May-5: Cinco de Mayo, Carnegie Hall, Space and Bobby Sands

While the world celebrates Cinco de Mayo (which is not Mexican Independence Day) it also is the 125 anniversary of Carnegie Hall, the 55th anniversary of the first American in space and 35th anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands.


Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.  In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.


Carnegie Hall Opens with Tschaikovky

The Music Hall in New York City (later known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as the guest conductor.



Alan Shepard Becomes First American in Space

Alan Shepard because the first American in space with Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7.  Shepard’s mission was a 15-minute suborbital flight with the primary objective of demonstrating his ability to withstand the high g forces of launch and atmospheric re-entry.



Bobby Sands Dies in Hunger Strike

Bobby Sands, an Irish Republican Army member imprisoned at the HM Prison Maze died after a 66-day hunger strike protesting conditions at the prison. Sands quickly became an Irish martyr and over 100,000 people lined the route of Sands’s funeral.




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