Thursday, May 3, 2012. Here’s what occurred today in history that peaked our interest…
1802 – Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.
1901 – The Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, Florida.
1921 – West Virginia becomes the first state to legislate a broad sales tax, but does not implement it until a number of years later due to issues surrounding its enforcement.
1936 – Joe DiMaggio, familiarly referred to as Joltin’ Joe and The Yankee Clipper makes his major league debut for the New York Yankees.
1937 – Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
1942 – World War II: Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that results in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from theUnited States and Australia.
1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in Shelley v. Kraemer, that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
1951 – The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.
1952 – Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict of the United States land a plane at the North Pole.
1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time on the CBS network.
1957 – Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.
1963 – The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responds with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters. Images of the violent suppression are transmitted worldwide, bringing newfound attention to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
1973 – The 108-story Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out at 1.451 feet as the world’s tallest building.
1978 – The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (which would later become known as “spam“) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.
1987 – A crash by Bobby Allison at the Talladega Superspeedway, Alabama fencing at the start-finish line would lead NASCAR to develop restrictor plate racing the following season both at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega.
1999 – The southwestern portion of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is devastated by an F5 tornado, killing forty-five people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado is one of 66 from the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. This tornado also produced the highest wind speed ever recorded, measured at 301 +/- 20 mph (484 +/- 32 km/h).
2001 – The United States loses its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.
1903 – Bing Crosby, American singer and actor (d. 1977)
1906 – Mary Astor, Academy Award-winning American actress (d. 1987)
1921 – Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer (d. 1989)
1933 – James Brown, American singer and dancer (d. 2006)
1934 – Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons)
1940 – David Koch, American businessman, politician
1946 – Greg Gumbel, American broadcaster
1616 – William Shakespeare, English writer and actor (b. 1564) (his death is commonly accepted to be on April 23, according to the Julian calendar)
2011 – Jackie Cooper, American actor (b. 1922)