• On May 5, 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader who once ruled an empire that stretched across Europe, dies as a British prisoner on the remote island of Saint Helena in the southern Atlantic Ocean. His body was returned to Paris in 1840.
• On May 4, 1886, a peaceful labor protest in Haymarket Square in Chicago turns into a riot, leaving more than 100 wounded and eight police officers dead. Seven of the eight fatalities and the most of injuries were caused by shots fired by fellow officers.
• On May 2, 1933, the modern legend of Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster is born when a newspaper reports a couple’s sighting of “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface” of the lake. The “monster” became a media phenomenon, and a circus offered a huge reward for the beast’s capture.
• On April 30, 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich.
• On May 3, 1951, the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees begin hearings into the dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur by President Harry Truman. The American public liked MacArthur’s tough stance on communism, and he returned home to a hero’s welcome.
• On April 29, 1968, the musical “Hair” premieres on Broadway. The show featured a much-talked-about scene in which the cast appeared nude on the dimly lit stage. “Hair” quickly became not just a smash hit, but a cultural phenomenon.
• On May 1, 1991, Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson steals his 939th base to break Lou Brock’s career record. Henderson would steal a 1,406 bases in his major league career, almost 500 more than the next closest player.
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