1851 – The National Era abolitionist newspaper published the first installment of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This was the first installment in what would become a ten-month run.
1864 – At Piedmont, Virginia, the American Civil War’s Battle of Piedmont saw Union forces under order of General David Hunter rout a Confederate army led by General William Edmondson Jones, taking close to 1,000 prisoners. This battle was the North’s first measurable success in the 1864 Shenandoah campaign.
1865 – The first safe deposit vault was opened in New York. The charge was $1.50 a year for every $1,000 that was stored.
1883 – The Orient Express, set out on it’s legendary journey, traveling from Paris in route to Istanbul. This trip ended up being featured in many works of literature and in motion pictures, including Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express“.
1917 – The first of three national required registration days took place in America, marking the World War I draft, on June 5, 1917. The first draft-day was calling for all men between the ages of 21 and 30.
1922 – The first person to discover gold along the Klondike, George W. Carmack, dies in Vancouver, BC.
1930 – The Illinois State Prosecutor made a statement to the public, alerting that mobsters had begun to cremate victims, in order to stop identification and the process of gathering evidence.
1933 – U.S. Congress abolished the use of the gold standard in the United States, by enacting a joint resolution which nullified the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. President Roosevelt would sign the bill.
1942 – The United States declares war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in World War II.
1944 – In a turning point in the war, over 1000 British bombers dropped 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries along the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.
1945 – The United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia formally reset the borders of Germany which were acquired during Nazi rule. The boundaries were returned to the way they were drawn in 1937.
1956 – Elvis Presley introduced his new single, “Hound Dog”, which would become his best selling song, while preforming on The Milton Berle TV Show. Elvis also gained a nickname during the performance due to his use of suggestive hip movements.
1967 – The Six-Day War begins in the Middle East when Israeli forces launched a surprise attack against Egypt, prompting other Arab allies to enter the conflict.
1968 – U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles following his win in the California presidential primary.
1976 – The right third of the Teton Dam in Idaho collapsed, sending the majority of the sediment-filled water from the reservoir, spilling into Teton River Canyon. The flooding struck several communities downstream, including Wilford, Sugar City, Salem, Hibbard and Rexburg, destroyed thousands of homes and businesses and took 14 lives.
1981 – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five men in Los Angeles were suffering from a rare pneumonia found in patients with weakened immune systems. These cases would later become the first recognized cases of the Aids virus.
1998 – A strike began at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, when 3,400 members of the United Auto Workers union walked out on the job. The strike would spread to five other assembly plants and last for seven weeks.
2001 – Tropical Storm Allison makes landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm causes $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.
2004 – Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, would die following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.