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May 1 – this day in history

May 1-day in historyMay 1 marks the 121st day of the year (if it’s a leap year, then 122nd) in the Gregorian calendar. It is more famously marked as International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day. The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police. The police responded by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators. This day is also prominent in history for the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which recommended eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for leisure.

May 1 also is the birth date of musician Phil Smith (1959), Wayne Hancock (1965) and directors John Woo (1946) and Wes Anderson (1969), among others.

Here are some years from the time gone by when May 1 held a special significance for all times to come.

1707 – The Great Britain was formed after uniting England, Wales and Scotland.
1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.
1927 – Adolf Hitler held his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
1939 – Batman comics hit the street.
1960 – India’s Bombay state split into Gujarat and Maharashtra states.
1961 – Pulitzer Prize awarded to Harper Lee for her book, To Kill A Mockingbird.
1962 – The Sahara region witnessed the 1st French underground nuclear experiment.
1963 – 1st American (James Whittaker) conquered Mount Everest.
1979 – Elton John created history and became the first ever pop star to perform in Israel.
1999 – On Mount Everest, a group of U.S. mountain climbers discovered the body of George Mallory. 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 Mallory had reached the summit.
2009 – Same-sex marriage legalised in Sweden.


Text by Aarti Kapur Singh

Cover image source

Information source: Wikipedia

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