#TodayInHistory – May 33 min read
May 3 – Some important events on this day
1374 BC 👉🏼 Solar eclipse (2m 07s) seen at Ugarit by Mesopotamian astronomers “On the day of the new moon, in the month of Hiyar, the Sun was put to shame, and went down in the daytime, with Mars in attendance.”
1791 👉🏼 Constitution of May 3 is proclaimed by the Great Sejm (Parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, becoming the 1st modern constitution in Europe
1808 👉🏼 Day depicted by Spanish painter Goya in his “The Third of May”, painted 1814.
This painting has be called one of the first modern paintings for its graphic depiction of the consequences of war.
Art Historian Kenneth Clark labelled it “the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention”.
Painted by Goya for the Spanish government it commemorates a Spanish uprising against French occupation during the Peninsula War 1807-14. French soldiers to the right ruthlessly gun down captured Spanish revolutionaries.
The painting, along with its twin, “The Second of May 1808” is housed at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
1810 👉🏼 English romantic poet Lord Byron swims the Hellespont (modern day Dardanelles).
Legendary Greek hero Leander supposedly swam the same four-mile stretch. Byron’s visits to Greece later made him a passionate supporter of Greek independence from Turkey. The 22-year-old Byron was taking an extended tour of the European continent when he decided to take his famous swim. His travels inspired his first widely read poetic work, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. After the publication of the poem’s first canto in 1809, Byron became a major British celebrity.
1830 👉🏼 1st regular steam train passenger service starts 🚂
1837 👉🏼 The University of Athens is founded 🇬🇷
1926 👉🏼 Britain’s Trade Union Congress calls for the country’s first ever general strike, begins at 1 minute to midnight in support striking coal miners, lasts 9 days.
1937 👉🏼 Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for “Gone With the Wind”
1945 👉🏼 World War II: German ship “Cap Arcona” laden with prisoners sunk by Royal Air Force in East Sea, 5,800 killed – one of largest maritime losses of life
1947 👉🏼 Japan’s post-war constitution goes into effect, granting universal suffrage, stripping Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power and outlawing Japan’s right to make war
1960 👉🏼 The Anne Frank House opens in Amsterdam, The Netherlands 🇳🇱
1978 👉🏼 First unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (“spam”) is sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the US west coast 📧
2018 👉🏼 Kilauea volcano on Big Island, Hawaii begins erupting forcing the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas 🌋
2019 👉🏼 Cyclone Fani strikes Odisha State, India and Bangladesh, killing 33 people after one of the biggest human evacuations ever – 1.2 million in India in 24 hours 🌪