May 1, 1486 - Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to fund an expedition to the West Indies.
May 1, 1707 - The Acts of Union joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain. They had shared a single monarch for a hundred years since Queen Elizabeth I died childless, and James VI of Scotland became James I of England. The Acts of Union combined their two parliaments into one.
May 1, 1776 - Major General John Thomas arrived at Quebec. He died on June 2 of smallpox.
May 1, 1776 – Jesuit-taught Dr. Adam Weishaupt established the secret society called the Order of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria).
May 1, 1778 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.
May 1, 1786 - Mozart’s first great opera, “The Marriage of Figaro,” premiered in Vienna.
May 1, 1798 – On this day, Benjamin Stoddert began his term as the first Secretary of the U.S. Navy, and his term would end on March 31, 1801. Fort Stoddert near present-day Mount Vernon, Ala. was named in his honor in 1799.
May 1, 1805 - The state of Virginia passed a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
May 1, 1813 – British allied forces, under General Henry Proctor and Chief Tecumseh, opened a bombardment of Fort Meigs at Perrysburg, Ohio, which had mustered 1,200 regulars and militia, and laid siege. The siege ended on May 9.
May 1, 1840 - The first official adhesive postage stamp was issued in Great Britain.
May 1, 1852 - On this day, the adventurer and performer Calamity Jane was born near Princeton, Missouri.
May 1, 1861 - Fort Washita in the Indian Territory was occupied by Texas militia.
May 1, 1861 - In one of his first orders as commander of the state forces of Virginia, Confederate Major General Robert E. Lee sent a colonel to take further volunteer troops to Harper’s Ferry, Va. His instructions were to take all the equipment for gun and cannon manufacturing, as well as any munitions found, and move them South. The colonel in question was one Thomas J. Jackson, to whom Lee would give many orders in the future.
May 1, 1861 - Hampton Roads and the mouth of the James River was blockaded by Federal forces.
May 1, 1861 - Maryland voted to remain with the Union.
May 1, 1862 – Pinckney D. Bowles re-enlisted as a captain at Work Town, Va. in Co. E of the 4th Alabama Infantry.
May 1, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Union Army completed its capture of New Orleans.
May 1, 1862 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal operation began in the vicinity of Athens, Mooresville, Limestone Bridge and Elk River in Alabama.
May 1, 1862 - William Tecumseh Sherman, USA, was appointed to the rank of major general.
May 1, 1862 - The official change of administration occurred today in New Orleans, La. Having been taken by the fleet of Admiral Farragut, it was turned over today to Major General Benjamin Butler for military administration. His tenure was noted by great efficiency in such things as sanitation and engineering and great difficulties in getting along with the local populace. His dealings with the women of the city would prove particularly strained. His administration was accused of confiscating non-military related items for personal gain.
May 1, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Pulaski, Tenn.; at Rapidan Station, Va.; in the Stone River Valley and another in Clark’s Hollow, West Virginia.
May 1, 1862 - The 2nd Alabama Cavalry Regiment was organized on May 1, 1862 in Montgomery, Alabama. Companies in the regiment included units raised in Montgomery, Butler, Monroe and Dallas counties. Dr. John Augustus Baldwin of Butler Co. was assistant surgeon in the regiment.
May 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Blountsville and on the east bank of the Black Warrior River, Ala. as part of the Streight raid.
May 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Chancellorsville began in Virginia. General Robert E. Lee's forces began fighting with Union troops under General Joseph Hooker. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own soldiers in this battle.
May 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Second National, or the “Stainless Banner," became the second Confederate Flag.
May 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of La Grange, Ark.; near Greensburg and at Williams’ Bridge in Louisiana, part of the Grierson raid; near Washington, La.; at Chalk Bluff, Mo.; at Rapidan Station and at South Quay Bridge in Virginia.
May 1, 1863 – The Battle of Port Gibson (or Thompson’s Hill) was fought in Mississippi.
May 1, 1863 – A Federal operation between Murfreesborough and Lizzard in Tennessee began.
May 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lee’s Creek and Pine Bluff in Arkansas; with Indians at Booth’s Run, Calif.; near Chattanooga, Tenn., at Stone Church, Ga.; at Ashton, Ashwood Landing, Berwick, Clintona and David’s Ferry in Louisiana.
May 1, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought with Indians from Ojo De Anaya in the New Mexico Territory.
May 1, 1866 – The Memphis Race Riots began. In three day’s time, 46 blacks and two whites were killed. Reports of the atrocities influenced passage of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
May 1, 1867 - Reconstruction in the South began with black voter registration.
May 1, 1870 - A hail storm of “considerable severity” swept over Monroeville on this Sunday afternoon. “The leaves were beaten from the trees, and young vegetation generally fared badly. The hail was accompanied by rain and continued for half an hour,” according to The Monroe Journal.
May 1, 1873 – Scottish-English missionary and explorer David Livingstone died at the age of 60 from malaria and internal bleeding due to dysentery in Chief Chitambo’s Village (in modern-day Zambia).
May 1, 1877 - U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.
May 1, 1879 – The Evergreen Star reported that Col. P.D. Bowles had been selected by the members of the Evergreen Base Ball Club as their President.
May 1, 1879 – The Evergreen Star reported that the telegraph and express office at Evergreen “presents a cozy and nice appearance. New railing has been placed in the office and friend Deming says he is now all right.”
May 1, 1883 - In Philadelphia, the first National League game was played since 1876.
May 1, 1884 – Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black person to play in a professional baseball game in the United States.
May 1, 1886 – Mary Ann Richards Jackson, the 89-year-old wife of Gen. Jonathan P. Jackson, formerly of Wilcox County, died at the residence of H.J. Savage at Perdue Hill. (Some sources say she died on April 30.) Born on Jan. 25, 1805 in North Carolina, she is buried in the McConnico Cemetery in Perdue Hill.
May 1-2, 1886 - The Methodist Quarterly meeting was held at Perdue Hill on this Saturday and Sunday.
May 1, 1887 - According to old, archived editions of The Wilcox Progressive Era, the newspaper traces its official roots to May 1, 1887 when it was organized by editor and president Solomon Daniel Bloch under the name The Wilcox Progress.
May 1, 1895 – A meeting of Confederate veterans was scheduled to be held at the Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. immediately after the noon adjournment of court.
May 1, 1901 - The Detroit Tigers committed 12 errors against the Chicago White Sox.
May 1, 1901 - Herb McFarland hit the first grand slam in the American League.
May 1, 1905 – The City of Monroeville, Ala. held an election for mayor and five city councilmen at the courthouse, and all the old officers were re-elected. M.R. Sowell and N.T. Stallworth were appointed election managers. “Very little interest was manifested, not more than half the qualified voters participating,” The Monroe Journal reported on May 4, 1905.
May 1, 1905 – Rural free mail delivery on Monroeville Route No. 1 began. A.J. Petty was the mail carrier.
May 1, 1906 – German SS officer and physician Horst Schumann was born in Halle an der Saale, Kingdom of Prussia.
May 1, 1906 – The Hon. Emmet O’Neal, candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, stopped over in Monroeville, Ala. for a few hours between trains on this Tuesday and met quite a number of the town’s citizens.
May 1, 1910 - Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt paid an unofficial visit to Amsterdam.
May 1-Sept. 1, 1912 – Following a “long established custom,” the stores in Evergreen, Ala. began closing each day at 6 p.m., except for Saturdays. This did not apply to drug stores and “soft drink places.”
May 1, 1915 - Author Robert Gibbons was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
May 1, 1915 – A “very interesting game of baseball” was played at Uriah on this Saturday afternoon between teams from the Local and Jeddo communities. Jeddo won, 13-2. The pitchers were Lindsey Boon for Jeddo and Lander Lomax for Local. Gus Hightower was the umpire.
May 1, 1915 – Merchants of the City of Monroeville began observing the practice of closing at 6 p.m., except on Saturdays, thus “affording proprietors and employees an opportunity for needed recreation.”
May 1, 1915 - In The Hague, Netherlands, the International Congress of Women adopted its resolutions on peace and women’s suffrage.
May 1, 1919 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.L. Marshall was in receipt of an identification train ticket which would be furnished any veteran or their families, who wished to attend the upcoming Confederate reunion in Mobile on all railroads if presented to the ticket agent. A large attendance was desired at the reunion and these tickets were to be given for the asking.
May 1, 1919 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “Lost or Strayed,” that “one iron gray mule, big knee on left hind leg with scar below it” was missing. Anyone who knew of its whereabouts was asked to notify H.I. Smith, Atmore, Route B, Ala., Box 97, or phone Howard Booker, Goodway, Ala. for a reward.
May 1, 1919 - Memorial exercises were scheduled to be held at Buena Vista on this Thursday afternoon. Dr. H.R. Moseley of Monroeville was to deliver the memorial address.
May 1, 1919 – The Monroe Journal reported that L.M. Sawyer had recently connected himself with the Monroeville Cash Store. Sawyer was at one time one of the leading merchants of Roy.
May 1, 1920 - Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a New York Yankee. It was his 50th career home run.
May 1, 1920 - The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves tied after a 26-inning game.
May 1, 1922 - Charlie Robertson of the Chicago White Sox pitched a perfect no-hit, no-run game against the Detroit Tigers. The Sox won, 3-0. Another perfect game did not come along until 46 years later.
May 1, 1923 – Novelist Joseph Heller, who is best known for his 1961 novel, “Catch-22,” was born in Brooklyn.
May 1, 1925 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and center Chuck Bednarik was born in Bethlehem, Pa. He would go on to play for Penn and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1967.
May 1, 1926 - Satchel Page of Mobile, Ala. made his pitching debut in the Negro Southern League.
May 1, 1927 - Adolf Hitler held his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
May 1, 1928 – In H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Dreams in the Witch House,” Walter Gilman, a student of mathematics from Haverhill, Mass., died in an apparent rodent attack, though some whisper the name of Brown Jenkin in relation to this tragedy.
May 1, 1930 – Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback Ollie Matson was born in Trinity, Texas. He would go on to play for the Chicago Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams, the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
May 1, 1931 - All 102 stories of the Empire State Building opened to the public, 45 days ahead of schedule and $5 million under budget, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in New York City.
May 1, 1933 – The Spring Term of Conecuh County Circuit Court was scheduled to begin in Evergreen, Ala.
May 1, 1940 – Novelist and short story writer Bobbie Ann Mason was born in Mayfield, Ky.
May 1, 1942 – The Senior Class of Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Ala. was scheduled to present its play “Goodnight Ladies” in the high school auditorium.
May 1, 1944 - George L. Hall passed away at the King Memorial Hospital in Selma on this Monday night. Hall had many friends, not only in Monroeville and Monroe County, but throughout the entire state. For about 50 years, he was a traveling salesman and covered the state of Alabama and the southern part of Tennessee. During these years, he represented the Chattanooga Medicine Co., Chamberlain Medicine Co. and the Dr. LeGear Medicine Co. In 1934, he came to Monroeville and in a short time opened a store for the sale of confections and drug sundries. Known as the “Monala,” his place of business became one of the most popular in the county and flourished under his able management until his health failed.
May 1, 1945 – During World War II, a German newsreader officially announced that Adolf Hitler had "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany." The Soviet flag was raised over the Reich Chancellery by order of Stalin.
May 1, 1945 – During World War II, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide in the Reich Garden outside the Führerbunker. Their children were also killed by having cyanide pills inserted into their mouths by their mother, Magda.
May 1, 1945 - Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escaped from the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advanced on Berlin.
May 1, 1945 - Admiral Karl Doenitz succeeded Hitler as leader of the Third Reich, one day after Hitler committed suicide.
May 1, 1947 – Magnolia Grove, the antebellum home of Admiral Richard Pearson Hobson, in Greensboro, Ala., was dedicated a “state shrine.”
May 1, 1951 - Mickey Mantle hit his first home run.
May 1, 1951 - Minnie Minoso became the first black player to play for the Chicago White Sox.
May 1, 1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public.
May 1, 1958 - President Eisenhower proclaimed Law Day to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. Three years later Congress passed a joint resolution that established May 1 as Law Day.
May 1, 1961 - Harper Lee of Monroeville, Ala. won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” her first novel. The gripping tale set in 1930s Alabama became an international bestseller and was made into a major Hollywood motion picture starring Gregory Peck.
May 1, 1961 – The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation and abolished elections.
May 1, 1962 - Bo Belinsky pitched a no-hitter in only his fourth start.
May 1, 1964 – Dothan’s Camellia Garden Club erected a marker in the small triangle-shaped wedge of grass at the intersection of North College Street and North Appletree Street, marking it as the “Smallest City Block in the World.” The club erected this monument after “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” designated this small triangle of grass as the world’s smallest city block several years before. This unusual location can also be found in the Guinness Book of World Records.
May 1, 1968 – Marine Cpl. James Robert Hammonds, 21, of Evergreen, Ala. was killed in action at Quang Tri, Vietnam. Born at Lenox on July 28, 1946, he was a member of Co. M, 3rd Marine Division at the time of his death. He graduated from boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island on Nov. 23, 1966. He was buried in the Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen.
May 1, 1969 - Leonard Tose bought the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles for $16,155,000.
May 1, 1969 - In a speech on the floor of the Senate, George Aiken (R-Vermont), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the Nixon administration to begin an immediate “orderly withdrawal” of U.S. forces from South Vietnam.
May 1, 1969 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “Centennial Issue Delayed One Week,” that the supplement to the Journal’s Centennial issue, scheduled for publication that week, had been delayed one week. Two sections of the issue were being reprinted because of errors. Subscribers were asked to expect the Centennial to be included with The Journal the following week, Thurs., May 8.
May 1, 1970 – Protests erupted in Seattle, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.
May 1, 1972 - North Vietnamese troops captured Quang Tri City, the first provincial capital taken during their ongoing offensive, effectively giving the communists control of the entire province of Quang Tri.
May 1, 1973 – Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He went on to play for Pitt, the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
May 1, 1976 - Fort Dale Academy’s baseball team shut out Sparta Academy, 10-0, on this Saturday with Joe Andrews being tagged with the loss. Jerry Peacock and Sam Wiggins had one hit each.
May 1, 1976 - Patsy Watson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Watson of Bermuda, was crowned Conecuh County’s Bicentennial Belle at the Festival at Middleton Field Airport on this Saturday. Congressman Bill Dickinson did the honors and was surprised and pleased when the lovely Patsy thanked him with a kiss.
May 1, 1978 – Japan's Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, became the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
May 1, 1986 - Bill Elliott set a stock car speed record with his Ford Thunderbird in Talladega, Ala. Elliott reached a speed of 212.229 mph.
May 1, 1987 – Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.
May 1, 1987 – Former University of Alabama running back Glen Coffee was born in Valparaisio, Fla. He would go on to play for Alabama and the San Francisco 49ers.
May 1, 1991 – Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics stole his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category. However, his accomplishment was overshadowed later that evening by Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers, when he pitched his seventh career no-hitter, breaking his own record.
May 1, 1992 - The Los Angeles Dodgers postponed three games due to riots due to the Rodney King case.
May 1, 1992 - Rickey Henderson stole his 1,000th base.
May 1, 1994 - The Monroe County Animal Shelter celebrated its grand opening on this Sunday. About 50 people visited the shelter, two of them took home new pets and one left a $200 gift. Visitors were given a tour of the facilities by shelter director Kathryn Taylor and treated to refreshments. The shelter actually began operation on Dec. 10, 1993. Since that time, according to Taylor, it had received 245 animals. Of those, 105 were adopted, 95 were euthanized and 10 were reunited with their owners.
May 1, 1998 - The Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer was given to Alabama author Albert Murray at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, Ala.
May 1, 1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory was found on Mount Everest by a group of U.S. mountain climbers, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924. Mallory had died in June of 1924 while trying to become the first person to reach the summit of Everest. At the time of the discovery it was unclear whether or not Mallory had actually reached the summit.
May 1, 2003 – As part of the “Invasion of Iraq,” in what became known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended".
May 1, 2005 - FOX aired the 350th and 351st episodes of "The Simpsons."
May 1, 2008 - The Alabama Division of the Army of Tennessee, Sons of Confederate Veterans, announced that a new camp had been founded by Conecuh sons. Confederate Constitution Camp 2143 was chartered on May 1 and was domiciled at Montgomery. Eight of 10 charter members of the new camp are either Conecuh residents or expatriates. Larry E. Darby was the commander, Daniel W. Joyner was the lieutenant commander and John E. Hooks was the adjutant. All three were graduates of Sparta Academy.
May 1, 2009 - The Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer was given to Alabama author Rick Bragg at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, Ala.
May 1, 2011 – Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks had been killed by United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Due to the time difference between the United States and Pakistan, bin Laden was actually killed on May 2.