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Every year - Since 1886, May Day (or International Workers' Day) is celebrated.
Every year - the Rochester Sweeps Festival is held.
1916 - English footballer and cricketer William 'Fatty' Foulke dies of pneumonia in Blackpool.
1931 - the Empire State Building in New York City, USA, opens.
1939 - Batman the Superhero first appears in print, in Detective Comics.
1941 - The film Citizen Kane enjoys its world premiere.
1946 - In Kashmir, India, national treasure Joanna Lumley OBE makes her world debut.
1967 - Priscilla Beaulieu marries singer Elvis Presley.
1994 - Formula 1 racing legend Ayrton Senna dies in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
1999 - Designed by Bryan Avery, the glass-covered circular London IMAX Theatre opens to the general public.
2008 - The London Agreement on the translation of European patents, concluded in 2000, enters into force in 14 of the 34 Contracting States to the European Patent Convention.
1519 - Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect and scientist - the archetypal Renaissance man - departed the earth.
1652 - John Milton's daughter Deborah is born.
1803 - The state of Louisiana is purchased from France, doubling the size of the USA and paving the way for further expansion.
1936 - Singer Engelbert Humperdinck is born. He later achieves success in the UK singles chart with a string of number ones in the 1960s.
1975 - Captain of the England football team, David Beckham is born.
1997 - Tony Blair becomes prime minister of the UK.
2008 - Cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar, killing more than 130,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
The people of Bolivia celebrate the Feast Day of Achakana (their name for the constellation Crux 'the Southern Cross') on 3 May.
1446 - A393851.
1770 - The first recorded European sighting of Lilli Pilli in Australia, by Sir Joseph Banks.
1886 - How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday. Rallying strikers in the USA are shot dead.
1903 - Harry Lillis Crosby, better known as Bing Crosby, is born in Tacoma, Washington State.
1965 - Great Sporting Achievements. Racing legend Red Rum is born.
1979 - Margaret Thatcher enjoys her first general election victory, becoming the UK's first female Prime Minister.
Constitution Day in Poland, Lithuania and Japan.
1886 - How May Day Became a Workers' Holiday. A rally takes place at Haymarket Square.
1949 - The whole team of the Italian football club Torino, save one player who stayed at home due to some injury, die in an air crash while approaching Turin.
1972 - Mike Dirnt, bassist and founding member of Green Day is born.
1989 - Margaret Thatcher reaches ten years in office.
2007 - The Scottish National Party wins the Scottish general election and becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time.
1494 - Christopher Columbus - Explorer - Part Two. Columbus discovers Jamaica.
1652 - Poet John Milton's wife dies.
1930 - Mahatma Gandhi is arrested.
1937 - The woman who realised the terrifying theme music for Doctor Who, Delia Derbyshire is born.
1980 - After a six-day siege at the hands of Arab terrorists, the Iranian Embassy is stormed by the SAS.
2000 - The film Gladiator has its world premiere.
2007 - Kenya Airways Flight KQ 507 crashes in Cameroon, West Africa.
1895 - Austin's Moonlight Towers are switched on for the first time.
1913 - The Women's Suffrage Bill is rejected by the House of Commons, infuriating 'suffragettes' like Emmeline Pankhurst..
1915 - Maverick filmmaker Orson Welles is born.
1931 - Willie Mays - Baseball Legend is born.
1937 - The airship Hindenburg explodes.
1953 - Tony Blair is born.
2006 - Lillian Asplund, last US survivor from the Titanic, dies (born 1906).
1840 - Peter Tchaikovsky - Composer is born.
1999 - Lewis Research Center is officially rededicated as John H Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.
1999 - Domenico Chiocchetti, who as a POW had built the Italian Chapel, Lambholm, Orkney dies in Moena, Italy, aged 89.
Russia - Radio Day, commemorating the work of Alexander Popov.
1428 - Joan of Arc's military reputation is established with the raising of the Siege of Orléans.
1886 - Dr John Pemberton's secret elixir - aka Coca Cola - goes on sale. A century later, this simple drink is the cause of one of the hardest-fought battles in commercial history - the cola wars.
1919 - A letter by Edward George Honey is published in the London Evening News proposing a period of silence in remembrance of those who died. The result is Remembrance Sunday, every 11 November from then on.
1926 - British Naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough is born in London.
1932 - Boxer Charles Sonny Liston is born.
1972 - Darren Hayes, founding member of the band Savage Garden is born on this day.
2001 - The Wicker Man, south-west England's answer to the Angel of the North, is destroyed by arsonists.
2007 - A new Northern Ireland Executive is formed under the leadership of Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party, as First Minister, and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, as Deputy First Minister.
1503 - Christopher Columbus 'discovers' the Cayman Islands.
1904 - The steam locomotive City of Truro breaks the 100mph speed barrier on its way to London, although this is never officially authenticated.
1927 - Canberra, Australia is inaugurated as the new national capital.
1928 - Founder of the Lotus Engineering Co Ltd, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman is born in London.
1949 - Singer/songwriter Billy Joel is born.
1962 - EMI Parlophone signs the Beatles for their first big recording contract.
1962 - Vocalist/songwriter Paul Heaton of The Beautiful South is born.
1974 - Impeachment hearings are opened against Richard Milhous Nixon - 37th President of the United States.
1508 - Michelangelo begins work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
1914 - Founder of the Boys Brigade Sir William Smith dies.
1915 - Margaret Thatcher's future husband, Denis Thatcher, is born.
1957 - Sid Vicious, prominent figure in the Punk Music movement, is born.
2002 - Five people are killed and 76 are injured in a London rail disaster at Potters Bar Station when the service from King's Cross to King's Lynn derails.
330 - The city of Byzantium is founded by Emperor Constantine.
1502 - Christopher Columbus sets off on his fourth and final voyage.
1904 - Salvador Dali is born.
1963 - Birth of actress Natasha Richardson in London.
1981 - Bob Marley, godfather of Reggae, dies.
1981 - One of the most successful musicals ever, Cats, opens at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane.
2001 - Douglas Adams, creator of both The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and h2g2, dies in LA.
1797 - Venice, Italy loses its independence.
1803 - Baron Justus von Liebig, German chemist and founder of agricultural chemistry, is born.
1845 - Gabriel Urbane Fauré - the Composer is born.
1937 - After the abdication of King Edward VIII, King George VI is crowned.
1949 - The USSR lifts the blockade on West Berlin, as it had failed, and the Berlin Airlift ends.
2002 - Formula One Driver Michael Schumacher wins the Austrian Grand Prix.
1842 - Composer Sir Arthur Sullivan is born.
1926 - Charlie Chaplin's wife, Oona Chaplin, is born.
1950 - The first race in the inaugural Formula One world championship takes place.
1894 - Blackpool's famous tower is opened.
1952 - Director of Contact Robert Zemeckis is born.
1961 - Actor Tim Roth, a regular collaborator with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, is born.
1971 - A London Underground train driver is killed when he accelerates through the sand drag and into the buffers at the Tooting Broadway station.
1973 - Skylab is carried into space.
1997 - The Spice Girls make history by becoming the first British group to enter the US charts at No 1.
Every year - Feast day of Saint Dymphna, the Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill, Runaways, and Rape Victims.
1464 - Henry Beaufort, leader of the Lancastrians in the War Of The Roses, was surprised and killed at Hexham, Northumberland.
1776 - The Commonwealth of Virginia declares itself independent.
1859 - Scientist Pierre Curie is born. He later invents Radioactivity... or something.
1905 - Bidders gathered for an auction of 110 acres of land that became Las Vegas.
1920 - Joan of Arc is canonised by Pope Benedict XV.
1929 - The first ever Academy Awards are held. The winners already know who they are.
1948 - Judy Finnegan, one half of husband-and-wife television team Richard and Judy is born.
1953 - The James Bond that took us into the 2000s, actor Pierce Brosnan is born.
1749 - Vaccine pioneer Edward Jenner is born, a notable day for modern medicine.
1938 - Six people die in a crash on the London Underground when a Circle line train runs into the back of a District line train at Charing Cross, due to a wrongly-wired signal.
1973 - The investigation into the Watergate affair is launched.
1995 - Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, becomes the world's youngest political prisoner.
2000 - The number of the famous Mojave Phone Booth is quietly disconnected and the box itself disappears a short time after.
1804 - Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of France.
1949 - Rick Wakeman of the band Yes is born.
1980 - Vocalist/lyricist with Joy Division Ian Curtis commits suicide.
2004 - Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter Sonia Gandhi declines to lead India.
1897 - Oscar Wilde is released from prison.
1914 - John Simpson Kirkpatrick is killed during the battle of Gallipoli.
1925 - Malcolm X - Spiritual Leader is born.
1935 - Thomas Edward Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia, dies.
1999 - Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace opens in America. Many 30-something males begin openly weeping in the streets: 'Why?! Whyyyy!?'
1897 - Bram Stoker gives the first public reading of his novel Dracula.
1927 - The child of celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh is kidnapped.
2000 - Leo Blair, son of Tony Blair, is born.
Every year - The feast days of St. Helena of Constantine and her son, the Emperor Constantine, are celebrated in the East.
1980 - Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back goes on general release.
2001 - Margaret Thatcher unveils a statue of herself at London's Guildhall Art Gallery.
337 - Emperor Constantine, founder of the city of Byzantium and the Byzantine Empire, dies.
1455 - The Yorkists are victorious over the Lancastrians at the First Battle of St Albans, heralding the start of the War of the Roses.
1813 - Composer Richard Wagner is born.
1915 - The worst train crash ever to occur in the UK takes place at Quintinshill in Scotland - the accident involves five different trains, with a death toll of 227.
1959 - Lead singer of The Smiths, Morrissey is born.
1969 - Lundy Island, UK is bought by the National Trust.
2006 - At 1pm, thousands of GCSE students across the United Kingdom sit down to their first Humanities paper - little do they know that they are victims of the 2006 GCSE Humanities Paper Debacle.
1430 - Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians.
1912 - Gustav Hamel dies in an air crash during a cross-channel flight from Paris in his new Morane-Saulnier monoplane - no trace of him is ever found.
1957 - Singer Thereza Louise Bazar of Dollar is born.
2002 - Former star of Neighbours Kylie Minogue becomes a triple award winner at the Ivor Novello Awards.
1686 - Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit is born.
1819 - Queen Victoria is born.
1941 - Musician Bob Dylan is born.
1945 - The wife of Elvis Presley, Priscilla Beaulieu, is born.
1966 - The Controversial Footballer Eric Cantona is born.
1981 - Jaime Roldós, President of Ecuador dies in an air crash on his way from Quito to Macara near the Peruvian border.
1988 - Liverpool's Tate Gallery is opened.
1989 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so far the last of the The Indiana Jones Trilogy, goes on general release.
Every year - Towel Day is celebrated by fans of Douglas Adams.
1803 - Author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is born. He goes on to introduce into English literature the phrase 'It was a dark and stormy night'.
1895 - Oscar Wilde is convicted of sodomy.
1934 - Composer Gustav Holst dies.
1939 - British actor Sir Ian McKellen is born in Burnley General Hospital.
1977 - The original Star Wars film goes on general release.
1979 - Alien is released.
1999 - Pakistani forces shoot down two Indian jets in the disputed territory of Kashmir.
1650 - John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, considered to be one of the greatest military geniuses England has ever produced, is born at Ashe in Devon.
1904 - Entertainer George Formby is born.
1946 - Guitarist Mick Ronson, famed for his collaboration with David Bowie, is born in Hull, Yorkshire.
1906 - Mahler's 6th Symphony, initially subtitled The Tragic, premieres in the industrial town of Essen, Germany.
1943 - Cilla Black, one-time chart-topper and queen of Blind Date, is born.
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi's assassins go on trial.
1995 - Actor Christopher Reeve has a horseriding accident, which leads to spinal and neck injuries and makes him a quadriplegic.
1494 - The official birthdate of Scotch Whisky, when the rolls of the Scottish Exchequer record that a Friar called John Cor, at an abbey in Fife, purchased malt to make 'aqua vitae'.
1968 - Kylie Minogue is born.
1984 - Comedian Eric Morecambe dies.
1453 - The Byzantine Empire ends.
1829 - Sir Humphry Davy FRS, one of the founding fathers of general anaesthesiology, dies in Geneva, Switzerland, from a heart attack.
1917 - The 35th President of the United States John Fitzgerald Kennedy is born.
1950 - The Archers - the Radio Soap is first broadcast - as a trial programme in the Midlands region only.
1967 - Guitarist/songwriter Noel Gallagher of Oasis is born.
1990 - Boris Yeltsin is elected President of the Russian Federation.
1381 - The Peasant's Revolt starts as a local rising in Brentwood Essex, when the first attack on a tax collector takes place.
1393 - Official documents report the death of dramatist and poet Christopher Marlowe.
1431 - Joan of Arc is burned at the stake.
1498 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his third voyage.
1842 - Queen Victoria is the target of an assassination attempt by John Francis.
1910 - The country of South Africa is created.
1911 - The Titanic is launched.
1930 - Bristol Airport is officially opened.
1948 - Led Zeppelin's drummer John Bonham is born.
1975 - Jim'll Fix It - the TV Series is first broadcast.
1985 - Many passengers are injured in a London rail disaster at Battersea Park when the northbound Gatwick Express fails to stop at a red signal and crashes into the back of a departing train.