On this day in history, May 1
305 – Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor.
1707 – The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
1751 – The first cricket match is played in America.
1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.
1846 – The few remaining Mormons left in Nauvoo, Illinois, formally dedicate the Nauvoo Temple.
1862 – American Civil War: The Union Army completes the Capture of New Orleans.
1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.
1900 – The Scofield mine disaster kills over 200 men in Scofield, Utah in what is to date the fifth-worst mining accident in United States history.
1901 – The Pan-American Exposition opens in Buffalo, New York.
1927 – The first cooked meals on a scheduled flight are introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris.
1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto is officially named.
1931 – The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City.
1940 – The 1940 Summer Olympics are cancelled due to war.
1948 – The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established, with Kim Il-sung as leader.
1950 – Guam is organized as a United States commonwealth.
1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.
1960 – Cold War: U-2 incident – Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.
1970 – Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.
1971 – Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) takes over operation of U.S. passenger rail service.
1978 – Japan's Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, becomes the first person to reach the North Pole alone.
1989 – Disney-MGM Studios opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
1991 – Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics steals his 939th base, making him the all-time leader in this category. However, his accomplishment is overshadowed later that evening by Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers, when he pitches his seventh career no-hitter, breaking his own record.
1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.
2003 – 2003 invasion of Iraq: In what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declares that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended".
2011 – Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind behind the September 11 attacks is 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.
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