It happened today – this day in history – May 1

1328: The Kingdom of England recognises the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.

1544: Turkish troops occupy Hungary.

1700: Death of poet and playwright John Dryden.

1707: The Acts of Union come into force, uniting England and Scotland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

1715: Prussia declares war on Sweden.

1757: Austria and France divide Prussia.

1759: The British fleet occupies Guadeloupe, West Indies, capturing it from France.

1769: Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and future prime minister, is born in Dublin.

1776: Adam Weishaupt founds secret society The Illuminati.

1777: R B Sheridan’s “School for Scandal” premieres in London.

1786: Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” premieres in Vienna with Mozart himself conducting.

1840: The Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, is issued by Britain.

1851: Great Exhibition opens at Crystal Palace.

1852: Birth of frontierswoman Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Canary) in Princeton, Missouri.

1869: The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.

1873: Alexandra Palace opens on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday. On the same day, explorer David Livingstone dies aged 60.

1875: Alexandra Palace, London, reopens after being burnt down in 1873.

1903: Edward VII visits Paris, where he is feted in a first step toward improving Anglo-French relations, culminating in the sighing of the Entente Cordiale the following year.

1904: Death of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák aged 62.

1915: The liner Lusitania leaves New York for Liverpool.

1923: Adolf Hitler and Ernst Rohm attempt to break up socialist May Day demonstrates, inviting Nazis from as far away as Nuremberg to take part in the violence.

1925: Cyprus becomes a British Crown Colony.

1926: British coal miners go on strike.

1929: Police kill 19 Mayday demonstrators in Berlin.

1930: The planet Pluto is officially named by 11 year-old Venetia Burney.

1931: The Empire State Building opens in New York.

1936: Emperor Haile Selassie leaves Ethiopia as Italy invades.

1937: US President Franklin D Roosevelt signs the Neutrality Act, banning travel on belligerent ships and imposes an arms embargo on warring nations.

1939: Batman first appears in Detective Comics #27.

1941: Citizen Kane, starring and directed by Orson Welles premieres at the Palace Theater in New York.

1943: German plane sinks the British ship SS Erinpura in the Mediterranean with the loss of 799 lives.

1945: German radio announces that Hitler has been killed at the Reich Chancery in Berlin “fighting to his last breath”. The real circumstances behind the Führer’s death do not emerge for another seven weeks. On the same day, Admiral Karl Doenitz forms a new German government and Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, commits suicide with his wife after poisoning their six children.

1948: North Korea proclaims itself Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

1950: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to Rodgers & Hammerstein for the musical “South Pacific”.


1954: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos marries Imelda Romualdez.

1959: Floyd Patterson scores an 11th round KO of Brian London in Indianapolis – his fourth World Heavyweight Boxing title defence.

1960: Russia shoots down Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk.

1961: Fidel Castro declares Cuba a socialist nation saying, “The revolution has no time for elections.” On the same day, Harper Lee is awarded the Pulitzer Price for her novel To Kill A Mockingbird.

1962: The Beatles begin a month long residency at The Star Club, Hamburg.

1966: The Beatles play live for the last time in the UK until the impromptu set on the roof of the Apple building in 1969 when they appear at the NME Poll Winners concert at Wembley Empire Pool with the Spencer Davis Group, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Yardbirds.

1966: The Beatles – Rubber Soul

Album chart:

  1. Aftremath – The Rolling Stones
  2. The Sound Of Music – Original Soundtrack
  3. Rubber Soul – The Beatles
  4. Mantovani Magic – Mantovani
  5. Take It Easy – The Walker Brothers
  6. Most Of The Animals – The Animals
  7. Beach Boys Today – The Beach Boys
  8. My Name Is Barbra Two – Barbra Streisand
  9. Otis Blue – Otis Redding
  10. Bye Bye Blues – Bert Kaempfert

1967: Elvis Presley marries 21 year old Priscilla Beaulieu, a girl he first met in 1959 when she was just 14 years old. On the same day, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys is arrested by the FBI on charges of avoiding the military draft and refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

1969: James Chichester-Clark is elected leader of the Unionist party, succeeding Terence O’Neill as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

1973: More than a million workers join a one-day strike in protest at the government’s pay restraint policy and price rises.

1974: With England’s failure to qualify for the World Cup finals in West Germany, Alf Ramsey is sacked as England manager after 11 years in charge.

1977: French runner Chantal Langlacé sets the female world marathon record (2:35:15.4) in Oyarzun, Spain.

1978: Mick Jagger’s wife Bianca files for divorce.

1979: Elton John becomes the first western pop star to perform in Israel.

1980: The South African government bans Pink Floyd’s single ‘Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)’ after black children adopt the song as their anthem in protest against inferior education.

1982: RAF planes attack two airstrips near Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands in the war against invading Argentine forces.

1984: Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood files for bankruptcy.

1986: Death of comedy actress Hilda Baker.

1994: Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna dies in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix in Italy.

1996: Actress and future TV host Kelly Ripa marries co star Mark Consuelos in Las Vegas.

1997: Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt undergoes quadruple heart by-pass surgery after visiting his Harley Street doctor complaining of chest pains.

1998: Actress Uma Thurman marries actor Ethan Hawke.

2000: Hundreds of anti-capitalist demonstrators fight running battles with police as the Cenotaph and statue of Winston Churchill are defaced with graffiti.

2003: Singer Barry White suffers a stroke while being treated for kidney failure.

2009: Carol Ann Duffy is appointed as the first female and Scottish Poet Laureate.

2011: Snooker commentator Ted Lowe dies aged 90. On the same day, boxer Henry Cooper dies aged 76.

Singles chart:

  1. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/Goonrock
  2. The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
  3. On The Floor – Jennifer Lopez ft Pitbull
  4. Beautiful People – Chris Brown ft Benny Benassi
  5. Sweat – Snoop Dogg
  6. ET – Katy Perry ft Kanye West
  7. Unorthodox – Wretch 32 ft Example
  8. Guilt – Nero
  9. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
  10. Buzzin’ Remix – Mann ft 50 Cent

2013: Minnesota man, Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 53, is accused of pretending to be David Gilmour of Pink Floyd at a US hospital where he racked up as much as $100,000 in unpaid medical bills. On the same day, Chris Kelly, one half of 90s rap duo Kris Kross, dies in Atlanta at the age of 34.

2017: Mark Selby defends his world snooker title, beating John Higgins 18-15, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

2018: Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah becomes the first African to be named England Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year. On the same day, former James Brown drummer John “Jabo” Starks dies aged 79.

2019: Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is fired by prime minister Theresa May over the leaking of information about Huawei deal from a UK National Security Council meeting. On the same day, Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn marries for the fourth time to Suthida Tidjai, deputy head of his bodyguard, days before his coronation; Naruhito officially succeeds his father Akihito as Emperor of Japan; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions; South African Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya loses an appeal against proposed rules to limit her testosterone levels; US Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee defending his handling of the Mueller Report and actress Sophie Turner and singer Joe Jonas are married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas.

2021: India is the first country to record more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day.

BIRTHDAYS: Judy Collins , folk singer, 83; Rita Coolidge, singer, 77; Joanna Lumley, actress, 76; Antony Worrall Thompson, chef, 71; Glen Ballard, songwriter, 69; Ray Parker Jr. singer-songwriter, 68; Tim McGraw, country singer, 55; D’arcy Wretsky-Brown, bassist (Smashing Pumpkins) 54; Bernard Butler, guitarist, (Suede) 52; Javi Garcia, football manager, 52; Wes Anderson, director/screenwriter, 52; Jodhi May, actress, 47; Jamie (James) Dornan, actor, 40.