Today in 1805,the state of Virginia passed a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
Today in 1905,radium was tested as a cure for cancer in New York.
Today in 1915,the Lusitania ocean liner left New York on the same day the German Embassy took out advertisements warning anyone traveling on ships carrying a British flag, did so at their own risk. It was sunk by torpedo six days later.
Today in 1926, the Ford Motor Company established the 5-day, 40-hour work week.
Today in 1941,General Mills introduced Cheerios as the first oat-based, ready to eat cold cereal. They were originally introduced as CheeriOats but was changed to Cheerios in 1945.
Today in1943,food rationing in the United States began during World War II.
Today in 1950,Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature with her book of poetry, “Annie Allen.”
Today in 1960,an American U-2 plane invaded Soviet airspace. The Soviets reacted by shooting down the plane piloted by the C.I.A.’s Francis Gary Powers. It took five days for the Soviets to announce the occurrence to the rest of the world. At first the U.S. referred to the U-2 as a weather reconnaissance plane, denying that Powers was a spy. Later, the U.S. State Department admitted that the mission was to photograph Soviet military installations, and that the mission was justified. Powers was tried as a spy by the Soviet Union and was sentenced to solitary confinement for 10 years. In 17 months, he was exchanged for Russian spy Rudolf Abel who had been exposed by the CIA.
Today in 1961,during the May Day Celebrations of 1961, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro announced there would be no more elections in Cuba and that they are a socialist country. He stated, “The revolution has no time for elections.” Castro also announced all Roman Catholic priests would be expelled and all Roman Catholic private schools would be nationalized.
Today in 1975,Smokey the Bear retired after 25 years of public service. His saying “Only you can prevent forest fires” became a national symbol of fire prevention. Little Smokey, a four-year-old male replaced him. Smokey the Bear had lived at Washington’s National Zoo since 1950 and drew more than four-million visitors a year. He passed away on November 9th, 1976, and was returned to his hometown of Capitan, New Mexico…he’s buried at the Smokey Bear Historical Park
Today in 1981,tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledged a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out. It wasn’t exactly by choice, however. In truth, King was about to be outed…and rather than deny her truth, she owned it.
Today in 1992,on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, beaten motorist Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, asking, "Can’t we all get along?" President Bush delivered a nationally broadcast address in which he vowed to "use whatever force is necessary" to restore order.
Today in 1999,despite protests, the National Rifle Association held its annual meeting in Denver– eleven days after the Columbine shootings.
Today in 2003,in what became known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, President George W. Bush declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" on board the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California.
Today in 2011,President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a U.S. commando operation(because of the time difference, it was early May 2ndin Pakistan, where the al-Qaida leader met his end).
Today in 2012,Occupy Wall Street protestors gathered across the United States to stage a day of protest for International Workers’ Day. Thousands of people protested in New York, Oakland, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago for a peaceful protest. This day marked the first major protest since police disabled the movement’s camps across the nation in 2011.
Today in 2013,workers around the world united in anger during May Day rallies— from fury in Europe over austerity measures that cut wages, reduced benefits and eliminated many jobs altogether, to rage in Asia over relentlessly low pay, the rising cost of living and hideous working condition
Today in 2017,erasing the threat of a disruptive government shutdown,the White House and top lawmakers endorsed a $1.1-trillion spending bill to carry the nation through the following September.
Today in 2019,US Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee defending his handlingof the Mueller Report.