On May 4:
1008 Khajeh Abdollah Ansari, The Persian Sufi was born (d. 1088).
Tomb in Herat
1256 The mendicant Order of Saint Augustine was constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV issued a papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae.
1343 The four Estonian kings were murdered at the negotiations with the Livonian Order.
1415 Religious reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance.
1471 Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeatsed a LancastrianArmy and killed Edward, Prince of Wales.
1493 Pope Alexander VI gave most of the New World to Spain via the papal bull Inter caetera.
1494 Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica.
1626 Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrived in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.
1655 Bartolomeo Cristofori, Italian maker of musical instruments, was born (d. 1731).
1675 King Charles II ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
1715 Richard Graves, English writer, was born (d. 1804).
1722 French explorer Marion du Fresne arrived in the Bay of Islands.
1776 Rhode Island became the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.
1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War: The Battle of Seringapatam: The siege of Seringapatam ended when the city was assaulted and the Tipu Sultan killed by the besieging British army, under the command of General George Harris.
1814 Emperor Napoleon I of France arrivesdat Portoferraio on the island of Elba to begin his exile.
1814 – King Ferdinand VII of Spain signed the Decrete of the 4th of May, returning Spain to absolutism.
1855 William Walker departed from San Francisco with about 60 men to conquer Nicaragua.
1859 The Cornwall Railway opened across the Royal Albert Bridge linking the counties of Devon and Cornwall.
1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ended with a Union retreat.
1869 – The Naval Battle of Hakodate took place in Japan.
1886 Haymarket Square Riot: A bomb was thrown at policemen trying to break up a labor rally in Chicago, killing eight and wounding 60.
1904 The United States began construction of the Panama Canal.
1904 Charles Stewart Rolls met Frederick Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.
1910 The Royal Canadian Navy was created.
1912 Italy occupied the Greek sland of Rhodes.
1919 May Fourth Movement: Student demonstrations in Tiananmen Squarein Beijing protesting the Treaty of Versailles, which transferred Chinese territory to Japan.
1932 Mobster Al Capone began serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
1942 World War II: The Battle of the Coral Sea began with an attack by aircraft from the United States aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on Japanese naval forces at Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands.
1945 World War II: British forces liberated Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg.
1945 – World War II: The North Germany Army surrendered to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
1946 U.S. Marines stopped a two-day riot t which killed five people at Alcatraz federal prison .
1949 The Torino football team (except for one player who did not take the trip due to an injury) was killed in a plane crash at the Superga hill at the edge of Turin, Italy.
1953 Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.
1961 American civil rights movement: The “Freedom Riders” begin a bus trip through the South.
1970 Vietnam War: Kent State shootings: the Ohio National Guard, sent to Kent State University after disturbances in the city of Kent the weekend before, opened fire killing four students and wounding nine others.
1972 The Don’t Make A Wave Committee, a fledgling environmental organisation founded in Canada in 1971, officially changed its name to “Greenpeace Foundation“.
1974 An all-female Japanese team reached the summit of Manaslu, becoming the first women to climb an 8,000-meter peak.
1979 Margaret Thatcher beccame the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1980 President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia diedin Ljubljana at the age of 87.
1982 Twenty sailors were killed when the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Sheffield was hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile during the Falklands War.
1987 United States Supreme Court building was designated a National Historic Landmark.
1988 The PEPCON disaster rocked Henderson, Nevada, as tons of space shuttle fuel detonates during a fire.
1989 Iran-Contra Affair: Former White House aide Oliver North was convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges. The convictions are, however, later overturned on appeal.
1990 Latvia proclaimed the renewal of its independence after the Soviet occupation.
1994 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo accords regarding Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
1996 José María Aznar was elected Prime Minister of Spain, ending 13 years of Socialist rule.
1998 Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski ws given four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepted a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
2000 Ken Livingstone became he first Mayor of London.
2001 – The Milwaukee Art Museum addition, the first Santiago Calatrava-designed structure in the United States, openedto the public.
2002 An EAS Airlines BAC 1-11-500 crashed in a suburb of Kano, Nigeria shortly after takeoff killing more than 148 people.
2007 Greensburg, Kansas was almost completely destroyed by a 1.7mi wide EF-5 tornado.
2007 –The Scottish National Party wonthe Scottish general election and became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia