In 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.
In 1866, three days of race-related rioting erupted in Memphis as white mobs targeted Blacks, 46 of whom were killed, along with two whites. (The violence spurred passage of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution defining American citizenship and equal protection under the law.)
In 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
In 1963, James W. Whittaker became the first American to conquer Mount Everest as he and Sherpa guide Nawang Gombu reached the summit.
In 1964, the computer programming language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was created by Dartmouth College professors John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz.
In 1971, the intercity passenger rail service Amtrak went into operation.
In 1991, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers threw his seventh no-hitter at age 44, shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0.
In 1992, on the third day of the Los Angeles riots, a visibly shaken Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, pleading, “Can we all get along?”
In 2009, Supreme Court Justice David Souter announced his retirement effective at the end of the court’s term in late June. (President Barack Obama chose federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to succeed him.)
In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II, moving his predecessor a step closer to sainthood in a Vatican Mass attended by some 1.5 million pilgrims. President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden during a US commando operation. (Because of the time difference, it was early May 2 in Pakistan, where the Al Qaeda leader met his end.)
In 2012, in a swift and secretive trip to the Afghan war zone, President Barack Obama signed an agreement vowing long-term ties with Afghanistan after America’s combat forces returned home.
In 2015, Baltimore’s top prosecutor charged six police officers with felonies ranging from assault to murder in the death of Freddie Gray, a Black man who’d suffered a spinal injury while riding in a police van. (None of the officers would be convicted.)
In 2017, erasing the threat of a disruptive government shutdown, the White House and top lawmakers endorsed a $1.1 trillion spending bill to carry the nation through September 2017. Ryan Seacrest made his debut as the new co-host of the morning chat show “Live ” with Kelly Ripa.
In 2020, US regulators allowed emergency use of remdesivir, the first drug that appeared to help some COVID-19 patients recover faster.
Last year, the final phase of ending the US military role in Afghanistan formally began; President Biden had set May 1 as the official start of the withdrawal of the remaining US and NATO troops. Utah Republicans narrowly rejected an effort to censure Senator Mitt Romney for his votes against President Donald Trump at his impeachment trials. Olympia Dukakis, a veteran stage and screen actor who won an Oscar as Cher’s mother in the romantic comedy “Moonstruck,” died at her New York home at 89. Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Kentucky Derby by a half-length over Mandaloun. (A post-race drug test was positive for a banned steroid, which would lead to the horse’s disqualification and Baffert’s suspension. Medina Spirit collapsed and died in December 2021 after a workout.)