It happened today – this day in history – May 2

1194: Richard I gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.

1497: John Cabot’s expedition departs Bristol searching for new lands across the Atlantic.

1519: Death of Leonardo da Vinci aged 67.

1536: Anne Boleyn is arrested and taken to the Tower of London.

1660: Birth of Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti.

1670: Charles II gives a royal charter to the Hudson Bay Company.

1729: German Empress of Russia Catherine the Great is born in Prussia.

1780: William Herschel discovers the first binary star, Xi Ursae Majoris.

1859: Birth of writer Jerome K. Jerome in Walsall.

1863: While attacking Chancellorsville, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson is wounded by his own men.

1887: Composer Gioacchino Rossini’s corpse is transferred to Santa Croce, Florence. On the same day, Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film.

1890: The territory of Oklahoma is created.

1900: George Bernard Shaw’s “You Never Can Tell” premieres in London.

1906: Tsar Nicolas II of Russia dismisses his moderate Prime Minister Witte and appoints Ivan Goremykin, a conservative bureaucrat.

1929: 14-year old Eleanora Fagan (Billie Holiday) and her mother are arrested for prostitution following the raid of a brothel in Harlem.

1933: Adolf Hitler bans trade unions in Germany.

1936: Sergei Prokofiev’s musical “Peter and the Wolf” premieres in Moscow. On the same day, Emperor Haile Selassie and his family flee Abyssinia.

1945: The Battle of Berlin ends as the Soviet army takes Berlin and General Weidling surrenders.

1949: Arthur Miller wins the Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman”.

1952: The world’s first jet airliner – the De Havilland Comet 1 – sets off from London to Johannesburg on its maiden flight.

1953: 38-year old Stanley Matthews finally wins an FA Cup winners medal as Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3 at Wembley in what becomes knows as The Matthews Final. On the same day, Faisal II is installed as King of Iraq and Hussein I becomes King of Jordan.

1955: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to Tennessee Williams for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

1957: Death of communist plot Senator Joe McCarthy aged 48.

1958: Singles chart:

  1. Whole Lotta Woman – Marvin Rainwater
  2. Who’s Sorry Now – Connie Francis
  3. Swingin’ Shepherd Blues – Ted Heath and hos Music
  4. Magic Moments – Perry Como
  5. A Wonderful Time Up There – Pat Boone
  6. Tequila – The Champs
  7. Lollipop – The Chordettes
  8. Breathless – Jerry Lee Lewis
  9. Don’t – Elvis Presley
  10. Maybe Baby – The Crickets

1963: More than 600 African American school children arrested for marching against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.


1965: The Early Bird satellite goes into commercial service.

1969: About 200 students calling for educational reforms at Columbia University in the US give up their sit-in after a supreme court judge issues a warrant for their arrest. On the same day, working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles record the George Harrison song Something and The liner Queen Elizabeth II leaves Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York.

1972: Bruce Springsteen auditions for CBS Records A&R man John Hammond in New York. Hammond is so impressed that he arranges a real audition that night at the Gaslight Club for other Columbia executives. On the same day, FBI chief J Edgar Hoover dies aged 77.

1974: Former US Vice President Spiro Agnew is disbarred as a lawyer. On the same day, six Catholic civilians are killed and 18 wounded when the UVF explode a bomb at the Rose & Crown Bar in Belfast.

1975: Apple records closes down.

1980: Joy Division play their last gig with singer Ian Curtis at Birmingham University. He commits suicide shortly after.

1982: The Argentine cruiser The General Belgrano is destroyed by a British submarine in a controversial move by the Royal Navy off the disputed Falklands Islands – a thousand men are believed to be on board.

1989: A security guard alerts police after a man wearing a wig, fake moustache and false teeth walks into Zales Jewellers, California. Three squad cars arrive and police detain the man, who turns out to be Michael Jackson in disguise.

1990: South Africa and the African National Congress open talks to end apartheid.

1991: Nirvana book into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California for 16 days to record the album Nevermind with producer Butch Vig.

1992: UK duo Nirvana file a suit against the American band of the same name claiming they have been using the name since 1968. The dispute is settled out of court. On the same day, The Yugoslav Army seizes Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic.

1997: Tony Blair becomes prime minister as the Labour Party wins the general election by a landslide, leaving the Conservative Party in tatters after 18 years in power. On the same day, police in LA arrest a transsexual prostitute in a car with comedian Eddie Murphy.

1998: Japanese rock star Hideto Matsumoto is found hanged in the bathroom of his Tokyo apartment and dies in hospital a short time later at the age of 33. On the same day, footballer Justin Fashanu commits suicide.

1999: Mireya Moscoso becomes the first woman to be elected President of Panama. On the same day, actor Oliver Reed dies aged 61.

2001: A US federal jury indicts the former chairmen of the world’s two largest auction houses, Sotheby’s and Christies, on charges of overcharging customers.

2009: A rare unreleased 1965 Motown seven-inch single, one of only two in the world, of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson sells for £25,742, setting a new world record. On the same day, Bob Dylan mingles unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool.

2010: Lady Gaga – The Fame

2010: Album chart:

  1. The Defamation Of Strickland Banks – Plan B
  2. Raymond v Raymond – Usher
  3. Iron Man 2 – Original Soundtrack
  4. Glee: The Power Of Madonna – Glee Cast
  5. Fever – Bullet For My Valentine
  6. Wake Up The Nation – Paul Weller
  7. The Fame – Lady Gaga
  8. Everybody Wants To Be On TV – Scouting For Girls
  9. Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends – Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends
  10. Sunny Side Up – Paolo Nutini

2011: Terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is killed by US special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

2013: Jeff Hanneman, founding member of rock band Slayer, dies at the age of 49 from liver failure after suffering with necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite two years earlier.

2015: Floyd Mayweather Jr beats Manny Paquaio on points in 12 rounds in world welterweight unification fight. On the same day, thriller writer Ruth Rendell dies aged 85.

2016: 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City become Premier League champions. On the same day, Mark Selby beats China’s Ding Junhui, 18-14 for his second World Snooker title.

2018: Spanish Basque separatist group Eta announces it is formally disbanding after 50 years. On the same day, Iowa passes the US’s strictest abortion ban, based on a foetal heartbeat.

2020: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the Icelandic actor who played Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in Game of Thrones, sets a world deadlifting record by lifting 501kg (1,104lb).

BIRTHDAYS: Bunk Gardner (John Guarnera), musician (The Mothers of Invention), 88; Engelbert Humperdinck (Arnold Dorsey), singer, 85; Tony Asher, lyricist, 82; Bob Henrit, drummer (Argent), 75; David Suchet, actor, 75; Alan Titchmarsh, broadcaster/gardener, 72; Lou Gramm, singer (Foreigner) 71; Jo (John) Callis, musician/songwriter (The Rezillos/The Human League), 70; Christine Baranski, actress, 69; Donatella Versace, fashion designer, 66; David Rhodes, guitarist (Peter Gabriel), 65; David O’Leary, football manager, 63; Gary Megson, football manager, 62; Dr Robert (Bruce Howard), singer/songwriter (The Blow Monkeys), 60; Phil Vickery, TV chef, 60; Jimmy White, snooker player, 59; David McAlmont, singer, 54; Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), film star/wrestler, 49; David Beckham, former footballer, 46; Lily Allen (Harbour), singer-songwriter, 36; Justin Hayward-Young, singer-songwriter (The Vaccines) 34; Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, 6.