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5 May: On this day in history

What events happened on 5 May in history? We round up the events, births and deaths…

Published: May 5, 2022 at 5:05 am

5 May 1809

Connecticut hat maker Mary Dixon Kies becomes the first woman to receive a US Patent. It is awarded for a new method of weaving straw with silk and thread.

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5 May 1818

Revolutionary Karl Marx born in Trier, son of a Jewish lawyer who'd converted to Lutheranism when the city's rulers would not allow Jews to practise law.


5 May 1821

Deposed French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte died of cancer on the Atlantic island of St Helena where he had been confined since his defeat at Waterloo six years earlier. In 1840 his body was returned to France for burial in the Hotel des Invalides in Paris. | Read more about the death of Napoleon


5 May 1830

Birth in Orange, New Jersey of John B Stetson, the eponymous inventor of the Boss of the Plains broad-brimmed cowboy hat.


5 May 1862

Mexican forces defeated the French at the battle of Puebla. The French immediately sent more troops to Mexico and conquered most of the country, installing the Habsburg archduke Maximilian as its ruler. | Read about the seige of Quéretaro and the downfall of Maximilian I of Mexico

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5 May 1897 

James Theodore Bent, explorer and excavator of Great Zimbabwe, dies of malaria in London.

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