This Day in History - May 10
John Wayne Gacy

Today is the 130th day of 2023. There are 235 days left in the year.


1994: American serial killer John Wayne Gacy — whose murders of 33 boys and young men in the 1970s shocked his suburban Chicago community where he was known for his performances as a clown at charitable events and children's parties — is executed at age 52.


1629: England's King Charles I dissolves Parliament and doesn't call it back for 11 years.

1845: The first group of carrying 261 Indians (indentured labourers) arrive at Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica on the SS Blundell ship.

1857: The Indian Mutiny erupts in Meerut in reaction to the increased pace of Westernisation in India and a military crackdown on Indian troops by their British officers.

1862: The US Government issues its first paper money.

1869: The first transcontinental railroad in the United States is completed when a golden spike is driven at Promontory, Utah.

1872: American reformer Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman to be nominated for president when the Equal Rights Party selects her as its candidate.

1875: Religious orders are abolished in Russia.

1876: The first successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone takes place in Boston as Bell says, "Mr Watson, come here. I want you."

1880: The Salvation Army arrives in the United States from England.

1893: The French colony of the Ivory Coast is formally established.

1922: Strikes break out in Johannesburg, South Africa, and martial law is declared.

1924: US public official J Edgar Hoover is made acting director of the FBI and later in the year becomes director.

1940: Germany invades Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands during World War II.

1946: Italian women vote for the first time.

1949: Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E "Axis Sally" Gillars is convicted in Washington, DC, of treason and serves 12 years in prison.

1957: The Soviets appeal to the USA and Britain to halt nuclear tests.

1959: The Dalai Lama leads a rebellion against Chinese rule; the revolt fails and the Dalai Lama flees to India.

1962: Stan Lee's Marvel Comics releases the first issue of The Incredible Hulk, created by Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

1969: James Earl Ray pleads guilty in Memphis, Tennessee, to the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr but later repudiates his plea.

1981: Socialist Francois Mitterrand wins the presidential election, bringing the first leftist Government in three decades to power in France.

1988: The USA vetoes the UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's invasion of southern Lebanon.

1990: Georgia becomes the fourth Soviet republic to condemn its annexation to the Soviet Union. India's worst cyclone in 10 years kills 85 people and floods 90 villages.

1991: A half-million people rally in Moscow in support of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. UN peacekeepers formally declare the Iraq-Kuwait border a demilitarised zone.

1992: Peruvian police storm a prison cell block held by mutineering prisoners from the Shining Path guerrilla movement, killing at least 28.

1994: The leader of the South African apartheid homeland Bophutatswana retreats from his capital in the face of a popular uprising, after he tries to boycott participation in South Africa's first all-races election. Nelson Mandela — whose efforts to end apartheid led to his imprisonment from 1962 to 1990 and earned him a share of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize — becomes president of South Africa. Former US President George Bush's office releases his letter of resignation from the National Rifle Association over its reference to federal agents as "jackbooted government thugs".

1995: An elevator carrying gold miners plunges to the bottom of a deep mineshaft in South Africa, killing as many as 100 people.

1996: A storm hits Mount Everest, killing eight climbers in one of the worst disasters since Everest was first conquered in 1953.

1997: An earthquake in north-eastern Iran kills at least 2,400 people.

1998: General Augusto Pinochet, the 82-year-old former dictator of Chile, steps down from his position as army commander and is sworn in as senator for life under a provision written into the constitution by his regime.

1999: The Yugoslav Government announces a partial withdrawal of police and soldiers from Kosovo in hopes of halting NATO's bombing campaign.

2001: The Nuu-chah-nulth, the largest native tribal group in British Columbia, agree to a treaty with the provincial and federal governments giving the natives a measure of autonomy, a share in the land's resources, and a large one-time payment.

2003: A Yemeni court sentences Abed Abdul Razak Kamel to death for killing three American Baptist missionaries and seriously wounding a fourth in a December 2002 attack on a hospital in Jibla.

2006: Six young Japanese are found dead from asphyxiation in a car north-west of Tokyo — victims of a surge in suicide pacts arranged over the Internet.

2007: Tony Blair says he is stepping down as British prime minister on June 27, after serving more than a decade.

2009: Michael McLendon, 28 years old, kills 10 people — including his mother, four other relatives, and the wife and child of a local sheriff's deputy — across two rural Alabama counties before committing suicide. An unrelenting hail of artillery fire in Sri Lanka's war zone kills at least 378 civilians, including more than 100 children.

2011: King Mohammed VI says that Morocco will revise its constitution for the first time in 15 years, in a bid to bolster democracy. A Vatican-appointed panel of scientists reports what climate change experts have been warning for years: the Earth is getting warmer, glaciers are melting, and urgent measures are necessary to stem the damage.

2012: Twin suicide car bombs explode outside a military intelligence building and kill 55 people, in the deadliest attack against a regime target since the Syrian uprising began 14 months before.

2013: The US Internal Revenue Service apologises for its "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups in the 2012 election to check for tax-exempt-status violations. US scientists say worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, have hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans.

2017: Despite the unfurling drama over Russia and the US election, President Donald Trump seeks cooperation between the countries in Syria and elsewhere during a rare Oval Office meeting with Vladimir Putin's top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.


Friedrich Schlegel, German poet (1772-1829); Augustin-Jean Fresnel, French physicist (1788-1827); John Wilkes Booth, American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln (1838-1865); Sir Thomas Lipton, British merchant-yachtsman (1850-1931); Karl Bath, Swiss theologian (1886-1968); Fred Astaire, American dancer-singer (1899-1987); Chuck Norris, US actor (1940- ); Bono, Irish human rights activist, musician and former lead singer of popular rock band U2 (1960- ); Timbaland, US rapper-producer (1972- ).

— AP and Jamaica Observer

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?