May 3rd in History

Today in History

  • The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. (1791)
  • Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city (1802)
  • The Indian film industry begins with the release of the feature film Raja Harishchandra (1913)
  • The US Supreme Court bans covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities (1948)
  • The owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers agrees to move his team to Los Angeles (1957)
  • The longest-running musical of all time, The Fantasticks, opens (1960)
  • The Birmingham (Alabama) police force begins violent suppression of civil rights protests in the city; the images are televised worldwide (1963) [Photo: Protest observer (Walter Gadsden, 17) in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, on 3 May 1963, being attacked by police dogs during a civil rights protest. Credit: Bill Hudson, Associated Press]
  • The first e-mail spam is sent (1978)
  • Margaret Thatcher forms her first government as Prime Minister (1979)


  • Niccolò Machiavelli, political philosopher (1469)
  • Henri Pitot, tube inventor (1695)
  • Richard D’Oyly Carte, impressario (1844)
  • Golda Meir (גולדה מאיר), Israeli prime minister (1898)
  • Bing Crosby, singer and actor (1903)
  • Mary Astor, actress (1906)
  • Virgil Fox, organist (1912)
  • William Inge, playwright (1913)
  • Betty Comden, screenwriter (1917)
  • Pete Seeger, singer-songwriter and activist (1919)
  • John Lewis, jazz pianist and composer (1920)
  • Sugar Ray Robinson, boxer (1921)
  • James Brown, singer-songwriter (1933)
  • Frankie Valli, singer (1934)
  • Ron Popeil, television promoter (1935)
  • David Koch, businessman and political funder (1940)
  • Doug Henning, magician (1947)
  • Bill Sienkiewicz, comics illustrator (1958)
  • Christina Hendricks, actress (1975)


  • Mehmed the Conqueror, Ottoman sultan (1481)
  • Charles Fort, author (1932)
  • Christine Jorgensen, transgender pioneer (1989)
  • Jerzy Kosinski, author (1991)
  • Suzy Parker, model and actress (2003)
  • Jackie Cooper, actor (2011)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Constitution Memorial Day (Japan)
  • Constitution Day (Poland)
  • Roodmas (Gallican Rite of the Catholic Church)
  • World Press Freedom Day (international)
Informal and made-up holidays include Garden Meditation Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Lemonade Day, Lumpy Rug Day, National Special-abled Pets Day, National Two Different Colored Shoes Day, Paranormal Day, and Public Radio Day.