This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
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May 2 is the 122nd day of the year (123rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 243 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 2011, Osama bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, died . He was killed in an attack on the compound where he was hiding outside the Pakistan capital of Islamabad. U.S. President Barack Obama announced on national television that bin Laden had been killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan by American military forces and that his body was in U.S. custody.
The raid began around 1 a.m. local time, when 23 U.S. Navy SEALs in two Black Hawk helicopters descended on the compound in Abbottabad, a tourist and military center north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. One of the helicopters crash-landed into the compound but no one aboard was hurt. During the raid, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, five people, including bin Laden and one of his adult sons, were killed by U.S. gunfire. No Americans were injured in the assault. Afterward, bin Laden’s body was flown by helicopter to Afghanistan for official identification, then buried at an undisclosed location in the Arabian Sea less than 24 hours after his death, in accordance with Islamic practice. [..]
A break in the hunt for bin Laden came in August 2010, when C.I.A. analysts tracked the terrorist leader’s courier to the Abbottabad compound, located behind tall security walls in a residential neighborhood. (U.S. intelligence officials spent the ensuing months keeping the compound under surveillance; however, they were never certain bin Laden was hiding there until the raid took place.) The U.S. media had long reported bin Laden was believed to be hiding in the remote tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistani border, so many Americans were surprised to learn the world’s most famous fugitive had likely spent the last five years of his life in a well-populated area less than a mile from an elite Pakistani military academy. After the raid, which the U.S. reportedly carried out without informing the Pakistani government in advance, some American officials suspected Pakistani authorities of helping to shelter bin Laden in Abbottabad, although there was no concrete evidence to confirm this.
1194 – King Richard I of England gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.
1230 – William de Braose is hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great.
1335 – Otto the Merry, Duke of Austria, becomes Duke of Carinthia.
1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, is arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.
1559 – John Knox returns from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the beginning Scottish Reformation.
1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, escapes from Loch Leven Castle.
1611 – King James Bible is published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.
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.
1757 – End of Konbaung-Hanthawaddy War, and end of Burmese Civil War (1740-1757)
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 Leopold 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 during 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.
1879 – The Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party is founded in Casa Labra Pub (city of Madrid) by the historical Spanish workers’ leader Pablo Iglesis.
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 Leopold II of Belgium.
1889 – Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, which gives Italy control over Eritrea.
1906 – Closing ceremony of the Intercalated Games in Athens, Greece.
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.
1945 – World War II: Italian Campaign – General Heinrich von Vietinghoff signs the official instrument of surrender of all Wehrmacht forces in Italy.
1945 – World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberates Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1000 dead inmates, most starved to death.
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 a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven. 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.
1972 – In the early morning hours a fire broke out at the Sunshine mine located between Kellogg and Wallace, ID, killing 91 workers.
1982 – Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.
1994 – In a bus disaster in Poland, 32 people die.
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.
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 138,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.
2011 – Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks and the FBI’s most wanted man is killed by the United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
2011 – The 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strikes Europe, mostly in Germany, leaving more than 30 people dead and many others sick from the bacteria outbreak.
* Birth Anniversary of Third Druk Gyalpo, also Teacher’s Day (Bhutan)
* Christian Feast Day:
Athanasius of Alexandria (Western Christianity)
Boris I of Bulgaria (Bulgarian Orthodox Church)
Germanus of Normandy
Waldebert (Roman Catholic Church)
May 2 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Flag Day (Poland)
* Holiday of the Region of Madrid (Community of Madrid)
* National Education Day (Indonesia)
* Teacher’s Day (Iran)