May 1st

2011
Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood.
Beatification of Pope John Paul II
2009
For the first time in 341 years, a woman is appointed as poet laureate of the United Kingdom. Carol Ann Duffy, 53, will take over the post from current poet laureate Andrew Motion.
Carol Ann Duffy
2003
President George W. Bush landed in a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast and, in a speech to the nation, declared major combat in Iraq over.
Mission Accomplished speech
1992
On the third day of the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, asking "Can we all get along?".
Portal:United States/Anniversaries/May/May 1
1991
44-year-old Texas fireballer Nolan Ryan hurled his seventh and final no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. That same day, Oakland's Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock’s stolen base record.
History of the New York Mets
1978
Naomi Uemura becomes of the first person to reach the North Pole alone. The Japanese adventurer is also credited with the first solo ascent of Mount McKinley and the first solo rafting of the Amazon river. He disappeared in 1984 during a winter ascent of Mount McKinley.
Naomi Uemura
1971
Amtrak went into service, combining and streamlining the operations of 18 intercity passenger railroads.
Amtrak
1967
Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu. (They divorced in 1973.).
Priscilla Presley
1962
The first Target discount store opened in Roseville, Minn.
Target Corporation
1961
Fidel Castro declares Cuba a socialist nation and bans elections. A month after Cuban troops had fought off a U.S. backed military invasion at the Bay of Pigs, Castro announces that “The revolution has no time for elections.”
Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution
1960
The Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
Francis Gary Powers
1948
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) was established with Kim Il Sung as president.
Kim Il-sung
1945
Adolf Hitler's death is announced on German radio. As the Soviet flag is raised over the Reich Chancellery, the German people are informed that “our leader, Adolf Hitler, has fallen for Germany, fighting to his last breath against Bolshevism.”
Death of Adolf Hitler
1941
Orson Welles's Citizen Kane, considered by many the greatest film ever made, premiered in New York.
Citizen Kane
1931
The Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 102 stories, it would be the world's tallest building for the next 41 years. Click to see the current tallest.
Empire State Building
1925
The world's largest trade union is founded. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions has a total of 134 million members.
International Trade Union Confederation
1898
US Admiral George Dewey commands "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley" as US route Spanish fleet at Manila.
Battle of Manila Bay
1886
US general strike for 8-hour working day begins.
Eight-hour day
1841
First emigrant wagon train leaves Independence, Missouri, for California.
California Trail
1840
The world's first adhesive postage stamp is issued in the United Kingdom. The Penny Black shows a portrait of Queen Victoria. Despite its historical significance, the stamp can be bought for around £25 as over 68 million copied were distributed.
Penny Black
1786
Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.
The Marriage of Figaro
1753
Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants ...
1707
Acts of Union comes into force, uniting England and Scotland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Acts of Union 1707