On This Day In History May 4

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

Click on images to enlarge

May 4 is the 124th day of the year (125th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 241 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1970, At Kent State University, 100 National Guardsmen fire their rifles into a group of students, killing four and wounding 11. This incident occurred in the aftermath of President Richard Nixon’s April 30 announcement that U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had been ordered to execute an “incursion” into Cambodia to destroy North Vietnamese bases there. In protest, a wave of demonstrations and disturbances erupted on college campuses across the country.

There were no warnings when the Guardsmen opened fire. 60 rounds were fire into the crowd of demonstrators. After an investigation, all the charges were dropped against the National Guard in 1974.

New audio from the day of the shootings has been released on a website dubbed KentState1970.org. The site also features images of the historic day’s tragic events.


 1256 – The Augustinian monastic order is constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issues a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.

1415 – Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.

1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.

1493 – Pope Alexander VI divides the New World between Spain and Portugal along the Line of Demarcatiopn

1626 – Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.

1675 – King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

1686 – Municipality of Ilagan is founded in the Philippines.

1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.

1799 – Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ends when the city is invaded and Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.

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

1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain signs the Decrete of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.

1855 – American adventurer William Walker departs from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.

1859 – The Cornwall Railway opens across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall in England.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ends with a Union retreat.

1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate takes place in Japan.

1871 – The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1886 – Haymarket Square Riot: A bomb is thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, Illinois, United States, killing eight and wounding 60. The police fire into the crowd.

1904 – Construction begins by the United States on the Panama Canal.

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

1910 – The Royal Canadian Navy is created.

1912 – Italy occupies the Greek island of Rhodes.

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.

1932 – In Atlanta, Georgia, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.

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

1945 – World War II: The liberation of the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg by the British Army.

1945 – World War II: The surrender of the North Germany Army to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1946 – In San Francisco Bay, U.S. Marines from the nearby Treasure Island Navy Base stop a two-day riot at Alcatraz federal prison. Five people are killed in the riot.

1949 – The entire Torino football (soccer) team (except for one player who did not take the trip due to an injury) is killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.

1953 – Ernest Hemingway is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

1959 – The 1st Grammy Awards are held.

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

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, open fire killing four unarmed students and wounding nine others. The students were protesting the United States’ invasion of Cambodia.

1972 – The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organization founded in Canada in 1971, officially changes its name to

“Greenpeace Foundation”.

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

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

1982 – Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield (D80) is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.

1988 – The PEPCON disaster rocks Henderson, Nevada, as tons of space shuttle fuel detonates during a fire.

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.

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

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.

1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.

2000 – Ken Livingstone becomes the first Mayor of London.

2001 – The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, opens to the public.

2002 – An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashes in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.

2007 – Greensburg, Kansas is almost completely destroyed by a 1.7mi wide EF-5 tornado.

2007 – The Scottish National Party wins the Scottish general election and becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.

Holidays and observances

   * Bird Day (United States)

   * Cassinga Day (Namibia)

   * Christian Feast Day:

       Blessed Ceferino Giménez Malla


       Gotthard of Hildesheim

       Judas Cyriacus

       Monica of Hippo

       Sacerdos of Limoges

       Venerius of Milan

       May 4 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Day of the adoption of the Declaration of independence (Latvia)

   * Death of Milan Rastislav Stefanik Day (Slovakia)

   * Greenery Day (Japan)

   * International Firefighters’ Day

   * May Fourth Movement commemorations:

       Literary Day (Republic of China)

       Youth Day (People’s Republic of China)

   * Remembrance Day for Martyrs and Disabled (Afghanistan)

   * Remembrance of the Dead (Netherlands)

   * Star Wars Day

   * Youth Day (Fiji)