Today's History Trivia for May 4
1961 First Freedom Riders The first of the "Freedom Riders" rides occurred when civil rights activists begin their challenge to U.S. bus segregation by riding buses as racially-mixed groups. They would be repeatedly attacked and arrested for mixing racially in segregated buses and terminals. The group, which included seven black and six white riders, rode Greyhound and Trailways buses out of Washington, DC planning on riding to New Orleans, Louisiana for a civil rights rally. On May 14 one of the buses was attacked by KKK members who slashed its tires and firebombed the bus. A short while later, another bus was attacked by Klansmen who beat the Freedom Riders. They eventually abandoned the buses after more threats of violence and the refusal of the bus drivers to drive them. They finished their journey to New Orleans via airplane.
1989 Iran-Contra Affair Lt. Col. Oliver North is convicted of aiding and abetting in the obstruction of Congress, destroying government documents, and receiving an illegal gratuity. The destruction charge was overturned in 1990.
1989 First launch of a space probe from a space shuttle The Magellan space craft is launched on its mission to map the surface of Venus.
1982 John Hinckley, Jr. The trial begins for Hinckley who shot U.S. President Ronald Reagan and James Brady in an attempt impress actress Jodie Foster. He would be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
1963 First philatelic museum The Cardinal Spellman Philatelic museum in Massachusetts, the first museum designed and built for purpose of honoring the postal system, is dedicated.
1923 Prohibition New York State repeals its Prohibition Enforcement Act.
1865 Civil War Last major Confederate Army surrenders. Source: The Civil War Day by Day
1846 First state to ban capital punishment Michigan passes a law which would go into effect the following year.
1776 American Revolution Rhode Island declares its independence from Great Britain, two months before the Continental Congress.
1702 Queen Anne's War The war begins in Europe. It soon spread to North America, lasting until 1713.
Today's Birthdays for May 4
1929 Audrey Hepburn d. 1993 (Audrey Hepburn Ruston), Belgium-born Oscar-Tony-Emmy-Grammy winning actress. Film: Roman Holiday (1953, Oscar), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), and Wait Until Dark (1967). She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1992) for her work with UNICEF.
1959 Randy Travis American country singer. Music: Always and Forever (1987).
1951 Jackie Jackson (Sigmund Esco Jackson), American singer, one of the Jackson Five.
1943 Ronnie Bond d. 1992 (Ronald James Bullis), British drummer, founding member of the Troggs. Music: Wild Thing (1966, #1).
1942 Nickolas Ashford d. 2011 American Songwriters Hall of Fame songwriter with his wife Valerie Simpson. Music: Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing (1968) and Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1970).
1940 Robin Cook American physician, author. Writings: Coma (1977), and Outbreak (1987).
1928 Maynard Ferguson d. 2006 Canadian jazz musician. Music: Conquistador (1977), which had the song Gonna Fly Now (from the movie Rocky).
1928 Hosni Mubarak Egyptian president.
1919 Heloise Bowles Cruse d. 1977 American newspaper columnist, "Hints from Heloise" (1961).
1880 Robert Moore Brinkerhoff d. 1958 American cartoonist. Creator of Little Mary Mixup (1917).
1852 Alice Liddell d. 1934 English child for whom Lewis Carroll wrote the Alice in Wonderland stories.
1827 John Hanning Speke d. 1864 English explorer. He discovered the source of the Nile (1858).
1796 Horace Mann d. 1859 American educator, "Father of Public Education" in the U.S. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans (1900).
1008 Henry I d. 1060 King of France (1031-60).
Deaths for May 4
2011 Sada Thompson b. 1927 American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Family (1976-80, Kate Lawrence).
2009 Dom DeLuise b. 1933 American actor, comedian. Film: Blazing Saddles (1974), Silent Movie (1976), Dom DeLuise: The End (1978), and History of the World, Part I (1981).
1997 Alvy Moore b. 1921 America actor. TV: Green Acres (1965-71, county agent Hank Kimble, "Good morning, Mr. Douglas! Well, it's not a good morning… but it's not a bad morning either!").
1950 William Rose Benet b. 1886 American Pulitzer-winning poet, novelist. Writings: The Dust Which is God (1941).
1891 Edward Maynard b. 1813 American dentist. He was the first to recognize dental fever (1836) and the first to use gold fillings (1838).
1600 Jean Nicot b. 1530 French ambassador to Portugal (1559-61). For whom nicotine is named. He introduced tobacco to France (1561).