May 1- 1753: Botanist Carl Linnaeus publishes his Species Plantarum, establishing a precise and workable two-word system for naming plants, forming the basis of modern plant taxonomy. 1886: Major labor unions in the US, led by the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions and the International Working People’s Association (IWPA), call for a national strike to establish the eight-hour workday. 1931: The Empire State Building opens in New York City. At 1,250 feet tall (102 stories), it would hold the title of world’s tallest building until 1972. 1939: The Batman makes his first appearance in Detective Comics #27.

May 2- 1519: Renowned painter, sculptor, and scientist Leonardo da Vinci died at the age of 67 in Amboise, France, most likely as the result of a stroke.

Self-portrait: Leonardo DiVinci, 1490-1515.

1945: The Battle of Berlin ends as Russian troops capture the city. 2008: Tropical cyclone Nargis makes landfall in Myanmar. The severe storm would claim more than 130,000 lives and leave millions homeless. 2011: Osama bin Laden, believed to have planned the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed by US Special Forces at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

May 3- 1937: American author Margaret Mitchell is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her sprawling novel Gone With the Wind. 1952: A ski-modified C-47 lands at the North Pole, and pilot Joseph Fletcher becomes the first person believed to stand on the actual geographic pole. 1978: The first unsolicited, bulk commercial email, today better known as “spam,” is sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketing manager at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Sent to around 400 people on ARPANET, the invitation to attend DEC’s open house showcasing new computer models met with generally negative feedback. Mr. Thuerk was reprimanded and told not to send it again. Once again, the rest is history…

May 4- 1904: Construction begins on the Panama Canal through the Isthmus of Panama. The Canal would prove to be a great cost- and time-saving improvement to maritime shipping and trade. 1959: The first Grammy Awards are presented. Among the initial winners were Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Henry Mancini. 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain. 2020: Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula dies at his home in Indian Creek, FL at 90 years old. He holds the all-time record for wins by a coach (347) and is the only coach to ever lead a team to an undefeated season (1972-73 Miami Dolphins 17-0).

May 5- 1260: Kublai Khan succeeds his grandfather Genghis as ruler of the Mongol Empire. 1862: Badly outnumbered Mexican troops defeat the French at the Battle of Puebla. The inspirational victory led to celebrating the day as “Cinco de Mayo.” 1904: Baseball pitcher Cy Young throws the first perfect game of Major League Baseball’s “modern era,” as the Boston Americans defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0. 1965: The first large-scale Army ground units arrive in South Vietnam.

May 6- 1626: Dutch colonist Peter Minuit organizes the “purchase” of modern-day Manhattan Island from native tribes for 60 (Dutch) guilders, often-cited as the equivalent of $24 based upon an 1846 account of the transaction. 1889: The World’s Fair opens in Paris, France. The Eiffel Tower, built for the fair and serving as its entrance arch, is open to the public for the first time. 1937: The German zeppelin Hindenburg explodes and crashes in Lakehurst, NJ, killing 35 of its 97 passengers and one person on the ground. 1954: British middle-distance runner Roger Bannister becomes the first athlete to run a mile in under four minutes, finishing in 3:59.4 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England.

May 7- 1867: Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel receives a patent in England for his explosive compound known as dynamite, the first of three patents he would receive. 1915: The RMS Lusitania is hit by a torpedo from a German submarine and sinks, drowning nearly 1,200 passengers. Among the fatalities was multi-millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, the first-class passenger who famously gave his life jacket to a woman with a baby, despite knowing that no more were available. 1945: German General Alfred Jodl, his aide Maj. Wilhelm Oxenius, and Adm. Hans-Georg von Friedeburg sign an unconditional surrender document in Reims, France, effectively ending WW II in Europe.