10 Other Things That Happened on May 5
While Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's victory over Napoleon's French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, it's not the only historic thing to have happened on May 5. Here are 10 more.
1. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS LANDS IN JAMAICA
In 1494, Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Jamaica and claimed it for Spain.
2. FIRST WOMAN IS AWARDED A U.S. PATENT
In 1809, Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a U.S. patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.
3. KARL MARX IS BORN
In 1818, political philosopher Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany. In a twist of irony, it costs about $6 to visit the famed anti-capitalist's gravesite in London.
4. NAPOLEON DIES WHILE IN EXILE
In 1821, at the age of 51, Napoleon Bonaparte died while still in exile on St. Helena. At the time, his
personal physician reported on the death certificate that the emperor had died of stomach cancer,
which was consistent with reports that he suffered from abdominal pain and nausea in the last weeks of his life. But his body remained remarkably well preserved, a common side effect of arsenic poisoning, inspiring centuries of suspicion about foul play.
5. FIRST U.S. TRAIN ROBBERY TAKES PLACE
In 1865, the first U.S. train robbery took place in North Bend, Ohio. According to one newspaper report, "While everything was wild with confusion, the desperadoes entered, and with the vilest oaths, demanded the money and valuables of the passengers."
6. CARNEGIE HALL OPENS
Although the building had been in use since April, May 5, 1891 marked the official opening night of New York City's Carnegie Hall. And the storied venue kicked off things in an impressive way with a concert conducted by Walter Damrosch and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
7. CY YOUNG THROWS BASEBALL'S FIRST PERFECT GAME
In 1904, the Boston Americans' Cy Young threw the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
8. JOHN T. SCOPES VIOLATES THE BUTLER ACT
In 1925, John T. Scopes was served an arrest warrant for teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act.
9. ALAN SHEPARD BECOMES AMERICA'S FIRST SPACE TRAVELER
In 1961, Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became America's first space traveler when he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
10. THE UNABOMBER STRIKES
In 1982, a Unabomber bomb exploded in the computer science department at Vanderbilt University; secretary Janet Smith was injured.