May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). There are 243 days remaining.
- 1900 - Oscar II, King of Sweden, declares support for Britain at the time of the Boer War.
- 1918 - General Motors acquires the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.
- 1920 - The first game of the Negro National League baseball is played in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 1924 - Patrick Mahon is arrested as a murder suspect at Waterloo railway station, London.
- 1932 - Comedian Jack Benny's radio show is aired for the first time.
- 1933 - The first modern sighting of the Loch Ness monster is reported.
- 1933 - Adolf Hitler bans trade unions.
- 1939 - Lou Gehrig's streak of 2130 consecutive Major League Baseball games played comes to an end. The record will stand for 56 years before Cal Ripken, Jr. breaks it.
- 1940 - The British passenger liner City of Exeter encounters the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis, but without incident.
- 1945 - World War II: Fall of Berlin - The Soviet Union announces the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoist their red flag over the Reichstag building. German forces surrender in Italy.
- 1945 - The last postage stamp utilized by Manzhouguo is issued.
- 1948 - Hour of Charm's last broadcast.
- 1952 - The first commercial jet plane, the BOAC's Comet, is put into service
- 1953 - Hussein is crowned King of Jordan.
- 1955 - Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
- 1964 - Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the USS Card while it was docked at Saigon. Viet Cong forces are suspected of placing a bomb on the ship.
- 1966 - Upper Hutt in New Zealand is proclaimed a city.
- 1969 - The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City.
- 1970 - The Ohio National Guard arrives at Kent State University in response to arson on an ROTC building.
- 1970 - Vietnam War: Joint forces continue attack into Cambodia
- 1972 - Buddy Baker became the first stock car driver to finish a 500-mile race in less than three hours en route to winning the Winston Select 500 at the Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Alabama.
- 1972 - Jaws production begins.
- 1982 - Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.
- 1982 - The Weather Channel goes on the air.
- 1984 - Sunday in the Park with George opens on Broadway.
- 1986 - The 1986 World Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada opens.
- 1988 - The last B-1 Lancer is delivered.
- 1997 - The Labour Party's Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, ending 18 years of Conservative Party rule. At 44, he is the youngest prime minister for 185 years.
- 1998 - The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the EU's monetary policy.
- 1999 - Norman J. Sirnic and Karen Sirnic are murdered in their Weimar, Texas parsonage by Angel Maturino Resendiz. The couple are his fourth and fifth victims in his fourth incident.
- 2000 - Bill Clinton announces that GPS access equivalent to the U.S. military would be available for regular citizens.
- 1601 - Athanasius Kircher, German Jesuit scholar (d. 1680)
- 1660 - Alessandro Scarlatti, Italian composer (d. 1725)
- 1729 - Empress Catherine II of Russia (d. 1796)
- 1740 - Elias Boudinot, American President of the Continental Congress (d. 1821)
- 1772 - Novalis, German writer (d. 1801)
- 1860 - Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist, Zionist leader (d. 1904)
- 1881 - Alexander Kerensky, Russian politician (d. 1970)
- 1884 - Elijah McCoy, Canadian-born inventor (d. 1929)
- 1885 - Hedda Hopper, American actress, gossip columnist (d. 1966)
- 1886 - Gottfried Benn, German author (d. 1956)
- 1887 - Vernon Castle, dancer (d. 1918)
- 1887 - Eddie Collins, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1951)
- 1890 - E. E. Smith, American science fiction writer (d. (1965)
- 1892 - Manfred von Richthofen, "The Red Baron" German World War I pilot (d. 1918)
- 1895 - Lorenz Hart, American lyricist (d. 1943)
- 1903 - Dr. Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician, Olympic Games gold medalist in rowing, author (d. 1998)
- 1907 - Pinky Lee, vaudeville performer, children's television host (d. 1993)
- 1912 - Axel Cäsar Springer, publisher (d. 1985)
- 1913 - Nigel Patrick, actor (d. 1981)
- 1915 - Doris Fisher, American singer, songwriter (d. 2003)
- 1920 - Jean-Marie Auberson, Swiss conductor (d. 2004)
- 1921 - Satyajit Ray, Indian director (d. 1992)
- 1924 - Theodore Bikel, actor, singer
- 1925 - Roscoe Lee Browne, actor
- 1929 - Link Wray, guitarist
- 1935 - King Faisal II of Iraq (d. 1958)
- 1936 - Engelbert Humperdinck, singer
- 1937 - Lorenzo Music, writer, producer (d. 2001)
- 1941 - Stephen J. Cannell, producer
- 1942 - Jacques Rogge, Belgian IOC president
- 1946 - David Suchet, actor
- 1946 - Lesley Gore, singer
- 1949 - Alan Titchmarsh, gardener, TV presenter, writer
- 1955 - Donatella Versace, fashion designer
- 1961 - Steve James, English snooker player
- 1962 - Jimmy White, English snooker player
- 1969 - Brian Lara, Trinidadian cricketer
- 1972 - The Rock, WWE professional wrestler turned actor
- 1975 - David Beckham, English footballer
- 1983 - Rose Falcon, actress, singer
- 1985 - Sarah Hughes, figure skating champion
- 373 - Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria (b. 298)
- 1230 - William de Braose, Lord of Abergavenny (b. c. 1197)
- 1519 - Leonardo da Vinci, inventor, painter (b. 1452)
- 1802 - Herman Willem Daendels, Dutch statesman (b. 1762)
- 1819 - Mary Moser, painter (b. 1744)
- 1857 - Alfred de Musset, French dramatist, poet, and novelist (b. 1810)
- 1864 - Giacomo Meyerbeer, German composer (b. 1791)
- 1957 - Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator (b. 1908)
- 1964 - Nancy Astor, first woman elected to the British Parliament (b. 1879)
- 1972 - J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI (b. 1895)
- 1980 - George Pál, director, producer (b. 1908)
- 1989 - Giuseppe Cardinal Siri, a senior cardinal (b. 1906)
- 1983 - Norm Van Brocklin, American football star
- 1990 - David Rappaport, English actor (b. 1951)
- 1995 - Michael Hordern, English actor (b. 1911)
- 1997 - John Carew Eccles, Nobel Prize winner (b. 1903)
- 1998 - Hideto "hide" Matsumoto, musician (b. 1964)
- 1999 - Oliver Reed, actor (b. 1938)
- 1999 - Norman J. and Karen Sirnic
Holidays and observances
May 1 - May 3 - April 2 - June 2 -- listing of all days
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