This Day in History — May 2

Thursday, May 02, 2019

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Today is the 122nd day of 2019. There are 243 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

2011: Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, is slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan in a firefight with US forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

OTHER EVENTS

1519: Artist Leonardo da Vinci dies at Cloux, France.

1536: England's Queen Anne Boleyn is sent to Tower of London, where she eventually is beheaded.

1809: People of Madrid rise against invading French, beginning six-year War of Independence.

1813: Napoleon Bonaparte defeats Prussian and Russian armies at Lutzen, Germany.

1895: British South Africa Company territory south of Zambesi is organised as Rhodesia.

1933: Adolf Hitler abolishes trade unions in Germany.

1945: The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin and the Allies announce the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.

1952: Jet plane passenger service is launched in the United States.

1953: Jordan's Hussein ascends the throne, by the Islamic calendar, on his 18th birthday.

1965: The first satellite television programme links nine countries and over 300 million viewers.

1967: British Prime Minister Harold Wilson's Labour Government decides to seek membership in European Common Market.

1972: After serving 48 years as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J Edgar Hoover dies in Washington at age 77.

1974: Former US Vice-President Spiro T Agnew is disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals, effectively preventing him from practising law anywhere in the United States.

1982: Argentine cruiser General Belgrano is sunk by a British submarine, killing 368 Argentine sailors. It is the worst single death toll of the 10-week war over possession of the Falkland Islands.

1989: Hungarian authorities begin cutting through the barbed wire and electric fencing that divide the country from the West.

1990: African National Congress and South African Government open three days of negotiations in Cape Town on gradually ending white rule in South Africa.

1994: Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress claim victory in the first democratic election in South Africa.

1996: Liu Gang, a Chinese dissident who spent six years in prison for his leading role in the 1989 pro-democracy movement, receives political asylum in the United States.

1997: Tony Blair becomes Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years after his Labour Party crushes John Major's long-reigning Conservatives in a landslide.

1999: Yugoslav authorities hand over to the Rev Jesse Jackson three American prisoners of war who were held for a month; Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman to win Panama's presidential elections.

2000: Belgium opens an investigation into the 1961 killing of Congo's first democratically elected prime minister, Patrice Lumumba, following Congolese independence from Belgium. It is later found that Belgian officials and the CIA were involved in his slaying.

2002: Israeli troops and tanks depart the West Bank city of Ramallah, freeing Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after more than a month of confinement in his compound.

2003: Freedom Forum's Newseum, a Washington-based foundation, dedicated to free speech and a free press, adds the names of 31 journalists killed in the line of duty the previous year to a rainbow-hued glass memorial.

2008: Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai wins 47.9 per cent of the vote in Zimbabwe's presidential elections — not enough to avoid a run-off against President Robert Mugabe.

2010: European governments and the International Monetary Fund commit to pull Greece back from the brink of default, agreeing on 110 billion euro in emergency loans.

2011: Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, is slain in a firefight with US forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.

2012: The UN Security Council orders all countries to freeze the assets of three North Korean State-owned companies to punish Pyongyang for its failed rocket launch last month.

2013: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says US is rethinking its opposition to arming Syrian rebels who have been locked in a civil war with the Syrian regime for more than two years, becoming the first top official to publicly acknowledge the reassessment.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (1729-1796); Theodor Herzl, Hungarian journalist, founder of Zionism (1860-1904); Baron Manfred von Richthofen, World War I German fighter ace (1892-1918); Alan Marshall, Australian author (1902-1984); Bing Crosby, US actor-singer (1904-1977); King Faisal II, last king of Iraq (1935-1958)

— AP


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