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1783 May 4
In India Tipu Sultan was enthroned as the ruler of Mysore after the death of Haider Ali in a simple ceremony at Bednur.
Links: India     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1799 May 4
In India Tipu Sultan was killed in a battle against 5,000 British soldiers who stormed and razed his capital, Seringapatanam. British forces defeated the sultan of Mysore at the Battle of Seringapatam.
Links: Britain, India     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1855 May 4
Camille Pleyel (66), Austrian piano builder, composer, died.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1884 May 4
Ferdinand Ward came by the NYC home of Pres. Ulysses S. Grant and told him that the Marine National Bank was having temporary difficulties because of a large unexpected withdrawal by one of its clients. He asked Grant if he could come up with $150,000 for only 24 hours and by Monday or Tuesday the situation would be all cleared up. Grant, that same day, limped from his home and went to see his friend William Henry Vanderbilt. He asked Vanderbilt to lend him $150,000, telling him the same story Ward had fabricated. Vanderbilt told Grant he did not care one bit about the Marine National Bank, but that he would be pleased to make a personal loan to Grant for the amount requested.
Links: USA, Scam, GrantU     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1886 May 4
At Haymarket Square in Chicago, a labor demonstration for an 8-hour workday turned into a riot when a bomb exploded. Seven policemen were killed and some 60 others injured. Only one policeman was killed in the strike. 3 labor leaders were executed Nov 10, 1887, for the bombing. The Haymarket affair is generally considered to have been an important influence on the origin of international May Day observances for workers.
Links: USA, Labor, Chicago     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1911 May 4
In San Francisco Police chief Seymour instructed Capt. Thomas Duke of Central Station to notify the proprietors of brothels that $2 per day would be the maximum they would be allowed to charge the 100 prostitutes at 633 Jackson and 719 Commercial Street. Current charges for the women were $5 per day.
Links: USA, SF, Sex     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1912 May 4
More than ten thousand women and about a thousand men marched down Fifth Avenue in NYC to support woman's suffrage.
Links: USA, NYC, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1919 May 4
Some 3,000 young scholars from 13 colleges and universities rallied at Tiananmen Square to protest the loss of Shandong province to the Japanese under the Versailles Treaty at the Paris Peace Conference. German concessions in China were bequeathed to Japan. Among the protestors were people who helped form the Communist Party.
Links: France, China, Germany, Japan, Mad Crowd     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1923 May 4
In Vienna, Austria, bloody street battles took place between Nazis, socialists and police.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1924 May 4
The summer Olympics opened in Paris. The French rugby team beat the Rumanians 61-3.
Links: France, Olympics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1927 May 4
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was incorporated. [see May 11] Louis B. Mayer, Mayer and three of his guests – actor Conrad Nagel, director Fred Niblo and producer Fred Beetson, had initiated discussions for the organization earlier in the year.
Links: USA, California, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1928 May 4
Maynard Ferguson, jazz trumpeter (Roulette), was born in Verdun, Quebec.
Links: Canada     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1928 May 4
Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president (1981-2011), was born in the village of Kafr el-Moseilha in the Nile delta province of Menoufia.
Links: Egypt     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1945 May 4
German forces in the Netherlands, Denmark and northwest Germany agreed to surrender.
Links:      Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957 May 4
It was reported that NATO has warned the Soviet Union that it would meet any attack with all available meads including nuclear weapons.
Links: Russia, USA, NATO, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1968 May 4
Ismael Valenzuela (1935-2009) rode Forward Pass to victory in the Kentucky Derby.
Links: USA, Kentucky, Horse     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 May 4
F. Osbert S. Sitwell (b.1892), English poet (Who Killed Cock Robin?), died at castle Montegufoni near Florence, Italy.
Links: Italy, Britain, Poet     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 May 4
At Kent State Univ. on Monday, a peaceful noontime rally of some 2,000 students was ordered to disburse by guardsmen. Tear gas was fired and guardsmen charged into the crowd. At 12:20 p.m., a small group of Guardsmen suddenly wheeled and unleashed a 13-second volley of gunfire. They fired into a group of protesters, killing four and wounding 9-11 others. One wounded student was crippled for life with damage to his spinal column. In the days that followed, hundreds of colleges were shut down by student strikes and more than 100,000 demonstrators marched on Washington, D.C. Twenty-five years after the event the National Guard insisted that it was provoked into attacking the students contrary to eye-witnesses, photographs, and later investigations. Renowned American sculptor George Segal's bronze Abraham and Isaac was commissioned to commemorate the killing of four Vietnam War protesters at Ohio's Kent State University. The finished bronze is now part of Princeton University's modern sculpture garden.
Links: USA, Ohio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 May 4
The US FCC adopted the prime time access rule (PTAR), to be fully effective as of October 1, 1971. Four months after its adoption, however, the Commission on August 7, 1970, significantly amended the rule, delaying until October 1, 1972, the effective date of the off-network and feature films provisions.
Links: USA, FCC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 May 4
A dispatch filed from Saigon described looting by US soldiers at the Cambodian town of Snuol. The mention of looting was removed by an editor in New York before the story was transmitted to newspapers in the United States. An AP story was killed by Wes Gallagher (d.1997 at 86), general manager of the new service.
Links: USA, Vietnam, Cambodia, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1972 May 4
The remains of the ship Gjoe, a converted herring boat used by Roald Amundsen to cross the Northwest Passage (1903-1905), departed San Francisco for Oslo, Norway. A commemorative sculpture was left next to the Beach Chalet at Ocean Beach.
Links: USA, SF, Norway, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 May 4
The 1st TV network female nudity appeared in Bruce Jay Smith's Steambath (PBS) with Valerie Perrine.
Links: USA, TV, Sex     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 May 4
Australian PM Malcolm Fraser announced that "Waltzing Matilda" would serve as his country's national anthem at the upcoming Olympic Games.
Links: Australia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 May 4
A large tornado swept through Pleasant Hill, Mo., hitting the city’s high school and grade school. Only minor injuries occurred due to superb tornado warnings and drills.
Links: USA, Missouri, Tornado     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 May 4
The South African Air Force (SAAF) engaged in air to ground combat at the Battle of Cassinga in Angola.
Links: Angola, South Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1978 May 4
The Hispanic ethnic group was created when the US Office of Management and Budget published the following regulation in the Federal Register: "Directive 15: Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting" that defined a Hispanic to be "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture … In 1981 a US federal law stated that Spaniards are part of the Hispanic group.
Links: Spain, USA, Sociology, Language     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979 May 4
Margaret Thatcher (b.1925), leader of the Conservative Party, was sworn in as Britain's first female prime minister. She continued in office for 3 terms until 1990.
Links: Britain, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 May 4
Marshal Josip Broz Tito (b.1892), Communist dictator of Yugoslavia (1943-1980), died three days before his 88th birthday. He was a Croat and tried to spread the Serbs out over the six Yugoslav republics so that they would not dominate the country. His policy was considered a major cause of the Bosnian war in the '90s.
Links: Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Yugoslavia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 May 4
Nine people were killed at Kinshasa, Zaire (later the Democratic Republic of Congo) during a stampede to attend mass given by Pope John Paul II.
Links: Vatican, CongoDRC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 May 4
The British destroyer HMS Sheffield was hit by Exocet rocket off the Falkland Islands. 20 men died and a further 24 were injured in the sinking of the Sheffield, the first British warship to be lost in 37 years.
Links: Britain, Falkland Islands, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1987 May 4
Pope John Paul II ended his five-day visit to West Germany with a call for religious freedom in the Soviet bloc and praise for those who had opposed the "mass hysteria and propaganda" of the Nazi era.
Links: Germany, Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 May 4
As a year-long amnesty program for certain illegal aliens in the United States came to a close, thousands of applicants lined up nationwide on the last day.
Links: USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 May 4
A spectacular explosion occurred at the Shell oil refinery in Norco, La., on the Mississippi river just north of New Orleans. 8 people were killed and over 40 injured.
Links: USA, Oil, Louisiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 May 4
Three French hostages were released in Beirut by pro-Iranian kidnappers.
Links: France, Iran, Lebanon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 May 4
Fired White House aide Oliver North was convicted of shredding documents and two other crimes and acquitted of nine other charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair. The 3 convictions were later overturned on appeal.
Links: Nicaragua, USA, Iran     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1989 May 4
The US launched its Magellan spacecraft to Venus.
Links: USA, NASA, Space, Venus     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 May 4
Latvia's parliament voted 138-0 (1 abstention) for Independence. The Russophone Ravnopraviye (Equal Rights Movement) boycotted this resolution by walking out of parliament.
Links: Latvia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 May 4
The South African government and the African National Congress concluded historic talks in Cape Town with a joint statement agreeing on a "common commitment toward the resolution of the existing climate of violence."
Links: South Africa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 May 4
"Strike the Gold" won the 117th Kentucky Derby.
Links: USA, Kentucky, Horse     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 May 4
President Bush suffered shortness of breath while jogging at Camp David; he was rushed to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where doctors found he was experiencing an irregular heartbeat.
Links: USA, BushHW     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1991 May 4
Morris K. Udall (d.1998), (Rep-D-Ariz), resigned due to Parkinson's disease.
Links: USA, Arizona     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 May 4
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton toured riot-ravaged Los Angeles streets, blaming the destruction on what he called 12 years of Republican neglect.
Links: USA, California, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 May 4
India and Russia sign a five-year agreement on trade and economic cooperation.
Links: Russia, India     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993 May 4
The United States handed over control of the relief effort in Somalia to the United Nations.
Links: USA, UN, Somalia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994 May 4
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed a historic accord on Palestinian autonomy that granted self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
Links: Israel, Palestine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1994 May 4
India made its 4th developmental launch of ASLV. The 113 kg Stretched Rohini Satellite Series (SROSS-C2) was launched by fourth developmental flight of ASLV-D4 from Sriharikota.
Links: India, Space     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1995 May 4
An Iranian nuclear official said spent fuel from Iran's Russian-made reactors, potential raw material for nuclear bombs, would be returned to Russia for safeguarding.
Links: Russia, Iran, Nuclear     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1995 May 4
India launched the fourth ASLV-D4 from Sriharikota, successfully placing the SROSS-C2 satellite in orbit.
Links: India, Space, Telecom     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 May 4
Nigerian and Cameroon forces again clashed over the Bakassi region on the fishing and oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.
Links: Cameroon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 May 4
Grindstone won the Kentucky Derby, giving trainer D. Wayne Lukas a sixth straight victory in a Triple Crown race. Grindstone was injured ahead of the Preakness and retired.
Links: USA, Kentucky, Horse     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1996 May 4
Nigerian and Cameroon forces clashed over the Bakassi region on the fishing and oil-rich Gulf of Guinea.
Links: Cameroon, Nigeria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 May 4
More than 100 Rwandan refugees died on an overcrowded train after rebel troops packed them aboard for delivery to an airstrip for flights to Rwanda. Peace talks onboard the South African naval vessel Outeniqua between Zaire’s Pres. Mobutu and Laurent Kabila failed to produce anticipated results.
Links: CongoDRC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 May 4
Pope John Paul beatified the first Gypsy Jimenez Malla, killed by Republican forces in the 1936 Spanish Civil War. Also beatified were Florentino Asensio Barroso, bishop of Barbastro, Spain, where Malla died; Enrico Rebuschini, a northern Italian priest who died in 1938; and Maria Encarnacion Rosal, a 19th century Guatemalan nun.
Links: Italy, Guatemala, Spain, Vatican, Gypsy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 May 4
IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov, evening their six-game series at one game apiece.
Links: Computer, Chess     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 May 4
In Zaire more than 100 [91] Rwandan refugees died on an overcrowded train after rebel troops packed them aboard for delivery to an airstrip for flights to Rwanda. Peace talks onboard the South African naval vessel Outeniqua between Pres. Mobutu and Laurent Kabila failed to produce anticipated results.
Links: Zaire, South Africa, Rwanda, CongoDRC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1998 May 4
In Colombia gunmen killed 21 people in the province of Meta. Some 200 members of a right-wing paramilitary unit laid siege to the village of Puerta Alvira for 3 hours. In 2000 4 army generals and a colonel were accused by the attorney general for allowing the massacre.
Links: Colombia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 May 4
It was reported that the United Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe’s tycoon Roger Boka was shut down when a government audit found it incapable of paying its debts.
Links: Zimbabwe     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 May 4
In Vatican City Alois Estermann (43), the pope’s top bodyguard, was shot and killed along with his wife, Gladys Meza Romero (49) in their apartment by Cedrich Tornay (23), who then shot himself. Estermann had just been appointed the head of the Swiss Guards and was killed by Tornay due to damaged professional pride. An investigation was concluded in 1999 and suggested that marijuana and a brain cyst impaired Tornay.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 May 4
The FDA approved the first commercial surgical glue, Tisseel, made by Baxter Labs.
Links: Pharma, FDA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 May 4
Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski was given four life sentences plus 30 years by a federal judge in Sacramento, Calif., under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.
Links: California     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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