Bays, Canadian musician
- 1979 - Jason Chimera, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1979 - Roman Lyashenko, Russian ice hockey player (d. 2003)
- 1980 - Tim Borowski, German footballer
- 1980 - Pierre-Luc Gagnon, Canadian skateboarder
- 1980 - Miloš Glogovac, Serbian footballer
- 1980 - Zat Knight, English footballer
- 1980 - Troy Murphy, American basketball player
- 1980 - Brad Richards, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1981 - Matt Murray, English footballer
- 1981 - Chris Kirkland, English footballer
- 1982 - Lorie, French singer
- 1983 - Christa Rigozzi, Swiss model
- 1984 - Saulius Mikoliūnas, Lithuanian footballer
- 1984 - Thabo Sefolosha, American basketball player
- 1985 - Lily Allen, English singer and songwriter
- 1985 - Kyle Busch, American race car driver
- 1985 - Sarah Hughes, American figure skater
- 1985 - David Nugent, English footballer
- 1985 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, American baseball player
- 1986 - James Kirk, Canadian actor
- 1987 - Nana Kitade, Japanese singer
- 1990 - Kay Panabaker, American actor
- 1995 - Kelsey Lewis, American actress
- 2000 - Angel Sy, Filipina Child Actor
- 373 - Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria (b. 298)
- 756 - Emperor Shōmu, Emperor of Japan (b. 701)
- 907 - Boris I of Bulgaria
- 1230 - William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny (b. 1197)
- 1300 - Blanche of Artois, regent of Navarre (b. 1248)
- 1450 - William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English military leader (b. 1396)
- 1519 - Leonardo da Vinci, Italian inventor and painter (b. 1452)
- 1564 - Cardinal Rodolfo Pio da Carpi, Italian humanist (b. 1500)
- 1627 - Lodovico Grossi da Viadana, Italian composer (b. 1560)
- 1667 - George Wither, English writer (b. 1588)
- 1683 - Stjepan Gradić, Croatian philosopher and scientist (b. 1613)
- 1711 - Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, English statesman (b. 1641)
- 1802 - Herman Willem Daendels, Dutch statesman (b. 1762)
- 1810 - Rev. Dr. Henry Jerome de Salis, divine (b.1740)
- 1819 - Mary Moser, English painter (b. 1744)
- 1857 - Alfred de Musset, French writer (b. 1810)
- 1864 - Giacomo Meyerbeer, German composer (b. 1791)
- 1927 - Ernest Starling, British physiologist (b. 1866)
- 1945 - Martin Bormann, Nazi official (b. 1900)
- 1945 - Ludwig Stumpfegger, German SS doctor (b. 1910)
- 1945 - Joe Corbett, baseball player (b. 1875)
- 1947 - Dorothea Binz, Nazi war criminal (b. 1920)
- 1957 - Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator (b. 1908)
- 1960 - Caryl Chessman, American robber and rapist (b. 1921)
- 1964 - Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-born politician (b. 1879)
- 1969 - Franz von Papen, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1879)
- 1972 - J. Edgar Hoover, American director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (b. 1895)
- 1979 - Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1903)
- 1980 - George Pál, Hungarian-born film director (b. 1908)
- 1980 - Clarrie Grimmett, Australian cricketer (b. 1891)
- 1983 - Norm Van Brocklin, American football star (b. 1926)
- 1984 - Jack Barry, television game show producer and host (b. 1918)
- 1985 - Attilio Bettega, Italian rallydriver (b.1951)
- 1985 - Larry Clinton, American trumpeter and bandleader (b. 1909)
- 1986 - Henri Toivonen, Finnish rallydriver (b.1956)
- 1989 - Giuseppe Siri, Italian Catholic Cardinal (b. 1906)
- 1989 - Veniamin Kaverin, Russian writer (b. 1902)
- 1990 - David Rappaport, English actor (b. 1951)
- 1992 - Wilbur Mills, American politician (b. 1909)
- 1995 - Michael Hordern, English actor (b. 1911)
- 1997 - John Carew Eccles, Australian neurophysiologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1903)
- 1997 - Paulo Freire, Brazilian educator (b. 1921)
- 1998 - Hideto "hide" Matsumoto, Japanese musician (b. 1964)
- 1998 - Justin Fashanu, English footballer (b. 1961)
- 1998 - Kevin Lloyd, British actor (b. 1949)
- 1998 - Gene Raymond, American actor (b. 1908)
- 1999 - Oliver Reed, English actor (b. 1938)
- 2001 - Ted Rogers, British comedian (b. 1935)
- 2001 - Gina Mastrogiacomo, American actress (b. 1961)
- 2002 - John Nathan-Turner, English television producer (b. 1947)
- 2002 - W. T. Tutte, English-born codebreaker (b. 1917)
- 2005 - Kenneth B. Clark, American psychologist (b. 1914)
- 2005 - Wee Kim Wee, 4th President of Singapore (b. 1915)
- 2006 - Louis Rukeyser, American columnist (b. 1933)
- 2007 - Brad McGann, New Zealand film director and screenwriter (b. 1964)
- 2008 - Beverlee McKinsey, American actress (b. 1940)
Holidays and observances
- Poland - Flag Day, an official holiday to honour the Flag of Poland
- Bahá'í Faith: Last day of the Festival of Ridván
- Madrid Region - Day of the Region.
- Slovenia and Serbia - second day of Labour Day
- Iran - Teacher's Day
- Indonesia - Indonesia National Education Day
in the Roman Catholic Church:
in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church:
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