May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (126th in leap years). There are 240 days remaining.
- 1640 - King Charles I of England disbands the Short Parliament.
- 1646 - King Charles I of England surrenders to the Scottish Presbyterian Army at Newark.
- 1762 - Peace treaty between Russia and Prussia.
- 1809 - Mary Kies[?] becomes the first woman to be awarded a US patent (which was for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread).
- 1809 - The Swiss canton of Aargau denies Jews citizenship
- 1814 - War of 1812: The British attack Fort Ontario[?] at Oswego, New York
- 1835 - In Belgium a railway is opened between Brussels and Mechelen. It is the first railway in continental Europe.
- 1862 - The Mexican army defeats the French army in the Battle of Puebla (on May 9 this day was made into the Cinco de mayo holiday).
- 1864 - American Civil War: The Battle of the Wilderness begins in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
- 1865 - In North Bend, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), the first train robbery[?] in the United States took place.
- 1877 - Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army under Colonel Nelson Miles[?].
- 1891 - The Music Hall (now known as Carnegie Hall has its grand opening and first public performance (Tchaikovsky is the guest conductor).
- 1892 - The United States Congress passes the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act: All Chinese in the United States must register, if not they risk deportation.
- 1893 - Panic of 1893: Crash on the New York Stock Exchange starts a depression (economics)].
- 1912 - The 1912 Summer Olympics open in Stockholm, Sweden.
- 1916 - American marines invade the Dominican Republic.
- 1922 - In The Bronx, construction begins on Yankee Stadium.
- 1925 - Scopes Trial: Dayton, Tennessee biology teacher John Scopes is arrested for teaching Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
- 1936 - Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- 1940 - World War II: In London, a Norwegian government in exile is formed.
- 1941 - Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa.
- 1944 - Mohandas Gandhi is freed from prison.
- 1945 - World War II: A Japanese bomb, launched by balloon, explodes near Lakewood, Oregon[?], killing a women and five children who were examining it during a church picnic (the bomb exploded as the children were dragging it from the woods).
- 1945 - World War II: German troops in the Netherlands and Denmark capitulate
- 1945 - World War II: Mauthausen concentration camp is liberated.
- 1945 - World War II: Canadian soldiers liberate the city of Amsterdam from Nazi occupation
- 1949 - The Council of Europe is formed.
- 1950 - Bhumibol Adulyadej is crowned as King Rama IX of Thailand.
- 1954 - General Alfredo Stroessner takes power in Paraguay by coup.
- 1955 - West Germany gains full sovereignty.
- 1961 - Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into space. He makes a space flight of 15 minutes, making less than one complete orbit
- 1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds has his 3000th major league hit
- 1980 - British police storm the Iranian embassy in London after a time of siege.
- 1987 - Iran-Contra affair: Start of Congressional televised hearings.
- 1992 - Computer game Wolfenstein 3D is released.
- 1994 - American Michael Fay[?] is caned in Singapore as punishment for spray-painting two cars.
- 2000 - Conjunction of all traditional planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Moon and Sun).
- 2001 - Chandra Levy's parents report her missing to Washington, DC police.
- 1813 - Søren Kierkegaard, philosopher (+ 1855)
- 1818 - Karl Marx, political philosopher (+ 1883)
- 1826 - Empress Eugenie of France, empress as wife of Napoleon III (+ 1920)
- 1829 - Shusaku Honinbo, Go player (+ 1862)
- 1832 - H.H. Bancroft[?], historian and publisher
- 1833 - Ferdinand von Richthofen[?], geographer (+ 1905)
- 1846 - Henryk Sienkiewicz, author, recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature 1905 (+ 1916)
- 1865 - Elizabeth Jane Cochran ("Nellie Bly"), journalist, writer (+ 1922)
- 1869 - Hans Pfitzner, composer (+ 1949)
- 1883 - Archibald Wavell, World War II general
- 1890 - Christopher Morley, writer (+ 1957)
- 1901 - Blind Willie McTell, blues singer (+ 1959)
- 1903 - James Beard, chef[?], cookbook writer (+ 1985)
- 1913 - Tyrone Power, actor (+ 1958)
- 1915 - Alice Faye[?], actress (+ 1998)
- 1926 - Ann B. Davis, actress
- 1940 - Eric Burdon[?], rock singer ("The Animals")
- 1940 - Michael Lindsay-Hogg[?], director
- 1942 - Tammy Wynette, country music singer
- 1943 - Michael Palin, comedian ("Monty Python")
- 1944 - Roger Rees[?], actor
- 1944 - John Rhys-Davies, actor
- 1957 - Richard E. Grant[?], actor
- 1028 - Alfonso V, king of Leon and Galicia
- 1194 - King Casimir II of Poland (1177-1194)
- 1309 - King Charles II of Naples, king of Naples
- 1525 - Frederick III of Saxony
- 1705 - Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
- 1786 - King Pedro III of Portugal
- 1821 - Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France (1799-1815)
- 1827 - Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (1806-1827)
- 1859 - Peter Dirichlet[?], mathematician
- 1902 - Bret Harte, author
- 1981 - Bobby Sands, Provisional IRA activist
- 1988 - Michael Shaara[?], author
- 1995 - Mikhail Botvinnik, world chess champion
- 2001 - Cliff Hillegass[?], creator of Cliff Notes[?]
- 2003 - Walter Sisulu, anti-apartheid activist
Holidays and observances
May 4 - May 6 - April 5 - June 5 -- listing of all days
January, February, March, April, May, June, July,
August, September, October, November, December
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