May 1, 1931 – The Empire State Building is officially opened
The Empire State Building was officially opened on May 1, 1931, forty five days ahead of its projected opening date, by United States President Herbert Hoover, who turned on the building’s lights with the ceremonial button push from Washington, D.C
May 2, 1972 – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is born
Professional wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Douglas Johnson was born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California. The grandson of professional wrestler Peter “High Chief” Fanene Maivia and son of wrestler Rocky Johnson, the young Johnson grew up watching his father perform in the ring.
May 3, 1469 – Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli is born
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political science.
May 4, 1959 – The first Grammy Awards are held
The 1st Annual Grammy Awards were held on May 4, 1959. They recognized musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958
May 5, 1818 – Communist Philosopher Karl Marx is born
Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist. Born in Trier to a middle-class family, Marx studied law and Hegelian philosophy.
May 6, 1994 – The Channel Tunnel opens, connecting Britain and France via rail
The Queen and France’s President Francois Mitterrand have formally opened the Channel Tunnel during two elaborate ceremonies in France and Britain.
May 7, 1896 – Serial killer H. H. Holmes, who confessed to 27 murders, is hanged
Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896), better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or more commonly known as H. H. Holmes, was an American serial killer of the 19th century.
May 8, 1945 – Britain and the US celebrate VE Day, marking Nazi Germany’s surrender in World War II
Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. … It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.
May 9, 1950 – L. Ron Hubbard publishes Dianetics, the book that launched the “religion” of Scientology.
On this day in 1950, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) publishes Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. With this book, Hubbard introduced a branch of self-help psychology called Dianetics, which quickly caught fire and, over time, morphed into a belief system boasting millions of subscribers.
May 10, 1994 – Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as the president of South Africa
In South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is sworn in as the first black president of South Africa. In his inaugural address, Mandela, who spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner of the South African government, declared that “the time for the healing of the wounds has come.”