This Week in History

HISTORY, 4 May 2015

Satoshi Ashikaga – TRANSCEND Media Service

May 4-10


“This day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today… But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best. ” – Hermann Hesse


1994  Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord regarding Palestinian autonomy granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

1990  Latvia proclaims the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation.

1989  Iran-Contra Affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges. The convictions, however, are later overturned on appeal.

1979  Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1974  An all-female Japanese team reaches the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.

1970  Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: the Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opens fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the United States’ invasion of Cambodia.

1961  American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.

1953  Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

1945  World War II: Denmark is granted liberation, when Germany was forced to step out of Denmark thus ending 5 years of occupation.

1945  World War II: German surrender at Lüneburg Heath, the North German Army surrenders to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1945  World War II: Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.

1942  World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea begins with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands. The Japanese forces had invaded Tulagi the day before.

1919  May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations take place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.

1912  Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes.

1910  The Royal Canadian Navy is created.

1904  Charles Stewart Rolls meets Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England.

1904  The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal.

1836  Formation of Ancient Order of Hibernians

1814  Emperor Napoleon I of France arrives at Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.




2010  Mass protests in Greece erupt in response to austerity measures imposed by the government as a result of the Greek debt crisis.

2006  The government of Sudan signs an accord with the Sudan Liberation Army.

1994  The signing of the Bishkek Protocol between Armenia and Azerbaijan effectively freezes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

1987  Iran–Contra affair: start of Congressional televised hearings in the United States of America

1983  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1980  Operation Nimrod: The British Special Air Service storms the Iranian embassy in London after a six-day siege.

1977 The first of The Nixon Interviews between David Frost and Richard Nixon are broadcast.

1970  US performs nuclear test at Nevada test Site.

1964  The Council of Europe declares May 5 as Europe Day.

1958  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak.

1955  US performs nuclear test at Nevada test Site.

1955  West Germany gains full sovereignty.

1950  Bhumibol Adulyadej is crowned King Rama IX of Thailand.

1949  The Treaty of London establishes the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as the first European institution working for European integration.

1946  The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1945  World War II: The Prague uprising begins as an attempt by the Czech resistance to free the city from German occupation.

1945  World War II: Canadian and British troops liberate the Netherlands and Denmark from German occupation when Wehrmacht troops capitulate.

1944  Mohandas Gandhi is released from prison.

1944  German troops execute 216 civilians in the village of Kleisoura in Greece

1941  Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the country commemorates the date as Liberation Day or Patriots’ Victory Day.

1940  World War II: Norwegian Campaign – Norwegian squads in Hegra Fortress and Vinjesvingen capitulate to German forces after all other Norwegian forces in southern Norway had laid down their arms.

1940  World War II: Norwegian refugees form a government-in-exile in London

1936  Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

1925  The government of South Africa declares Afrikaans an official language.

1925  Scopes Trial: serving of an arrest warrant on John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.

1920 Authorities arrest Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti for alleged robbery and murder.

1905  The trial in the Stratton Brothers case begins in London, England; it marks the first time that fingerprint evidence is used to gain a conviction for murder.

1886  The Bay View Tragedy: A militia fires into a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, killing seven.

1877  American Indian Wars: Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.




2012  More than 1,000 birds, mostly pelicans and hundreds of dolphins die off the coast in the north of Peru, under unexplained circumstances.

1999  The first elections to the devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are held.

1997  The Bank of England is given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank’s 300-year history.

1994  Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and French President François Mitterrand officiate at the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

1987  USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk, USSR.

1981  US expels Libyan diplomats.

1979  USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk, USSR.

1975  During a lull in fighting, 100,000 Armenians gather in Beirut to commemorate 60th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

1972  Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan are executed in Ankara for attempting to overthrow the Constitutional order.

1962  US performs nuclear test at Pacific Ocean.

1960  The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is enacted.

1945  World War II: The Prague Offensive, the last major battle of the Eastern Front, begins.

1945  World War II: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.

1942  World War II: On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrender to the Japanese.

1932  Hindenburg disaster: The German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people are killed.

1935  New Deal: Executive Order 7034 creates the Works Progress Administration.

1933  The Deutsche Studentenschaft attacked Magnus Hirschfeld‘s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, later burning many of its books.

1916  Twenty-one Lebanese nationalists executed in the Martyrs’ Square, Beirut by Jamal Pasha, the Ottoman wāli.

1902  Macario Sakay establishes the Tagalog Republic with himself as President.

1889  The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.

1889  The United States Congress passes the Chinese Exclusion Act.




2007  Israeli archaeologists discover the tomb of Herod the Great south of Jerusalem.

2004  American businessman Nick Berg is beheaded by Islamic militants. The act is recorded on videotape and released on the Internet.

2000  Vladimir Putin is inaugurated as president of Russia.

1999  In Guinea-Bissau, President João Bernardo Vieira is ousted in a military coup.

1999  Kosovo War: In Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, three Chinese citizens are killed and 20 wounded when a NATO aircraft bombs the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

1998  Mercedes-Benz buys Chrysler for $40 billion USD and forms DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history.

1994  Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February.

1988  USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya, USSR.

1986  Canadian Patrick Morrow becomes the first person to climb each of the Seven Summits.

1982  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1974  West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigns.

1962  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.

1960  Cold War: U-2 Crisis of 1960 – Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that his nation is holding American U-2 pilot Gary Powers.

1954  Indochina War: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu ends in a French defeat and a Vietnamese victory (the battle began on March 13).

1952  The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer.

1948  The Council of Europe is founded during the Hague Congress.

1946  Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with around 20 employees.

1945  World War II: General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany‘s participation in the war. The document takes effect the next day.

1942  During the Battle of the Coral Sea, United States Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attack and sink the Japanese Imperial Navy light aircraft carrier Shōhō. The battle marks the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.

1940  The Norway Debate in the British House of Commons begins, and leads to the replacement of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Winston Churchill three days later.

1937  Spanish Civil War: The German Condor Legion, equipped with Heinkel He 51 biplanes, arrives in Spain to assist Francisco Franco‘s forces.

1920 The Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto, opens the first exhibition by the Group of Seven.

1920  Treaty of Moscow: Soviet Russia recognizes the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia only to invade the country six months later.

1920  Kiev Offensive: Polish troops led by Józef Piłsudski and Edward Rydz-Śmigły and assisted by a symbolic Ukrainian force capture Kiev only to be driven out by the Red Army counter-offensive a month later.

1915  Japanese 21 Demands Ultimatum to China (Commemorated as National Day of Humiliation)

1915  World War I: German submarine U-20 sinks RMS Lusitania, killing 1,198 people including 128 Americans. Public reaction to the sinking turns many formerly pro-Germans in the United States against the German Empire

1895  In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, the Popov lightning detector — a primitive radio receiver. In some parts of the former Soviet Union the anniversary of this day is celebrated as Radio Day.

1847  The American Medical Association is founded in Philadelphia.

1846  The Cambridge Chronicle, America’s oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts

1832  The independence of Greece is recognized by the Treaty of London. Otto of Wittelsbach, Prince of Bavaria is chosen King.

1824  World premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria. The performance is conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer’s supervision.

1895  Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates the lightning detector, sometimes regarded as the first radio

1794  French Revolution: Robespierre introduces the Cult of the Supreme Being in the National Convention as the new state religion of the French First Republic.

1763  Pontiac’s War begins with Pontiac’s attempt to seize Fort Detroit from the British.




1987  The Loughgall Ambush: The SAS kills eight Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers and a civilian during an ambush in Loughgall, Northern Ireland.

1984  The Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

1980  The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox.

1973  A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.

1972  Four Black September terrorists hijack Sabena Flight 571. Israeli Sayeret Matkal commandos recapture the plane the following day.

1972  Vietnam War – U.S. President Richard Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.

1970  The Hard Hat Riot occurs in the Wall Street area of New York City as blue-collar construction workers clash with demonstrators protesting the Vietnam War.

1963  South Vietnamese soldiers of Catholic President Ngo Dinh Diem open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesak, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.

1960  USSR & Cuba resume diplomatic relations.

1951  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak.

1945  Dissolution and surrender of Nazi Germany and all its forces.

1945  End of the Prague uprising, celebrated now as a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

1945  The Halifax Riot starts when thousands of civilians and servicemen rampage through Halifax.

1945  World War II: V-E Day, combat ends in Europe. German forces agree in Reims, France, to an unconditional surrender.

1945  Hundreds of Algerian civilians are killed by French Army soldiers in the Sétif massacre.

1942  World War II: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos Islands rebel in the Cocos Islands Mutiny. Their mutiny is crushed and three of them are executed, the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.

1942  World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft carrier aircraft attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Lexington. The battle marks the first time in the naval history that two enemy fleets fight without visual contact between warring ships.

1941  The German Luftwaffe launches a bombing raid on Nottingham and Derby

1933  Mohandas Gandhi begins a 21-day fast in protest against the British rule in India.

1924  The Klaipėda Convention is signed formally incorporating Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory) into Lithuania.

1919  Edward George Honey proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the Armistice of World War I.

1902  In Martinique, Mount Pelée erupts, destroying the town of Saint-Pierre and killing over 30,000 people. Only a handful of residents survive the blast.

1886  Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named “Coca-Cola” as a patent medicine.

1846  Mexican–American War: The Battle of Palo AltoZachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.

1821  Greek War of Independence: The Greeks defeat the Turks at the Battle of Gravia Inn.




2002  The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected terrorists among them deported to several different countries.

1992  Armenian forces capture Shusha, marking a major turning point in the Karabakh War.

1979  Iranian Jewish businessman Habib Elghanian is executed by firing squad in Tehran, prompting the mass exodus of the once 100,000 member strong Jewish community of Iran.

1974  Watergate Scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.

1970  Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrate in front of the White House.

1969  Carlos Lamarca leads the first urban guerrilla action against the military dictatorship of Brazil in São Paulo, by robbing two banks.

1964  Ngo Dinh Can, de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother President Ngo Dinh Diem before the family’s toppling, is executed.

1963  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1962  US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island.

1961  FCC Chairman Newton N. Minow gives his Wasteland Speech.

1955  Cold War: West Germany joins NATO.

1950  Robert Schuman presents his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe, which according to him was indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the “Schuman declaration“, is considered by some people to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union.

1949  Rainier III of Monaco becomes Prince of Monaco.

1948  Czechoslovakia‘s Ninth-of-May Constitution comes into effect.

1946  King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicates and is succeeded by Umberto II.

1945  World War II: The Channel Islands are liberated by the British after five years of German occupation.

1945  World War II: Ratification in Berlin-Karlshorst of the German unconditional surrender of May 8 in Rheims, France, with the signatures of Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet Union, and for the Western Headquarters Sir Arthur Tedder, British Air Marshal and Eisenhower’s deputy, and for the German side of Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff as the representative of the Luftwaffe, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as the Chief of Staff of OKW, and Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg as Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine.

1942  Holocaust: The SS murders 588 Jewish residents of the Podolian town of Zinkiv (Khmelnytska oblast, Ukraine). The Zoludek Ghetto (in Belarus) is destroyed and all its inhabitants murdered or deported.

1941  World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.

1940  World War II: The German submarine U-9 sinks the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.

1936  Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa on May 5.

1927  The Australian Parliament first convenes in Canberra.

1926  Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claim to have flown over the North Pole (later discovery of Byrd’s diary appears to cast some doubt on the claim.)

1920  Polish-Soviet War: The Polish army under General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrates its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreschatyk.

1918 World War I: Germans repel the British’s second attempt to blockade the port of Ostend, Belgium.

1915  World War I: Second Battle of Artois between German and French forces.

1911  The works of Gabriele D’Annunzio placed by the Vatican in the Index of Forbidden Books.

1904  The steam locomotive City of Truro becomes the first steam engine in Europe to exceed 100 mph (160 km/h).

1901  Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.

1877  Mihail Kogălniceanu reads, in the Chamber of Deputies, the Declaration of Independence of Romania. This day became the Independence Day of Romania.

1873  Der Krach: Vienna stock market crash heralds the Long Depression.

1864  Second War of Schleswig: The Danish navy defeats the Austrian and Prussian fleets in the Battle of Heligoland.



MAY 10

2012  The Damascus bombings are carried out using a pair of car bombs detonated by suicide bombers outside of a military intelligence complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 55 people and injuring 400 others

1994  Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.

1981  François Mitterrand wins the presidential election and becomes the first Socialist President of France in the French Fifth Republic.

1972  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1969  Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia begins with an assault on Hill 937. It will ultimately become known as Hamburger Hill.

1967  US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.

1960  The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.

1948  The Republic of China implements “temporary provisions” granting President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers to deal with the Communist uprising; they will remain in effect until 1991.

1946  First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.

1942  World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invades the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.

1941  World War II: Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try to negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Nazi Germany.

1941  World War II: The House of Commons in London is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.

1940  World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.

1940  World War II: Winston Churchill is appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain.

1940  World War II: Germany invades Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

1940  World War II: German raids on British shipping convoys and military airfields begin.

1933  Censorship: In Germany, the Nazis stage massive public book burnings.

1924  J. Edgar Hoover is appointed first Director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and remains so until his death in 1972.

1922  The United States annexes the Kingman Reef.

1916  Sailing in the lifeboat James Caird, Ernest Shackleton arrives at South Georgia after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island.

1904  The Horch & Cir. Motorwagenwerke AG is founded.

1877  Romania declares itself independent from the Ottoman Empire following the Senate adoption of Mihail Kogălniceanu‘s Declaration of Independence. Recognized on March 26, 1881 after the end of the Romanian War of Independence.


Satoshi Ashikaga is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment originally from Japan.

(Sources and references: to 10; to 10; to 10.html; and other pertinent websites and/or documents, mentioned above.) Note that the views expressed in the cited or quoted websites and/or documents in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the editor/complier of this article. These websites and/or documents are cited or quoted for academic or educational purposes.


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 May 2015.

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