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On This Day: Battle of the Coral Sea begins

On May 4, 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea began. It was a turning point for the Allies in World War II.

By
UPI Staff
The U.S. Navy fleet oiler USS Neosho burns and slowly sinks after an attack by Imperial Japanese Navy dive bombers on May 7, 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea. File Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
The U.S. Navy fleet oiler USS Neosho burns and slowly sinks after an attack by Imperial Japanese Navy dive bombers on May 7, 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea. File Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

May 4 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1494, on his second expedition to the New World, Columbus discovered Jamaica.

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In 1886, four police officers were killed when a bomb was thrown during a meeting of anarchists in Chicago's Haymarket Square protesting labor unrest. Four leaders of the demonstration, which became known as the Haymarket Square Riot, were convicted and hanged.

In 1904, construction began on the Panama Canal.

In 1926, the Trade Union Congress called a general strike in response to government plans to change the working conditions for coal miners. More than 2 million workers across Britain went on strike.

In 1942, the Battle of the Coral Sea began. It was a turning point for the Allies in World War II.

In 1945, French author Marcel Conversy wrote of the 15 months he spent as a prisoner at Buchenwald concentration camp, describing it as a "living hell."

In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

In 1959, the first Grammy Awards were presented. "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)" by Domenico Modugno won the awards for Record and Song of the Year.

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In 1970, National Guardsmen killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio during a demonstration against the Vietnam War. The shootings set off a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of schools to temporarily close.

File Photo courtesy of Kent State University Archives

In 1980, President Joseph Broz Tito of Yugoslavia died at age 87.

In 1982, an Argentine jet fighter sank the British destroyer HMS Sheffield during the Falkland Islands war.

In 1990, a faulty electric chair shot flames around convicted killer Jesse Tafero's head as he was executed in Florida, prompting several states to abandon the method of execution and switch to lethal injection.

In 2000, the "I Love You" virus crashed computers around the world.

In 2002, more than 100 people died when an EAS Airlines jet crashed in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.

In 2006, confessed terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The 37-year-old Moroccan implicated himself in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

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In 2009, fighting between feuding families broke out at a wedding in southeast Turkey, with combatants using guns and grenades, leading to the deaths of 44 people, including the bride and groom.

In 2011, rival Palestinian political factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation accord, citing as common causes opposition to the Israeli occupation and disillusionment with U.S. peace efforts.

File Photo by Mohammed Hosam/UPI

In 2014, Juan Carlos Varela was elected president of Panama.

In 2016, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich became the last of his party's contenders to drop out of the 2016 race, locking in Donald Trump as the GOP nominee.

File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

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