May 1 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1884, construction began on the world's first skyscraper -- the 10-story Home Insurance Co. building in Chicago.
In 1893, U.S. President Grover Cleveland opened the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
In 1898, during the Spanish-American war, forces under U.S. Navy Adm. George Dewey routed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines.
In 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City. At 102 stories, it was the world's tallest building for 40 years.
In 1971, Amtrak, the U.S. national rail service that combined the operations of 18 passenger railroads, went into service.
In 1986, a Soviet Embassy official, in a rare appearance before Congress, insisted that the Chernobyl nuclear accident was "not out of hand."
In 2001, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan was convicted in Birmingham, Ala., in a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls. He was given four life sentences.
In 2003, President George W. Bush, speaking from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, declared that major combat in Iraq was over and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the end of major U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.
In 2011, President Barack Obama announced at 11:35 p.m. EDT that al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden, architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the face of global terrorism, was killed in a U.S. commando raid (May 2 Pakistan time) on his compound near the Pakistani capital.
In 2016, a wildfire in Canada's oil-producing region of Fort McMurray forced the evacuation of more than 90,000 residents from the surrounding area and interrupted about one-quarter of Canada's daily oil production.