On this day, May 1

For the first time, an African wilns the England Footballer of the Year Award. Picture: Archives

For the first time, an African wilns the England Footballer of the Year Award. Picture: Archives

Published May 1, 2023


Russia downs spy plane; F1 champion dies leading Italian Grand Prix; no more elections, says Fidel Castro; star runner Caster Semenya loses her appeal; Elon Musk sabotages his own brand; and Russia’s take on Hitler’s heritage.

1489 Christopher Columbus proposes a plan, in an audience with Spanish monarch Isabella I, to search for a western route to India. Full support is granted 3 years later.

1840 The “Penny Black”, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp is issued by Britain.

1854 Amsterdam begins transferring drinking water out of the dunes (fresh rainwater filters through the sandy dunes and floats on top of the salt water from where it can be pumped up, purified, and used as fresh drinking water).

1940 One hundred and forty Palestinian Jews die as German planes bomb their ship.

1948 Glenn Taylor, a white Idaho Senator, is arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, for trying to enter a meeting through a door marked “for Negroes”.

1960 Russia shoots down Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk, Russia, prompting a diplomatic outcry from the US.

1961 Fidel Castro announces that there will be no more elections in Cuba.

1991 The Angolan civil war ends.

1994 Three-time World Formula 1 Drivers’ champion Ayrton Senna of Brazil is killed in a 309km/h crash while leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola in Italy.

2013 A digital camera is created that can mimic the compound eyes of insects.

2014 Hundreds march through the Nigerian capital, Abuja, calling for the release of schoolgirls abducted by Islamic militants Boko Haram, who oppose Western education.

2018 Liverpool’s Egyptian soccer forward Mohamed Salah becomes the first African to be named England Footballer of the Year.

2019 New York City names a street Sesame Street at the intersection of West 63rd Street and Broadway in honour of the show's 50th anniversary.

2019 Naruhito succeeds his father Akihito as the Emperor of Japan after the latter abdicates due to ill health.

2019 Two-time Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya loses an appeal against proposed rules to limit her testosterone levels; medically reducing levels is the only way to continue competition.

2020 Tweets by Elon Musk, saying that Tesla’s share price is too high, wipe $14 billion off the carmaker’s value. Musk owns Tesla.

2021 India is the first country to record more than 400 000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day (401 993).

2022 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Adolf Hitler "had Jewish blood" in interview on Italian TV, prompting outrage from Israel. While the idea may seem preposterous, Hitler’s lawyer Hans Frank claimed Hitler had told him to investigate rumors of his Jewish ancestry. Frank said Hitler had a letter from a nephew who threatened to reveal he had Yiddish blood. Frank wrote that he found evidence that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish. Understandably, many.