It happened today – this day in history – May 3

1621: Lord Chancellor Francis Bacon is accused of bribery.

1758: Death of Pope Benedict XIV aged 83.

1802: Washington DC is incorporated as a city.

1851: A major fire in San Francisco destroys 1500-2000 buildings.

1863: The Second Battle of Fredericksburg occurs in Virginia during the American Civil War

1903: Bing (Harry Lillis) Crosby is born in Tacoma, Washington.

1915: John McCrae writes the poem “In Flanders Fields”.

1916: Irish Nationalists Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Thomas Clarke are executed by firing squad following their involvement in the Easter Rising.

1919: Afghanistan Emir Amanoellah declares war against Britain.

1926: The TUC calls for Britain’s first ever general strike.

1937: Margaret Mitchell wins the Pulitzer Prize for “Gone With the Wind”.

1942: The Luftwaffe bombs Exeter, destroying the town centre.

1947: Japan’s post-war constitution goes into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan’s right to make war.

1951: George VI inaugurates the Festival of Britain at a service in St Paul’s Cathedral and later attends a concert at the new Royal Festival Hall.

1952: Kitty Wells records It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. Wells was considering retirement, but agreed to the session at Owen Bradley’s studio because of the $125 union scale recording payment. It became the first No.1 Billboard country hit for a solo female artist.

1965: Cambodia cuts off diplomatic relations with the US.

1968: The first heart transplant in Britain is carried out at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London. On the same day, the Jimi Hendrix Experience record the song Voodoo Chile for the Electric Ladyland album.

1969: Jimi Hendrix is arrested by police on his way to Toronto for possession of hashish and heroin. He claims the drugs were planted on him.


1972: Les Harvey, guitarist with Stone The Crows and younger brother of Alex Harvey, dies after being electrocuted on stage during a gig at Swansea University.

1986: A bomb explodes on an Air Lanka passenger jet at Colombo’s airport leaving 21 dead and 41 injured.

1987: Singles chart:

  1. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
  2. Can’t Be With You Tonight – Judy Boucher
  3. La Isla Bonita – Madonna
  4. A Boy From Nowhere – Tom Jones
  5. The Slightest Touch – Five Star
  6. Living In A Box – Living In A Box
  7. (Something Inside) So Strong – Labi Siffre
  8. April Skies – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  9. Another Step (Cloer To You) – Kim Wilde and Junior Giscombe
  10. To Be With You Again – Level 42
1987: U2 – The Joshua Tree

Album chart:

  1. Keep Your Distance – Curiosity Killed The Cat
  2. Solitude Standing – Suzanne Vega
  3. Running In The Family – Level 42
  4. The Joshua Tree – U2
  5. Raindancing – Alison Moyet
  6. Invisible Touch – Genesis
  7. Now That’s What I Call Music 9 – Various Artists
  8. Tango In The Night – Fleetwood Mac
  9. FLM – Mel and Kim
  10. True Blue – Madonna

1997: Katrina And The Waves win the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin with the song Love Shine A Light.

1999: Stephen Hendry defeats Mark Williams 18-11 to win the World Snooker Championship for a record seventh time.

2000: The London Stock Exchange and Germany’s Deutsche Boerse announce they are to merge, creating the world’s second largest stock market.

2001: The US loses its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission for the first time since it was formed in 1947.

2002: Death of former Labour minister Baroness Castle of Blackburn aged 91.

2004: The US Supreme Court rejects an appeal by bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake, formerly of Uriah Heep claiming they were entitled to money from the Ozzy Osbourne albums ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ and ‘Diary of a Madman.’ Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife and manager, said that the pair had “harassed” her family and had had their contributions removed from the albums because of their “abusive and unjust behaviour”.

2007: Four year-old Madeleine McCann disappears from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

2012: Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell narrowly avoid a potential deadly helicopter crash when their pilot becomes disoriented during a flight to their estate in Surrey in bad weather and misses some trees by just two feet.

2015: Chelsea win the Premier League.

2018: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences members vote to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. On the same day, the volcano Kilauea on Big Island, Hawaii, begins erupting forcing the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas.

2020: The Stranglers keyboards player Dave Greenfield dies aged 71 after contracting COVID-19.

2021: A subway overpass carrying a train collapses in Mexico City killing at least 24 people. On the same day, Mark Selby wins his fourth world snooker title defeating Shaun Murphy. Also, R&B singer Lloyd Price dies aged 88.

Sandi Toksvig

BIRTHDAYS: Jane Morgan (Florence Currier), singer, 99; Frankie Valli (Castelluccio), singer, 89; Mary Hopkin, singer, 73; Christopher Cross (Geppert), singer-songwriter, 72; Sandi Toksvig, broadcaster/comedian, 65; Ben Elton, writer/comedian, 64; David Ball, musician (Soft Cell) 64; Steve McClaren, football manager, 62; Ron Brydon (Jones), comedian/actor, 58; Bobby Cannavale, actor, 53; Christina Hendricks, actress, 48; Paul Banks, singer (Interpol), 45; Rebecca Hall, actress, 41; Poppy Delevingne, model/actress, 37; Michael Kiwanuka, singer/songwriter, 36; Alex Iwobi, footballer, 27.