[Not that kind of panda crossing, silly!]
1453 - Mehmed II began his siege of Constantinople; the city would finally fall on May 29th.
1513 - Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon became the first European to visit Florida; although it's known that he landed on the east coast of the peninsula, owing to shoddy 16th Century record-keeping there is much dispute over exactly where.
1755 - Commodore William James captured the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on India's west coast.
1792 - The Coinage Act was passed, establishing the United States Mint. Mmm... Mint...
1801 - During the Napoleonic Wars, at the Battle of Copenhagen, Britain's Royal Navy under Lord Nelson and Admiral Sir Hyde Parker destroyed the Danish fleet.
1804 - Forty ships in a convoy of 69 led by HMS Apollo were wrecked when they ran aground off Portugal's Cape Mondego.
1863 - During the Richmond Bread Riot food shortages incited hundreds of angry women to riot, demanding the governments of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Virginia governor John Letcher to release emergency supplies.
1917 - Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to take a seat in the US Congress as a member.
1930 - When Empress Zewditu I died suddenly and mysteriously Haile Selassie was proclaimed Emperor of Ethiopia.
1956 - When As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiered on CBS-TV, they became the first two daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format; while The Edge of Night transferred to ABC in December 1975 and went off the air nine years later, As The World Turns is still airing on CBS after more than 13,000 episodes.
1962 - The first official Panda crossing was opened outside London's Waterloo station, causing chaos.
1972 - Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since the 1950s Red Scare forced him into exile in Switzerland; while in the US, he accepted an honorary Oscar for his body of work.
1975 - The CN Tower was completed, apparently.
1977 - Red Rum won the Grand National a record third time, having previously won in 1973 and 1974.
1984 - Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched aboard Soyuz T-11, making him India's first astronaut.
1991 - The first female Premier of a Canadian province took office when Rita Johnston succeeded Bill Vander Zalm, who had resigned as Premier of British Columbia in scandal. In the subsequent provincial election that October Johnston's Social Credit Party was reduced from a majority of 74 seats to third-party status with just 7; she even lost her own.*
1998 - Maurice Papon - Cabinet minister in the government of French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing - was found guilty of war crimes.
2002 - Israeli forces surrounded Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity into which armed Palestinians had retreated following a fire-fight with the Israeli Defense Forces, who'd been carrying out Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank; the ensuing siege lasted until May 10th and resulted in the deaths of 8 militants affiliated with Fatah.
2005 - Pope John Paul II died; he was succeeded by Satan.
*The first and to date only woman to be elected premier of a Canadian province remains Liberal Catherine Callbeck of Prince Edward Island, who broke that barrier in 1993; Nellie Cournoyea became Premier of the Northwest Territories under a consensus government in November 1991, a month after Johnston was consigned to political oblivion.
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