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Events, deaths, births, of
02 MAY
[For May 02 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: May 121700s: May 131800s: May 141900~2099: May 15]
• Leonardo da Vinci dies... • Louisiana Purchase signed... • FBI's Hoover dies... • Madrid revolts against French... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Hudson Bay Company... • Soviet flag over Berlin... • Nazi surrender... • Catherine the Great is born... • Attack on Cambodia continues... • Loch Ness Monster... • MacCarthy of MacCarthyism dies... • GM buys Chevrolet... • Conversations at Midnight burns... • Suicide Prevention Report... • 100'000'000 Harry Potter books... • German plans to invade US...
On a May 02:
2003 Before the New York stock markets open, Stemcells Inc (STEM) report that, at the 10th Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Transplantation and Repair today, Dr. Aileen J. Anderson and Dr. Brian J. Cummings, of the Reeve-Irvine Center at the University of California, Irvine, will present promising results of a pre-clinical study that examined the STEM's human neural stem cell (hCNS-SC) technology as a potential means of regenerating damaged nerve and nerve fibers in patients with spinal cord injuries. On the NASDAQ, 20 million of the 27 million STEM sharesare traded, surging from their previous $0.74 close to an intraday high of $2.25 and closing at $2.75. They had traded as low as $0.49 recently.
2002 Catholic priest Father Paul R. Shanley, 71, is arrested in the morning in San Diego on three counts of rape of a child. Gregory Ford, now 24, says that he was raped between 1983 and 1990 by Shanley, then pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Newton, Middlesex [no kidding] county, Massachusetts, in the Boston archdiocese, which Gregory, and his parents Paula and Rodney, are suing as well as Cardinal Bernard Law for negligence. The archdiocese released in April 2002 more than 800 pages of documents showing that it knew of Shanley's attendance at a 1979 meeting in Boston at which the “North American Man Boy Love Association” was apparently created. The records include Shanley's own writings on his life as a street priest (from ordination in 1960 to 1979), who frequently visited clinics for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Despite receiving dozens of allegations of abuse, the Boston archdiocese did not warn the San Bernardino Diocese when Shanley moved there in 1990. There, while serving as a pastor part-time, he also owned a hotel that catered to homosexuals in Palm Springs, California. [photo: Shanley as San Diego police volunteer (he was dismissed when his past became known) >]
2002 German plans to invade the US.      ^top^
     The weekly newspaper Die Zeit publishes details from documents which it uncovered in Germany's official military archives in Freiburg. They show that Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm had drawn up detailed plans in 1900 for an invasion of the United States centered on attacks on New York City and Boston.
      One plan foresaw a force of 100'000 soldiers transported across the Atlantic on 60 ships. Beginning in 1897, a German navy lieutenant named Eberhard von Mantey was assigned the task of preparing an invasion of the United States after German and US interests had collided in the Pacific. Wilhelm II wanted colonies and military bases around the world. The United States was increasingly getting in the Kaiser's way.Von Mantey's aim was to find a way to force the United States to sign a treaty giving Germany free reign in the Pacific and Atlantic.
      He rejected ideas of a naval blockade or a naval battle and made plans for an invasion of the northeast instead, which he considered to be the core of America and where the United States could be most effectively hit and most easily forced to sign a peace treaty. He had a low opinion of the morale and discipline of US soldiers. The plans were reworked and revised over the next decade. Chief of staff Alfred von Schlieffen, who planned Germany's invasion of France in World War One, was skeptical about the idea of attacking the United States, 3000 sea miles away. But his loyalty to the Kaiser prevented him from rejecting the war planning outright. At one point the German chief of staff had a plan to bombard New York City, thinking that the greatest panic would break out in New York over fears of a bombardment.
2001 One hundred million Harry Potter books sold.      ^top^
     100'000'000 copies of J. K. Rowling's four Harry Potter children's books have been sold since the first one in 1995, including translations into 42 languages, her agent announces. The best-selling books of all time are The Bible with an estimated [how?] 6 billion copies sold, followed by Quotations from the Works of Mao Tse-Tung (the "Little Red Book") with approximate sales of 900 million.
     Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone tells about Harry, whose parents die when he is little. He is sent to live with his aunt, uncle, and spoiled cousin Dudley, who treat him very badly. Dudley has 2 rooms, every toy you could imagine, and has the most posh clothes, while Harry sleeps in the broom closet, has no toys but Dudley's broken ones (if he's lucky), and gets Dudley's hand me down clothes. But strange things are always happening to him and his uncle and aunt get very mad when they do.
      Then one day a letter arrives for Harry, before he can open it, his uncle takes it away. More letters keep arriving, but they're always taken away before he gets to read them. Suddenly his uncle and aunt announce a surprise holiday (to get away from all the letters). While they're out on a boat, a giant, Hagrid, appears on board. He then tells Harry that, unlike what his uncle and aunt have been telling him, his parents were wizards, who, when Harry was a baby, were killed by the evil wizard Voldermort. Voldermort tried to kill Harry too but Harry survived and Voldermort lost all his powers and ran away. Hagrid adds that Harry is also a wizard and would be attending Hogwart's a wizardry school.
      Harry' adventures at the school are narrated in the sequels Harry Potter and the ... ...Chamber of Secrets, ...Prisoner of Azkaban, ...Goblet of Fire. Rawlings also wrote two short paperback “textbooks used by Harry Potter”: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander and Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp. (Quidditch is a competitive sport played at wizardry schools, central to Goblet of Fire)
2001 Cheapskate Suicide Prevention Report.       ^top^
      A National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Goals and Objectives for Action report is published as a joint effort of the US Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. The report is full of facts and recommendations for others to follow, but shines by the absence of proposals for federally funded programs. This is a cheap way for the Surgeon General, who presents the report, to take political credit if suicides decrease, and to blame others if they don't
     Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, killing 30'000 people each year. But that is less than 5% of the over 650'000 attempts. The document suggests creating a uniform way that hospitals and police can report suicide deaths and injuries.
     But health insurance plans do not adequately cover mental illnesses.
     The report has 68 goals for 2005, voluntary on the part of states, local agencies and anyone else. Among the recommendations are:
- Adding more suicide-prevention programs in schools, college, jails, and in the workplace.
- Increasing the number of states that require health insurance plans to cover mental health and substance abuse on the level that physical illnesses are covered.
- Encouraging doctors and nurses to ask at-risk patients about the presence of firearms, drugs and other lethal weapons in their homes.
- Using public service announcements like those concerning car seats, smoking, and the dangers of drinking while pregnant.
2001 Hermenergildo Rojas, 100, is arrested in Miami for pouring gasoline on his lover, Janet Ali, 38, and threatening to set her on fire, in a jealous rage.
2000 An investigating panel concludes that Texas A&M University students cut corners in construction and school officials failed to adequately supervise them before a bonfire collapse in November 1999 that killed 12 people.
1997 Tony Blair, 44, becomes Great Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.
1997 As the result of an antitrust suit, IBM and the Justice Department agree to phase out a 1956 agreement that had limited the ways IBM could sell and service mainframe and minicomputers. A federal judge ended the decree because IBM's enormous power in the computer market had "substantially diminished." In 1996, restrictions on IBM's personal computer, workstation, and computer services business had also been removed.
1997 A proposal to create seven new top-level WWW domain names is signed in Geneva. The proposal recommended the appointment of twenty-eight different registrars to dole out names, replacing Network Solutions as the single assigning agency.
1996 The US Senate passes, 97-3, an immigration bill to tighten border controls, make it tougher for illegal aliens to get US jobs and curtail legal immigrants' access to social services.
1994, Nelson Mandela claims victory in the wake of South Africa's first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledges defeat.
1991: US, British, French and Dutch forces penetrate 80 km deeper into northern Iraq.
1991 In his ninth encyclical, Pope John Paul II acknowledged the success of capitalism, but denounced the system for sometimes achieving results at the expense of the poor and of morality.
1981 Radio Shack re-releases Model III TRS-DOS 1.3, now with 2 fixes
1979 Vivekananda begins nonstop ride, cycling 187 hrs, 28 min., around Vihara Maha Devi Park, Columbia, Sri Lanka.
1974 Former US Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals.
1970 Joint forces continue attack into Cambodia       ^top^
      American and South Vietnamese forces continue the attack into Cambodia that began on 29 April. This limited "incursion" into Cambodia (as it was described by Richard Nixon) included 13 major ground operations to clear North Vietnamese sanctuaries 30 km inside the Cambodian border. Some 50'000 South Vietnamese and 30'000 US soldiers were involved, making it the largest operation of the war since Operation Junction City in 1967. The operation began on 29 April with South Vietnamese forces moving into what was known as the "Parrot's Beak," the area of Cambodia that projects into South Vietnam above the Mekong Delta.
      During the first two days of the operation, an 8000-man South Vietnamese task force, including elements of two infantry divisions plus four ranger battalions and four armored cavalry squadrons, killed 84 communist soldiers while suffering 16 dead and 157 wounded. The second stage of the campaign began on 02 May with a series of joint US-South Vietnamese operations aimed at clearing communist sanctuaries located in the densely vegetated "Fishhook" area of Cambodia (across the border from South Vietnam, 110 km from Saigon). The US 1st Cavalry Division and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, along with the South Vietnamese 3rd Airborne Brigade, killed 3190 communists in the action and captured massive amounts of war materiel, including 2000 individual and crew-served weapons, 300 trucks, and 40 tons of foodstuffs.
      By the time all US ground forces departed Cambodia on 30 June, the Allied forces had discovered and captured or destroyed 10 times more enemy supplies and equipment than they had captured inside South Vietnam during the entire previous year. Many intelligence analysts at the time believed that the Cambodian incursion dealt a stunning blow to the communists, driving main force units away from the border and damaging their morale, and in the process buying as much as a year for South Vietnam's survival.
      However, the incursion gave the antiwar movement in the United States a new rallying point. News of the operation set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations, including one at Kent State University that resulted in the deaths of four students at the hands of Army National Guard troops. Another protest at Jackson State in Mississippi resulted in the shooting of two students when police opened fire on a women's dormitory. The incursion also angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the scope of the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would thenceforth severely limit the executive power of the president.
1970 Student anti-Vietnam-war protesters at Ohio's Kent State University burn down the campus ROTC building. The National Guard takes control of the campus.
1968 Israeli television begins transmitting [making obsolete the joke: Israeli customs official examines belongings of American immigrant, spots a TV receiver, exclaims: “But we don't have television in Israel!” — “I know,” replies the American, “that's why I'm bringing my own.”].
1968 Gold reaches then-record high ($39.35 per ounce) in London
1965, the Early Bird satellite was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.
1964 An explosion of a charge assumed to have been placed by Viet Cong terrorists sinks the USNS Card at its dock in Saigon. No one was injured and the ship was eventually raised and repaired. The Card, an escort carrier being used as an aircraft and helicopter ferry, had arrived in Saigon on 30 April.
1956 The General Conference of the Methodist Church, held in Minneapolis, demanded abolishment of racial segregation in all Methodist churches.
1952 first commercial jet plane, BOAC Comet.
1946 Prisoners revolted at California's Alcatraz prison.
1945 Soviet Flag raised over the German Chancellery.       ^top^
      After four days of bitter house-to-house fighting, the first Soviet troops reached the German chancellery, the symbolic center of Nazi Germany, and raised the Soviet flag over the artillery-ravaged building. Inside the chancellery lay the charred corpses of Nazi leaders Joseph Goebbels and General Hans Krebs, and in a nearby crater, the probable remains of Adolf Hitler, who committed suicide in his bunker under the chancellery on 30 April.
      The fall of Berlin marked the triumphant end of the massive Soviet counter-offensive that was launched out of the rubble of Stalingrad two-and-a-half years before. The Red Army launched its final drive on Berlin on 16 April, and by 21 April, a few advance Soviet tank units were in the eastern suburbs of the city. Four days later, the two main Soviet armies — the First White Russian and the First Ukrainian — had converged, and the German capital was completely encircled.
      By 28 April, Berlin was defended by only 30'000 soldiers, but the Germans put up a fanatical resistance of their capital against the Russian invaders. However, they were no match for the overwhelming numbers of Soviet troops with their endless tanks, artillery, and planes, and Hitler and other key Nazi leaders were trapped. With the Soviets only a few blocks from the chancellery, these leaders committed suicide; their dreams of a thousand-year Third Reich ended in ruin after only eleven years.
      On 02 May, Berlin surrendered to the Soviets, and five days later German General Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of all German forces on all fronts, ending World War II in Europe.
1945 German troops in Italy and parts of Austria surrender to the Allies, while Berlin surrenders to Russia's Zhukov.       ^top^
      Approximately 1 million German soldiers lay down their arms as the terms of the German unconditional surrender, signed at Caserta on 29 April, come into effect. Many Germans surrender to Japanese soldiers-Japanese Americans. Among the American tank crews that entered the northern Italian town of Biella was an all-Nisei (second-generation) infantry battalion, composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii. Early that same day, Russian Marshal Georgi K. Zhukov accepts the surrender of the German capital. The Red Army takes 134'000 German soldiers prisoner.
1941 The Federal Communications Commission grants the first commercial television licenses to ten stations, authorizing the stations to start broadcasting on July 1 of the same year. The first license was issued to NBC, which began broadcasting from the Empire State Building on Channel 1.
1941 Fighting breaks out between British forces in Iraq and that country’s pro-German faction.
1968 Pompidou part pour l'Iran, alors que des étudiants révolutionnaires menés par Cohn-Bendit provoquent de nouveaux incidents à l'université de Nanterre. A son retour le 11 May, Pompidou aura a faire face à une situation très aggravée par les confrontations violentes entre étudiants et police, qui se seront étendues au Quartier Latin.
1933 Germany forbids trade unions.
1933 Loch Ness Monster allegedly seen.       ^top^
      Although accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland's Loch Ness date back 1500 years, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news on 02 May 1933. The newspaper Inverness Courier related an account of a local couple who claimed to have seen "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface." The story of the "monster" (the word chosen by the Courier editor) became a media phenomenon, with London newspapers sending correspondents to Scotland and a circus offering a £20'000 reward for capture of the beast. Loch Ness, located in the Scottish Highlands, has the largest volume of fresh water in Great Britain; the body of water reaches a depth of more than 200 meters and a length of about 37 km. Scholars of the Loch Ness Monster find a dozen references to "Nessie" in Scottish history, dating back to around A.D. 500, when local Picts carved a strange aquatic creature into standing stones near Loch Ness. The earliest written reference to a monster in Loch Ness is a 7th-century biography of Saint Columba, the Irish missionary who introduced Christianity to Scotland. In 565, according to the biographer, Columba was on his way to visit the king of the northern Picts near Inverness when he stopped at Loch Ness to confront a beast that had been killing people in the lake. Seeing a large beast about to attack another man, Columba intervened, invoking the name of God and commanding the creature to "go back with all speed." The monster retreated and never killed another man.
      In 1933, a new road was completed along Loch Ness' shore, affording drivers a clear view of the loch. After an April 1933 sighting was reported in the local paper on 02 May, interest steadily grew, especially after another couple claimed to have seen the beast on land, crossing the shore road. Several British newspapers sent reporters to Scotland, including London's Daily Mail, which hired big-game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell to capture the beast. After a few days searching the loch, Wetherell reported finding footprints of a large four-legged animal. In response, the Daily Mail carried the dramatic headline: "MONSTER OF LOCH NESS IS NOT LEGEND BUT A FACT." Scores of tourists descended on Loch Ness and sat in boats or decks chairs waiting for an appearance by the beast. Plaster casts of the footprints were sent to the British Natural History Museum, which reported that the tracks were that of a hippopotamus, specifically one hippopotamus foot, probably stuffed. The hoax temporarily deflated Loch Ness Monster mania, but stories of sightings continued.
      A famous 1934 photograph seemed to show a dinosaur-like creature with a long neck emerging out of the murky waters, leading some to speculate that "Nessie" was a solitary survivor of the long-extinct plesiosaurs. The aquatic plesiosaurs were thought to have died off with the rest of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Loch Ness was frozen solid during the recent ice ages, however, so this creature would have had to have made its way up the River Ness from the sea in the past 10'000 years. And the plesiosaurs, believed to be cold-blooded, would not long survive in the frigid waters of Loch Ness. More likely, others suggested, it was an archeocyte, a primitive whale with a serpentine neck that is thought to have been extinct for 18 million years. Skeptics argued that what people were seeing in Loch Ness were "seiches" — oscillations in the water surface caused by the inflow of cold river water into the slightly warmer loch. Amateur investigators kept an almost constant vigil, and in the 1960s several British universities launched expeditions to Loch Ness, using sonar to search the deep. Nothing conclusive was found, but in each expedition the sonar operators detected large, moving underwater objects they could not explain. In 1975, Boston's Academy of Applied Science combined sonar and underwater photography in an expedition to Loch Ness. A photo resulted that, after enhancement, appeared to show the giant flipper of a plesiosaur-like creature. Further sonar expeditions in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in more tantalizing, if inconclusive, readings. Revelations in 1994 that the famous 1934 photo was a hoax hardly dampened the enthusiasm of tourists and professional and amateur investigators to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
1926 The first drawing to be faxed successfully across the Atlantic Ocean is transmitted. The fax, a sketch of Ambassador Alanson Bigelow Houghton by Augustus John, was sent from London to The New York Times offices in New York. The transmission took about an hour.
1926 US Marines land in Nicaragua to put down a revolt and to protect US interests. They would not depart until 1933.
1919 First US air passenger service starts.
1918 GM buys Chevrolet.      ^top^
      The General Motors Corporation acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware. The deal was effectively a merger engineered by William Durant. The original founder of GM, Durant had been forced out of the company by stockholders who had disapproved of Durant's increasingly reckless expansionist policies a few years earlier. Durant started Chevrolet with Swiss racer Louis Chevrolet and managed to make the company a successful competitor in the economy car market in a relatively short period of time. Still the owner of a considerable portion of GM stock, Durant began to purchase more stock in GM as his profits from Chevrolet allowed. In a final move to regain control of the company he founded, Durant offered GM stockholders five shares of Chevrolet stock for every one share of GM stock. Though GM stock prices were exorbitantly high, the market interest in Chevrolet made the five-for-one trade irresistible to GM shareholders. With the sale, Durant regained control of GM.
1916 At his court-martial, Easter Rising leader Padraig Pearse declares to the British: "You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed." He would be executed by firing squad the next day.
1890 Territory of Oklahoma is created.
1885 Congo Free State established by King Leopold II of Belgium.
1878 US stops minting 20-cent coin
1865 US President Andrew Johnson offered $100'000 reward for the capture of fugitive Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
1863 South defeats North in Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is accidentally wounded by his own men; he would die eight days later.
1863 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues.
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues.
1813 Napoléon defeats a Russian and Prussian army at Grossgorschen
click to enlarge1808 Madrid revolts against French rule.       ^top^
      During the Peninsular War, a popular uprising against the French occupation of Spain begins in Madrid, culminating in a fierce battle fought out in the Puerta del Sol, the Madrid’s central square.
     A las dos la tarde del mismo 2 de Mayo, todo foco insurreccional había sido aniquilado y la rebelión podía considerarse totalmente sofocada. Fue entonces cuando Murat se lanzó a una represalia de terror desproporcionado cuyo fin era aterrorizar a la población para que aceptara el nuevo statu quo. Desde ese momento se comenzó a fusilar a todo el que se le encontró con armas, considerando como tales cualquier elemento cortante o punzante (a Manuela Melasaña, por ejemplo, se la ejecutó por habérsele encontrado en el bolsillo unas tijeras. La infeliz era costurera.) También y además, se ordenó incendiar o volar con pólvora numerosos edificios, so pretexto de que desde ellos se había hecho fuego en algún momento contra los franceses. Por uno u otro motivo, pues, numerosos madrileños fueron sacrificados entre el 02 y el 05 Mayo de 1808.
      The Spanish rebels were defeated, and during the night the French army under Joachim Murat shot hundreds of citizens along the Prado promenade in reprisal. The gruesome events of the day were depicted by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya in two well-known pictures: [El Tercero de Mayo de 1808] and [El Dos de Mayo de 1808 en Madrid o La lucha de los mamelucos en la Puerta del Sol >]
      On 16 February 1808, under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the French army occupying Portugal, French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte had invaded Spain. Over the next few weeks, the invading French forces captured Pamplona and Barcelona, and on 23 March, four days after a palace coup deposed King Charles IV of Spain, they entered Madrid under Joachim Murat.
      Charles and the new Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, were subsequently called to Bayonne, France, by Napoléon , and, in early May, were forced to abdicate in favor of Napoléon 's brother, Joseph. On 15 June Joseph Napoléon was proclaimed king of Spain, leading to a general anti-French revolt that spread from Madrid across the Iberian Peninsula.
      In August, a British expeditionary force under Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, landed on the Portuguese coast and by mid 1809 it had driven the French out of the country. Thus began a long series of seesaw campaigns between the French and British in Spain, where the British were aided by small bands of Spanish irregulars known as guerillas.
      Finally, in June of 1813, allied forces under Wellesley routed the French forces of Joseph Bonaparte and Marshal Jourdan at Vitoria, Spain. By October, the Iberian Peninsula was liberated, and Wellesley launched an invasion of France. The allies had penetrated France as far as Toulouse when news of Napoléon’s abdication reached them in April of 1814, ending the Peninsular War.
     Les habitants de Madrid se soulèvent contre l'occupant français. Deux semaines plus tôt, un coup d'Etat avait chassé le Premier ministre Godoy, amant de la reine d'Espagne. Cet intrigant avait entraîné son pays dans une alliance avec la France révolutionnaire, contre l'Angleterre. Il s'en était suivi la ruine du pays, la perte de la flotte et des colonies d'Amérique, enfin l'occupation par l'armée de Napoléon 1er. Sitôt Godoy évincé, le roi Charles IV de Bourbon abdique en faveur de son fils Ferdinand. C'est compter sans Napoléon 1er, qui a l'idée d'offrir le trône d'Espagne à son frère Joseph.
      Le maréchal Murat, qui représente à Madrid l'empereur des Français, convoque l'ancien et le nouveau roi à Bayonne pour leur signifier leur déchéance. La foule madrilène, alertée, s'en prend aux troupes de Murat. Ce dernier réagit avec une extrême brutalité. La répression est impitoyable ainsi qu'en témoigne le peintre Goya dans un tableau d'un stupéfiant réalisme («Dos de Mayo»).
      Mais les exécutions sommaires, les pillages et les viols par l'armée française n'empêchent pas la révolte de s'étendre à tout le pays à l'appel du clergé, de la noblesse et des libéraux. Plusieurs armées françaises sont anéanties du fait de cette «guerre de l'indépendance» d'un genre inconnu jusqu'alors. On invente l'expression «guerilla» (en espagnol, petite guerre) pour qualifier les attaques surprises des combattants de l'ombre qui ne laissent aucune chance aux groupes de soldats isolés. Les Anglais en profitent pour débarquer en Espagne un corps expéditionnaire sous la conduite du général Arthur Wellesley, futur duc de Wellington (celui-là même qui vaincra Napoléon à Waterloo). Par leur détermination, les Espagnols sont à l'origine du premier revers grave infligé à Napoléon 1er et aux héritiers de la Révolution française.
1803 That Land Grab in Louisiana, actually signed.       ^top^
      During the early moments of the nineteenth century, the United States government wheeled and dealed its way into what is generally regarded as the "greatest land bargain" in the nation's history, the Louisiana Purchase.
      The deal, which was dated 30 April 1803, though it was in fact signed on 02 May, had been in the works since the spring of 1802. It was then that President Thomas Jefferson had learned of Spain's decision to quietly transfer Spanish Louisiana to the French; fearful of the strategic and commercial implications of the Spanish swap, Jefferson ordered Robert Livingston, the US minister in Paris, to broker a deal with the French either for a slice of land on the lower Mississippi or a "guarantee" of unmolested transport for US ships.
      Negotiations dragged on for months, but took a crucial turn when Spanish and US trade relations collapsed in the fall of 1802. With Spain now barring American merchant ships from transferring goods at the port in New Orleans, Jefferson set his sights on purchasing a far larger chunk of land. In early 1803, James Monroe headed to Paris to broker Jefferson's deal. With France teetering on the brink of war with Great Britain, and mindful not only of the fiscal repercussions of such a conflict, but of the possibility of a renewed US-English alliance, Napoléon's negotiators acceded to a deal to sell the whole of Louisiana.
      All told, the Louisiana Purchase cost the US $15 million: $11.25 million was earmarked for the land deal, while the remaining $3.75 million covered France's outstanding debts to America. Thus, for the prime price of 5 cents a hectare, the United States bought 2'145'000 square kilometers of land, which effectively doubled the size of the young nation
1798 Black General Toussaint L’Ouverture forces British troops to agree to evacuate the port of Santo Domingo.
1789 En France, les milles députés aux Etats Généraux (qui vont s'ouvrir le 5 mai), des trois ordres, sont reçus à Versailles par le Roi Louis XV
1780 William Herschel discovers first binary star, Xi Ursae Majoris
1776 France and Spain agree to donate arms to the American rebels fighting the British.
1668 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, ends War of Devolution
1507 Two years after entering the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt, future German reformer Martin Luther, 23, is ordained a priest. (Luther remained in the order until 1521, when he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.)
Deaths which occurred on a May 02:
2003 James Miller, 43, British freelance cameramen, after being shot in the neck by Israeli troops late in the night, as he was filming Israeli armored bulldozers razing Palestinian houses near the Egyptian border in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza Strip. The Israelis claim that they were firing back at the source of an anti-tank missile that had been fired at them, and that “a cameraman who knowingly enters a combat zone, especially at night, endangers himself.” But Abdel-Rahman Abdullah, a freelance Palestinian journalist who was with Miller, tells Reuters that there had been no firing at the Israelis and: “We got close to the area and filmed, but we couldn't leave because a tank was around 100 meters from where we stood. ... We even called out to the Israeli troops in their armored vehicles and could hear them talking inside” and that, in the camera lights, “we were very visible to the troops, with a white flag and ‘TV’ markings on our vests, but still the troops opened fire, hitting James Miller.” Miller was making a documentary on how Palestinian children are affected by violence.
2003 Daniel Bondeson, 53, after shooting himself in his home in New Sweden, Maine. He was a member of the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church, in which, on 27 April 2003, arsenic-laced coffee poisoned 16 members, one of which, Walter Reid Morrill, 78, died of it on 28 April 2003.
2003 Mohammed Dib, Algerian novelist and poet born on 21 July 1920. He wrote in French and is best known for his novel trilogy about rural Algeria in the late 1930s: La Grande Maison (1952), L'Incendie (1954), Le Métier à Tisser (1957).
2003 The Old Man of the Mountain, approximately 6000 years old, as his 12-meter-high face crumbles on Mount Cannon, in Franconia State Park, New Hampshire, shrouded by clouds throughout this day, so that his demise is only discovered the next morning [below, right]. Created by glaciers, the profile [below, left] became a symbol of New Hampshire. It appears on the state quarter [below, center], license plates, state road signs, the logo of an internet company, and countless souvenirs and tourist brochures. Millions of tourists have traveled through Franconia Notch to view the profile, 400 meters above Interstate 93 about 100 km north of Concord. The state had used cables and epoxy to try for years to delay the inevitable collapse of the rock profile due to erosion and the natural freeze-and-thaw cycle.
Old Man on 02 Oct 2001
Old Man gone. 03 May 2003
^ 2002 William Tutte, 84, English Canadian mathematician and code-breaker.
      He dies of congestive heart failure complicated by cancer of the spleen. A chemistry graduate student at Cambridge, England, in 1941, Tutte was sent to the secret Bletchley Park code-breaking operation working on the code produced by the German Enigma encrypting machine.
      A German radio operator had sent the same message twice, with only a few changes. Examining it for four months, Tutte saw patterns from which he deduced that the machine must have a wheel of 41 sprockets connected to a second wheel of 31 sprockets. Together with other code-breakers, he figured out the structure of all 12 wheels of the encoding machine, without ever seeing the original German device.
     After the war Tutte returned to Cambridge and switched to mathematics. He and several friends tackled the unsolved problem of dividing a square into smaller squares no two were the same size. They showed that it is possible, and that the problem was equivalent to calculating the electrical resistance in a network of circuits.
     Tutte received his doctorate in 1948. His thesis united combinatorics with algebra into a new field of study called matroid theory.
     For three decades Tutte was the leading mathematician in combinatorics. One practical reason for the interest in combinatorics is the graph theory, in which graphs can serve as abstract models for many different kinds of relations among sets of objects. With the development of computer technology, graph theory has found uses in chemistry, physics, demographics, economics and other fields. An example of graph theory is the four-color map problem. When mathematicians definitively proved in the 1970's that four colors are enough for any map to avoid two touching colors, they used methods pioneered by Tutte and another mathematician, Hassler Whitney [23 March 1907 – 10 May 1989].
2002 Some 130 persons as some 1000 FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) guerrillas attack some 500 AUC (Autodefensa Unida de Colombia) paramilitaries in Vigia del Fuerte and Bojaya, Choco province, and civilians are caught in between, including many who had sought refuge in the church of Vigia del Fuerte, hit by FARC mortar fire. More than a third of the dead are children. The Colombian army does not come to the aid of the villagers, in fear of FARC ambushes.
2002:: 26 Maoist guerrillas killed in a gunbattle with the Nepalese army in Lisne, Rolpa district, 300 km west of Katmandu.
2002:: 32 Maoist guerillas killed by Nepalese security forces in the village Bhagal, 500 km west of Katmandu.
2002 Fifteen farmers killed by lightning while working in rice fields in pouring rain near the towns of Brahmmanbaria, Sylhet and Sunamganj, 180 km northeast of Dhaka, Bangladesh capital. Tropical storms since 27 March 2002, have killed at least 44 others and left more than 5000 homeless in Bangladesh.
2000 Christina Marie Riggs, former nurse, executed by injection in Arkansas for smothering her two young children.
1990 David Rappaport, 38, 129-cm actor (wizard), shoots himself
1982 Solomon Bochner, Jewish Polish US mathematician, born on 20 August 1899.
click to ZOOM IN1972 John Edgar Hoover, 77.       ^top^
       End of an Era at the FBI — After nearly five decades as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), J. Edgar Hoover dies, leaving the powerful government agency without the administrator largely responsible for its existence and shape.
[click on image for 24 Jul 1967 photo of J. Edgar Hoover >]
      Born on 01 January 1895, educated as a lawyer and a librarian, Hoover joined the Department of Justice in 1917, and within two years had become special assistant to Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Deeply anti-radical in his ideology, Hoover came to the forefront of federal law enforcement during the so-called "Red Scare" of 1919 to 1920. The former librarian set up a card index system listing every radical leader, organization, and publication in the United States, and by 1921 had amassed some 450'000 files.
      More than ten thousand suspected Communists were also arrested during this period, although the vast majority of these people were briefly questioned and then released. Although the attorney general was criticized for abusing his authority during the so-called "Palmer Raids," Hoover emerged unscathed, and on 10 May 1924, was appointed acting director of the Bureau of Investigation, a branch of the Justice Department. During the 1920s, with Congress’ approval, Director Hoover drastically restructured and expanded the Bureau of Investigation. He built the corruption-ridden agency into an efficient crime-fighting machine, establishing a centralized fingerprint file, a crime laboratory, and a training school for agents.
      In the 1930s, the Bureau of Investigation launched a dramatic battle against the epidemic of organized crime brought on by Prohibition. Notorious gangsters such as George "Machine Gun" Kelly and John Dillinger met their ends looking down the barrels of Bureau-issued guns, while others, like Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, the elusive head of Murder, Incorporated, were successfully investigated and prosecuted by Hoover’s "G-men." Hoover, who had a keen eye for public relations, participated himself in a number of these widely publicized arrests, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations, as it was known after 1935, was highly regarded by Congress and the American public.
      With the outbreak of World War II, Hoover revived his anti-espionage techniques developed during the first Red Scare, and domestic wiretaps and other electronic surveillance expanded dramatically. After World War II, Hoover focused on the threat of radical, especially Communist, subversion. The FBI compiled files on millions of US citizens suspected of dissident activity, and Hoover worked closely with the House Un-American Activities Committee and Senator Joseph McCarthy, the infamous architect of the US’s second Red Scare.
      In 1956, Hoover initiated COINTELPRO, a secret counter-intelligence program that initially targeted the US Communist Party but later was expanded to infiltrate and disrupt any radical organization in America. During the 1960s, the immense resources of COINTELPRO were used against dangerous groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, but also against African-American civil rights organizations and liberal anti-war organizations.
      One figure especially targeted was civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who endured systematic harassment from the FBI, including the leaking of sensitive information gathered by the FBI to his enemies in Memphis, Tennessee, and elsewhere.
      By the time Hoover entered service under his eighth president in 1969, the media, the public, and Congress had uncovered evidence of the FBI’s abuses of authority. For the first time in his bureaucratic career, Hoover endured widespread criticism and Congress responded by passing laws requiring Senate confirmation of future FBI directors and limiting their tenure to ten years.
      On 02 May 1972, with the Watergate affair about to explode on to the national stage, J. Edgar Hoover dies of heart disease. The Watergate affair revealed that the FBI had illegally protected President Richard Nixon from investigation, and the agency was thoroughly investigated by Congress. Revelations of the FBI’s abuses of power and unconstitutional surveillance motivated Congress and the media to become more vigilant in future monitoring the FBI. One of the books exposing abuses by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI is The F.B.I. Nobody Knows (1964) by Fred J. Cook [1911 – 04 Apr 2003]
1960 Caryl Chessman, after 12 years of appeals, convicted sex offender and best-selling author, executed at San Quentin Prison in California.
1957 Joseph McCarthy, 48, of alcoholism, Red Scare demagogue US senator.       ^top^
      At Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) succumbs to illness exacerbated by alcoholism. McCarthy had been a key figure in the anticommunist hysteria popularly known as the "Red Scare" that engulfed the United States in the years following World War II. McCarthy was born in a small town in Wisconsin on 14 November 1908. In 1942, he joined the Marines and served in the Pacific during World War II. He returned home in 1944 and decided to start a career in politics. In that year, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the US Senate. Undaunted, in 1946 McCarthy challenged the popular Senator Robert LaFollette in the Republican primary. Utilizing the aggressive attacking style that would later make him famous, McCarthy upset the over-confident LaFollette and won the general election to become. on 03 January 1947, the junior senator from Wisconsin.
      McCarthy's early career in the Senate was unremarkable, to say the least. In 1950, desperate for an issue he could use to bolster his chances for re-election, McCarthy took some of his advisors' suggestion and turned to the issue of Communists in the United States. Although he knew few details about the subject, McCarthy quickly embraced the issue. He used his position as chairman of the Committee on Government Operations and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to launch investigations charging of that the US government was infiltrated by Communists.
      In February 1950 he stunned an audience with the declaration that there were over 200 "known Communists" in the Department of State. Over the next four years, McCarthy became the most famous (and feared) "Red-hunter" in the United States. Combining a flair for the dramatic with a penchant for wild and reckless charges, McCarthy was soon ruining careers, cowing opponents into silence, and titillating the US public with his accusations of Communism.
      In all of the hysteria, however, few noticed that McCarthy never uncovered a single Communist, in or out of the US government. In 1954, with his political fortunes beginning to ebb, McCarthy seriously overreached himself when he charged that the US Army was "soft on Communists." In the famous televised Army-McCarthy hearings of that year, the US public got a first-hand view of McCarthy's bullying and recklessness. The hearings destroyed McCarthy's credibility and he was censured by the Senate on 02 December 1954, for behavior that was “contrary to senatorial traditions”.
Though he continued to hold office, this effectively ended his power in the Senate. During the next few years, the senator turned increasingly to alcohol to relieve his frustrations. In 1957, he was hospitalized, suffering from numerous ailments all exacerbated by cirrhosis of the liver. He died in Bethesda, Maryland, and was buried in his home state of Wisconsin.
      After the statutory 50 years of secrecy, the US Senate releases, on 05 May 2003, the 5000 pages of executive session transcripts of the 161 hearings, with over 500 witnesses, during the 83rd Congress (1953-1954), chaired by Senator McCarthy, posting them as S. Prt. 107-84 -- Executive Sessions of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations (McCarthy Hearings 1953-54): Volume 1   TEXT 5.1M   PDF 2.4M —Volume 2   TEXT 2.3M   PDF 2.2M — Volume 3   TEXT 2.4M   PDF 2.2M — Volume 4   TEXT 2.3M   PDF 2.2M — Volume 5   TEXT 1.5M   PDF 1.5M
     During his two years as chairman, Senator McCarthy conducted headline-grabbing inquiries into allegations of Communist subversion and espionage in the U.S. government and defense industries. He held hearings on possible Communist infiltration of the Department of State, the Voice of America, the U.S. Information Libraries, the Government Printing Office, and the Army Signal Corps. His clash with the army culminated in the nationally televised Army-McCarthy hearings. Senator McCarthy’s repeated badgering of witnesses, exaggerated claims, and disregard of due process eventually led to his December 1954 censure for conduct unbecoming a senator.
      Executive sessions were held prior to the public hearings. Although many of the witnesses later testified in public sessions, some appeared only in the closed sessions. The set contains testimony by such prominent witnesses as Aaron Copeland, novelist Howard Fast, Dashiell Hammett, Langston Hughes, artist Rockwell Kent, and journalist James Reston. Other witnesses were government employees, labor organizers, and army officers.
      As the transcripts reveal, Senator McCarthy was often the only senator present at the executive session hearings. Interrogations were largely conducted by McCarthy’s chief counsel, Roy Cohn, and by the subcommittee’s unpaid “chief consultant,” G. David Schine. Interrogators probed the witnesses on their beliefs, families, and past associations. Some witnesses cooperated and some refused to testify, generally citing the Fifth Amendment. Senator McCarthy frequently threatened witnesses with prosecution for contempt, but all cases were either thrown out of court or overturned on appeal. No one who appeared before McCarthy’s subcommittee was imprisoned for anything related to their testimony. However, many lost their jobs for declining to answer the subcommittee’s questions.
      Following these hearings, the Supreme Court considerably strengthened protection for the rights of witnesses appearing before congressional committees. The Senate and the Permanent Subcommittee also revised the rules of inquiry to prevent a continuation of the abuses evident during Senator McCarthy’s tenure.
1936 Manuscript of Conversations at Midnight burns.       ^top^
      Edna St. Vincent Millay's work in progress, Conversations at Midnight, is burned in a hotel fire on Sanibel Island, Florida,. She recreated the work, which was published in 1937. Millay had been a successful poet for more than a decade when the manuscript burned. One of three daughters of a divorced nurse, Millay learned independence and self-reliance early and infused those qualities into her poetry. She began publishing poetry in high school. In 1912, the year she turned 20, her poem "Renascance" appeared in a literary review and drew the attention of a benefactor who made it possible for Millay to attend Vassar. The year she graduated, in 1917, her first volume of poetry, Renascence and Other Poems, appeared. Millay moved to New York City, where she lived a hectic, glamorous life as a writer and actress in Greenwich Village. One of the first women to write openly and without shame about her lovers, Millay had numerous affairs. In 1920, her famous poem "First Fig" set the tone for the 1920s, with its resounding lines, "My candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night." Millay's fast-paced life took a toll. Exhausted, she traveled to Europe and from 1921 to 1923 took a long rest. Meanwhile, she married Dutch importer Jan Boissevan, who gave up his business to devote himself to Millay. The couple moved to a farm in upstate New York, where Millay continued to write verse and plays. That year, she published The Harp Weaver and Other Poems, for which she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. A passionate proponent of civil liberties, she was arrested and jailed for supporting Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, anarchists condemned to death for robbery and murder. In the 1930s, she wrote anti-totalitarian poetry for newspapers, as well as radio plays and speeches. She suffered a nervous breakdown in 1944 and endured two years of writer's block afterward. She broke down again after her husband's death, in 1949, and she died of a heart attack a year later.
1919 Evelyn Pickering De Morgan, English Pre-Raphaelite painter born on 30 August 1855 — MORE ON DE MORGAN AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1894 Stanislaw Polian Wolski, Polish artist born on 08 April 1859.
1887 Anton Doll, German artist born on 03 Mar 1826.
1886 Jérome Thompson, US artist born on 30 January 1814.
click for picture by Hogarth^ 1821 Hester Lynch Pozzi, also called (1763-1784) Harriet Lynch Thrale, British writer and friend of Samuel Johnson.
      She was born Hester Lynch Salusbury on 16 January 1741 (she mistakenly celebrated her birthday on 27 January) into a Welsh land-owning family. In 1758 she posed for The Lady's Last Stake (625x732pix, 47kb) by Hogarth [10 Nov 1697 – 26 oct 1764]. [< click on image]
Hester Thrale by Reynolds      She married on 11 October 1763 a wealthy brewer and politician named Henry Thrale (Member of Parliament 23 Dec 1765 – 13 Sep 1780) and bore him 12 children. In January 1765 Samuel Johnson [18 Sep 1709 – 13 Dec 1784] was brought to dinner, and the next year, following a severe illness, Johnson spent most of the summer in the country with the Thrales. Gradually, he became part of the family circle, living about half the time in their homes. A succession of distinguished visitors came there to see Johnson and socialize with the Thrales. Sir Joshua Reynolds painted the portraits of both Mr. and Mrs. Thrale.
      On 04 April 1781 Henry Thrale died, and his wife was left a wealthy widow. To everyone's dismay, she fell in love with her daughter's music master, Gabriel Mario Piozzi, an Italian singer and composer, married him in 1784, and set off for Italy on a honeymoon. Dr. Johnson openly disapproved. The resulting estrangement saddened his last months of life.
      When news reached her of Johnson's death, she hastily compiled and sent back to England copy for Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D., during the last Twenty Years of his Life (1786), which thrust her into open rivalry with James Boswell [29 Oct 1740 – 19 May 1795]. The breach was further widened when, after her return to England in 1787, she brought out a two-volume edition of Letters to and from the late Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1788). Although less accurate in some details than Boswell's, her accounts show other aspects of Johnson's character, especially the more human and affectionate side of his nature.
      When many old friends remained aloof, Mrs. Piozzi drew around her a new artistic circle, including the actress Sarah Siddons. Her pen remained active, and thousands of her entertaining, gossipy letters have survived. She retained to the end her unflagging vivacity and zest for life.
Hester Thrale Piozzi writings.
1819 Mrs. Mary Lloyd Moser, British painter born on 27 October 1744.
1794 (13 floréal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:       ^top^
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
PETRA Laurent, 55 ans, ex curé de la commune de Levemont (Loire), y demeurant, natif de Fère en Tardenois (Aisne), comme convaincu d'avoir excité des troubles dans la commune de Levemont, en prêchant le fanatisme.
CARBILLET Denys, 41 ans, né à Langres, menuisier du ci-devant comte d'Artois, lieutenant du ci-devant bataillon dit St Lazare, domicilié à Paris.
A Arras:
BOULONGNE Alexis, 67 ans, né à Wagnonlieu, cultivateur, guillotiné.
LALLEMAND Joseph, 39 ans, né et domicilié à Arras, écrivain, guillotiné.
DEFOSSE Pierre Joseph, 39 ans, né à Audenarde, demeurant à Bapaume.
OLIVIER Antoine François, 30 ans, né à Fleury, demeurant à Duisans.
PICHON Charles, 31 ans, né à Lens.
PILLAIN Louis Antoine Florent, 60 ans, né à Arras, rentier.
PRINCE Etienne (dit Bourguignon, 59 ans, confiseur, né à Bar sur Seine.
VAILLANT Charles Guislain, 29 ans, déserteur, né à Boiry St Martin.
HIVON Joseph, domicilié à Latour-Landry (Mayenne et Loire), par la commission militaire séante à Nantes, comme brigand de la Vendée.
BESLAER François Maximilien, ex marquis de la Wastine, environ 75 ans, par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Cambray.
CAUDY Joseph, (dit Joli), domicilié au Boulon (Pyrénées Occidentales), par le tribunal militaire du 1er arrondissement de l’Armée des Pyrénées Occidentales.
1759 Christophe Huet, French painter born on 22 June 1700 (or in 1694?). — more
1714 Gennaro Mascacotta Greco, Napolitan painter born in 1663. — more
1519 Leonardo da Vinci, Italian sculptor / scientist / visionary / mathematician / painter, born on 15 April 1452. — Writings by LEONARDO DA VINCI ONLINE: Aforismi, novelle e profezie (zipped) — MORE ON DA VINCI AT ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1430 (buried) Giovanni Francesco Toscani (or Tossicani), Italian painter born in 1372. — more with links to images.

Births which occurred on a May 02:
1949 James Byrd Jr., born with what would cause him, on 7 June 1998, to be chained to a pickup truck and dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas: his "black" skin.
1945 Bianca Jagger, human rights activist.
1936 Peter and the Wolf, a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, has its world premiere in Moscow.
1935 Faisal II King of Iraq.
1921 Satyajit Ray, Bengali motion-picture director, writer, and illustrator, who died on 23 April 1992.
1912 Axel Springer, of Alex Springer Verlag AG publishing house in Germany. He died on 22 September 1985.
1904 Maurice Estève, French painter, draftsman and lithographer. — more
1903 Benjamin Spock, pediatrician / activist / author ( The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care). He died on 15 March 1998.
1902 Kazimierz Zarankiewicz, Polish mathematician who died on 05 September 1959. He made contributions to topology, graph theory, complex functions, and number theory
1892 Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen [the Red Baron], German WW I ace. He died shot down on 21 April 1918.
1879 James F. Byrnes, born on 02 May 1879, US politician, US representative (1911-1925) and senator (1931-1941) from South Carolina, Supreme Court justice, Director of Economic Stabilization, Director of the Office of War Mobilization, Secretary of State (1945-1947), Governor of South Carolina (1951-1955). He died on 09 April 1972.
1860 Theodor Herzl, Hungarian journalist; first president of the World Zionist Organization. He died on 03 July 1904.
1860 D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, Scotttish scholar of Greek, naturalist, and mathematician (the first biomathematician), who died on 21 June 1948.
1853 Antonio Maura, Spanish statesman; prime minister five times between 1903 and 1922 He died on 13 December 1925.
1840 Theodor Herzl founded Zionist movement
1837 Henry Martyn Robert (US Army General; author: Robert's Rules of Order, the standard for parliamentary procedure). He was adjourned sine die on 11 May 1923, but his Rules live on.
1810 Leo XIII, 257th pope (1878-1903)
1806 (1808?): Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre, Swiss-born French Academic painter specialized in portraits, who died in 1874. — MORE ON GLEYRE ART “4” MAY with links to images.
1729 (21 Apr Julian) Sophie Friederike Auguste prinzessin von Anhalt-Zerbst, future Catherine II (the Great).       ^top^
      German-born empress of Russia (1762-96). She took the name Yekaterina Alekseevna (nothing to do with her father's name) upon marrying on 21 August 1745 the heir to the throne of Russia, a German grandson (born 21 Feb 1728, 10 Feb Julian) of Peter the Great, German-loving, Russian-hating and Russian-hated, who became emperor Peter III upon the 05 Jan 1762 (25 Dec 1761 Julian) death of his aunt empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great.
      Catherine, who loved Russia and was loved in return, on 09 July (28 June Julian) 1762 led a coup (with the support of her lover at the time, Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov [17 Oct 1734 – 24 Apr 1783, Gregorian dates], and all sectors of Russian society) against her despised husband, who abdicated the next day, was arrested, and was murdered on 18 July (07 July Julian) 1762 while in the custody of Aleksey Grigoryevich Orlov [Grigory's brother, 05 Oct 1737 – 05 Jan 1808, Gregorian dates].
      Catherine II would continue what Peter the Great started in leading Russia into a full participation in the political and cultural life of Europe. With her ministers (especially Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin [24 Sep 1739 – 16 Oct 1791 Gregorian dates] who got his start in 1774 by being her lover for a couple of years, in which role his was followed by a succession of at least a dozen insignificant young gigolos — the current one at her death being Platon Zubov, while Potemkin continued as Catherine's partner in matters of state, famous for the caricatural story of the “Potemkin villages”.) she would reorganize the administration and law of the Russian Empire and extend it into Crimea and much of Poland. Yekaterina Velikaya died unexpectedly of a stroke on 17 November (06 Nov Julian) 1796.
— La future tsarine de Russie, Catherine II la Grande, nait à Stettin, dans la famille d'un prince allemand. Elle sera baptisée avec le prénom de Sophia Augusta.
— Portraits of Catherine the Great by: Antropov (before she became empress)AntropovLevitzkyJohann Baptist Lampi the Elder
1670 Hudson’s Bay Company is chartered.       ^top^
      King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company, a group of French explorers who opened the lucrative North American fur trade to London merchants. The charter conferred on them not only a trading monopoly but also effective control over the vast region surrounding Hudson Bay. Although contested by other English traders and the French in the region, the Hudson’s Bay Company was highly successful in exploiting what would become eastern Canada.
      During the nineteenth century, the company gained an advantage over the French in the area, but was also strongly criticized in Britain for its repeated failures to find a northwest passage out of Hudson Bay.
      After France’s loss of Canada at the end of the French and Indian Wars, new competition developed with the establishment of the North West Company by Montreal merchants and Scottish traders. As both companies attempted to dominate fur potentials in central and western Canada, violence sometimes erupted, and in 1821, the two companies were amalgamated under the name of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The united company ruled a vast territory extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and under the governorship of Sir George Simpson from 1821 to 1856, reached the peak of its fortunes.
      After Canada was granted dominion status in 1867, the company lost its monopoly on the fur trade, but, because it had diversified its business ventures, it remained Canada’s largest corporation through the 1920s.
1660 Alessandro Scarlatti, Palermo, Italy, composer (Tigrane). He died on 24 October 1725.

1601 Athanasius Kircher, in Thuringia, German Jesuit who died on 27 November 1680 in Rome, “the last Renaissance man” and/or “the first Postmodernist”. Amazing. — MORE ON KIRCHER.

1588 Étienne Pascal, French lawyer, government official, mathematician, who died on 24 September 1651. He discovered the curve Limaçon de Pascal, which can be used to trisect an angle; its Cartesian equation is (x² + y² - 2ax)² = b²(x² + y²), and its polar equation is r = b + 2a cos(q) [diagram >]. He was the father of Blaise Pascal [19 Jun 1623 – 19 Aug 1662].

Holidays:: Bhutan : 3rd King's Birthday / Burma : Peasants' Day / Lesotho : King's Birthday

Religious Observances RC, Luth, Ang : St Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria/doctor / Saint Boris, saint patron de Moscou. Fils du seigneur moscovite Wladimir, Boris est assassiné le 24 juillet 1015 par son frère aîné qui refuse de partager l'héritage paternel. Avant de mourir, il demande à Dieu le pardon de son meurtrier.

Thoughts for the day: “Deprive a mirror of its silver and even the Czar won`t see his face.”
(1949 US missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal:) “The man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all.”
“You can't make nothing out of something, but you can make it go somewhere else.”
"Even a liar tells a hundred truths to one lie; he has to, to make the lie good for anything."
— Henry Ward Beecher, US clergyman (1813-1887). [so much for logic puzzles about truth-tellers who never tell a lie, and liars who always do]
updated Sunday 02-May-2004 14:56 UT
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