[Originally known as the Music Hall, Carnegie Hall is today one of the most famous concert venues in the world; it was once said that the best way to get there was to 'practice, man, practice' but in reality the N, Q, R, and W trains stop at the 57th Street Station right outside the door. Practicing really only works for talented people...]
1260 - Kublai Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, became ruler of the Mongol Empire.
1494 - Christopher Columbus 'discovered' Jamaica (which he claimed for Spain) during his Second Voyage.
1640 - England's King Charles I dissolved the Short Parliament.
1762 - Russia and Prussia signed the Treaty of St. Petersburg, ending the Seven Years War.
1789 - France's Estates-General convened for the first time since 1614.
1809 - Mary Kies became the first woman awarded a US patent, for a technique of weaving straw with silk and thread.
1821 - Emperor Napoleon I died in exile on the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena; his last words were 'France, armée, tête d'armée, Joséphine.'
1862 - At an event commemorated today in Mexico as Cinco de Mayo, troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza halted a French invasion of their country at the Battle of Puebla.
1877 - Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Sioux surrendered to US troops in Nebraska.
1886 - The Bay View Tragedy occurred when militia fired upon a crowd of protesters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing seven.
1890 - At the opening night of Carnegie Hall, Walter Damrosch and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducted a concert.
1920 - Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested, accused of robbery and murder.
1941 - Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia returned to Addis Ababa following an exile occasioned by Italy's 1936 invasion; the event is remembered as Liberation Day.
1944 - Mahatma Gandhi was released from prison, where he (along with the leaders of the Congress Party) had been serving time for his part in the Quit India movement.
1945 - Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria was liberated by the 11th Armored Division of the US Army.
1950 - Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned King Rama IX of Thailand, having ascended to the throne in June 1946 following the mysterious death of his brother Ananda Mahidol.
1954 - Alfredo Stroessner seized power in Paraguay at the head of a junta.
1981 - Bobby Sands died in HM Prison Maze as a result of a 66-day hunger strike.
2005 - Tony Blair became the first Labour leader in British history to secure a third consecutive term for his government.
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