May 9


1429 - Joan of Arc defeated the besieging English at Orleans.

1502 - Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.

1671 - Thomas "Captain" Blood stole the crown jewels from the Tower of London.

1754 - The first newspaper cartoon in America showed a divided snake "Join or die" in "The Pennsylvania Gazette."

1785 - Joseph Bramah patented the beer-pump handle.

1825 - The Chatham Theatre opened in New York City. It was the first gas-lit theater in America.

1901 - In Australia, the Duke of Cornwall and York declared the First Commonwealth Parliament open.

1904 - The Great Western Railway Number 3440 City of Truro became the first railway locomotive to exceed 100 miles per hour.

1915 - German and French forces fought the Battle of Artois.

1926 - Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole.

1930 - A starting gate was used to start a Triple Crown race for the first time.

1936 - Fascist Italy took Addis Abba and annexed Ethiopia.

1936 - The first sheet of postage stamps of more than one variety went on sale in New York City.

1940 - Vivien Leigh debuted in America on stage in "Romeo and Juliet" with Lawrence Olivier.

1941 - The German submarine U-110 was captured at sea by Britain's Royal navy.

1945 - U.S. officials announced that the midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.

1946 - King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicated and was replaced by Umberto.

1955 - West Germany joined NATO.

1958 - Richard Burton made his network television debut in the presentation of "Wuthering Heights" on CBS-TV.

1960 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale an oral birth-control pill for the first time.

1961 - Jim Gentile (Baltimore Orioles) set a major league baseball record when he hit a grand slam home run in two consecutive innings. The game was against the Minnesota Twins.

1962 - A laser beam was successfully bounced off Moon for the first time.

1974 - The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment.

1978 - The bullet-riddled body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in an automobile in the center of Rome. The Red Brigades had abducted him.

1980 - A Liberian freighter hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida. 35 motorists were killed and a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapsed.

1987 - Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers were married.

1994 - Nelson Mandela was chosen to be South Africa's first black president.

1996 - In video testimony to a courtroom in Little Rock, AR, U.S. President Clinton insisted that he had nothing to do with a $300,000 loan in the criminal case against his former Whitewater partners.

2002 - In Bethlehem, West Bank, a deal was reached that would end the 38-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity. Thirteen suspected militants were to be deported to several different countries. The standoff had begun on April 2, 2002.

2002 - In Kaspiisk, Russia, 39 people were killed and at least 130 were injurde when a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade.

2002 - In Bahrain, people were allowed to vote for representatives for the first time in nearly 30 years. Women were allowed to vote for the first time in the country's history.