On This Day in History: May 5

On May 5, the remains of a Navy veteran were found mysteriously in a suitcase. What else happened and who was born today in history?

1821: The Death of Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon BonaparteThe former French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte died while in exile. He had been on Saint Helena as a British prisoner at the time, which he had been for six years. The believed cause of death was stomach cancer. His body was later returned to Paris in 1840, so it could be interred in the Hotel des Invalides.

1862: The History Behind Cinco de Mayo

May 5 is known as Cinco de Mayo in Mexico and is a public holiday. The day is celebrated due to the events on this day in history in 1862. Despite being completely outnumbered and not having many supplies, General Ignacio Zaragoza’s Mexican army defeated the French during the French-Mexican War of 1861-1867. While it wouldn’t bring an end to the war, it was a moral victory for the Mexicans. They proved they could defend their freedom and sovereignty and it became a day to celebrate. The Mexican resistance tightened and this victory would lead to the end of the war five years later with a French surrender.

2004: Navy Veteran’s Body Found In Suitcase

A suitcase was found on this day in history at Virginia Beach. It turned out the suitcase held some of the remains of 39-year-old William McGuire, a Navy veteran. Other remains would be found days later in other suitcases and from the water. He had last been seen alive on April 28, and his wife had said he had left after closing their New Jersey home and she ended up filing for divorce. Investigations led to discovering his wife Melanie had been having an affair and there were searches for “murder and suicide” on her computer. She was later arrested, prosecuted and found guilty of murder in the first degree, among other charges.

2005: Tony Blair Secures Third Term

Tony Blair, and his Labour Party, was announced as the victor in the 2005 UK General Election. His party did lose seats from the 2001 election, but it was enough to keep the party in power. He would later resign and his chancellor Gordon Brown would take the position as prime minister, but would be knocked out at the next General Election.Karl Marx

Famous Birthdays on May 5

Uda, Emperor of Japan–867

King Afonso III of Portugal–1210

Politician, Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter–1546

Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor–1747

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard—1813

Playwright Eugene-Marin Labiche–1815

Karl Marx—1818

Hat maker John B. Stetson—1830

Leopold II, Belgian crown prince–1835

Baseball player Charles Albert “Chief” Bender—1883

Kitty Foyle writer Christopher Morley—1890

Biographer Carlos Baker—1909

Monty Python’s Flying Circus screenwriter Michael Palin—1943

Boy Meets World actress Danielle Fishel—1981

7 Days singer Craig David–1981

Superman actor Henry Cavill—1983

Someone Like You singer Adele–1988

Singer Chris Brown—1989


Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Image of Napoleon Bonaparte: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon#/media/File:Jacques-Louis_David_-_The_Emperor_Napoleon_in_His_Study_at_the_Tuileries_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Image of Karl Marx: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx#/media/File:Karl_Marx_001.jpg

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