May 9 is the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (130th in leap years). There are 236 days remaining.
- 328 - Athanasius elected bishop of Alexandria.
- 1092 - Lincoln Cathedral is consecrated.
- 1429 - Joan of Arc defeats the English troops besieging Orléans.
- 1502 - Christopher Columbus leaves Spain for his fourth and final journey to the "New World".
- 1671 - Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempts to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. He is immediately caught because he is too drunk to run with the loot. He would later be condemned to death and then mysteriously pardoned and exiled by King Charles II.
- 1726 - Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap's molly house in London are executed at Tyburn.
- 1868 - The city of Reno, Nevada is founded.
- 1887 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show opens in London.
- 1901 - Australia opens its first parliament in Melbourne.
- 1914 - J.T. Hearne becomes the first bowler to take 3000 first-class wickets.
- 1915 - World War I: Second Battle of Artois between German and French forces.
- 1926 - Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claim to have flown over the North Pole (later discovery of his diary seems to indicate that this did not happen).
- 1927 - The Australian Parliament first convenes in Canberra.
- 1936 - Italy formally annexes Ethiopia after taking the capital Addis Ababa on May 5.
- 1940 - World War II: The German submarine U-9 sinks French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.
- 1941 - World War II: The German submarine U-110 is captured by the Royal Navy. On board is the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
- 1945 - World War II: Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army.
- 1945 - World War II: Norway arrests Vidkun Quisling.
- 1945 - World War II: The Soviet Union marks Victory Day.
- 1946 - King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicates and is succeeded by Humbert II.
- 1949 - Rainier III of Monaco becomes Prince of Monaco.
- 1950 - Robert Schuman presents his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the "Schuman declaration", is considered to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union.
- 1955 - Cold War: West Germany joins NATO.
- 1956 - First ascent of Manaslu, the World's 8th highest mountain.
- 1960 - Reproductive rights: The Food and Drug Administration of America approves sale of the birth control pill.
- 1970 - Vietnam War: 75,000 to 100,000 war protestors peacefully demonstrate behind a barricaded White House in Washington, D.C.
- 1974 - Watergate Scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opens formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard M. Nixon.
- 1980 - In Florida, a Liberian freighter named the Summit Venture hits the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay sending 35 people (most of whom were in a bus) to a watery death as a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapses.
- 1980 - The first meeting of Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury takes place in Ghana.
- 1987 - A Polish Ilyushin 62M crashes after takeoff in Warsaw, Poland killing 183 people.
- 1987 - In Brussels, Belgium, Johnny Logan wins the thirty-second Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland singing "Hold Me Now".
- 1992 - In Malmö, Sweden, Linda Martin wins the thirty-seventh Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland singing "Why Me".
- 1994 - Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa's first black president.
- 1998 - In Birmingham, United Kingdom, Dana International wins the forty-third Eurovision Song Contest for Israel singing "Diva".
- 2002 - The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem comes to an end when the Palestinians inside agreed to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries. The standoff started on April 2.
- 2002 - In Kaspiysk , Russia, a remote-controlled bomb explodes during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130.
- 2004 - Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a landmine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya.
- 1147 - Minamoto no Yoritomo Japanese shogun (d. 1199)
- 1439 - Pope Pius III (d. 1503)
- 1800 - John Brown, American abolitionist (d. 1859)
- 1837 - Adam Opel , German engineer and industrialist
- 1860 - J. M. Barrie, author (d. 1937)
- 1873 - Anton Cermak, mayor of Chicago (d. 1933)
- 1874 - Howard Carter, British archaeologist (d. 1939)
- 1882 - Henry J. Kaiser, industrialist
- 1882 - George Barker, United States painter (d. 1965)
- 1892 - Zita of Bourbon-Parma, empress of Austria-Hungary (d. 1989)
- 1895 - Richard Barthelmess, US actor (d. 1963)
- 1895 - Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet, playwright, and philosopher.
- 1907 - Baldur von Schirach, Nazi official (d. 1974)
- 1910 - Barbara Woodhouse , animal trainer (d. 1988)
- 1912 - Pedro Armendáriz , actor (d. 1963)
- 1914 - Hank Snow, country musician (d. 1999)
- 1918 - Mike Wallace, journalist
- 1918 - Orville L. Freeman, American politician (d. 2003)
- 1920 - Richard Adams, author
- 1921 - Sophie Scholl, resistance fighter with White Rose in Nazi Germany (d. 1943)
- 1927 - Wim Thoelke , show master (d. 1995)
- 1928 - Colin Chapman, engineer, founder of Lotus Cars (d. 1982)
- 1928 - Pancho Gonzalez, tennis player (d. 1995)
- 1928 - Barbara Ann Scott, figure skater
- 1930 - Joan Sims, British actress (d. 2001)
- 1934 - Alan Bennett, British author
- 1936 - Glenda Jackson, actress and politician
- 1936 - Albert Finney, British actor
- 1939 - Ralph Boston, athlete
- 1940 - James L. Brooks, producer, writer
- 1942 - John Ashcroft, United States Attorney General
- 1944 - Richie Furay, musician ("Poco", "Buffalo Springfield")
- 1946 - Candice Bergen, actress
- 1949 - Billy Joel, American musician
- 1955 - Anne-Sofie von Otter, Swedish mezzo-soprano
- 1964 - Kevin Saunderson, US music producer and DJ
- 1965 - Steve Yzerman, ice hockey player
- 1968 - Marie-José Perec, French athlete
- 1982 - Rachel Boston, actress
- 1791 - Francis Hopkinson, American author and signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1737)
- 1805 - Friedrich Schiller, German poet and historian (b. 1759)
- 1889 - William S. Harney, US general (b. 1800)
- 1903 - Paul Gauguin, painter (b. 1848)
- 1905 - Anna Jarvis, the model for Mother's Day (b. 1832)
- 1949 - Prince Louis II of Monaco (b. 1870)
- 1950 - Esteban Terradas i Illa, Catalan mathematician, scientist and engineer (b. 1883)
- 1957 - Ezio Pinza, Italian bass (b. 1892)
- 1968 - Mercedes de Acosta, American poet, playwright, costume designer, and socialite (b. 1893)
- 1970 - Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers (b. 1907)
- 1976 - Jens Bjørneboe, Norwegian author
- 1978 - Aldo Moro, former Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1916)
- 1985 - Edmond O'Brien, actor
- 1986 - Tenzing Norgay, mountaineer (b. 1914)
- 1998 - Alice Faye, actress
- 2003 - Russell B. Long, US Senator from Louisiana
- 2004 - Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechen president (b. 1951)
- 2004 - Alan King, comedian (b. 1927)
Holidays and observances
May 8 - May 10 - April 9 - June 9 -- listing of all days
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