What is May 2nd famous for? This is the date, as we will soon see, when U.S. Special Forces tracked down and killed the most wanted man in the world, but that isn’t the only significant event that happened on this date in history.

Read on to learn about a doomed queen, a legendary beast, America’s favorite pastime, and a riot at one of the world’s most iconic prisons, as well as other noteworthy events that happened on May 2.

1994 – Dr. Death Was Acquitted

Dr. Jack Kevorkian and his controversial actions of the 1990s opened up a worldwide debate on the topic of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Dr. Kevorkian – who was nicknamed Dr. Death – devised a method by which patients could administer a lethal injection to themselves, thus ending their suffering.

Source: AP

Many euthanasia advocates applauded his work, but others branded Dr. Kevorkian a murderer. He was arrested and stood trial on murder charges four times. On May 2, 1994, at the conclusion of his first trial, he was acquitted of the charges against time. He was acquitted two more times before he was finally given a guilty verdict.

1863 – Confederate General Stonewall Jackson Was Shot by His Own Men

By all accounts, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was one of the top military leaders of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He led his men to victory in several decisive battles until he was shot – accidentally – by his own soldiers.

Source: CORBIS

Jackson was returning to camp on May 2, 1863, following the Battle of Chancellorsville when one of the guards shouted, “Halt! Who goes there?” The sentries, however, didn’t wait for a reply. They fired on the group, killing several men and striking Jackson twice in the left arm. An army surgeon amputated the general’s arm, but Jackson’s immune system was weakened. He died of pneumonia a week later.

1885 – “Good Housekeeping” Magazine Debuted

Clark W. Bryan launched “Good Housekeeping” magazine from his hometown of Holyoke, Massachusetts, on May 2, 1885. The popular women’s magazine was one of several periodicals targeted to housewives and mothers. The magazine featured tips for cooking and cleaning, household budgeting ideas, and recipes.

Source: ElephantStock

“Good Housekeeping” was one of a collection of monthly magazines devoted to homemakers of the 1800s and 1900s. Even when women began entering the workforce, the publication remained focused on housewives. “Good Housekeeping” was one of what was called the “Seven Sisters” … seven women’s magazines of the 1900s. Of these seven, “Good Housekeeping” is one of only three that are still in print today.  

1927 – The U.S. Supreme Court Ruled the Forced Sterilizations Were Legal

At the conclusion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Buck v. Bell” trial on May 2, 1927, the highest court in the land stated that states had the right to forcibly sterilize people labeled “unfits” under the belief that it was beneficial for eugenic reasons. This shocking legal stance led to the forced sterilization of hundreds of “intellectually disabled” people for the “protection and health of the state.”

Source: Creative Commons

Sadly, there were plenty of doctors and state health officials who took this as permission to impose their own moral code on women. Teenage girls were sterilized for being too flirtatious. Women with questionable backgrounds and unknown parentage were also sterilized. People with genetic disorders and birth defects were also operated on. Often, the patients were lied to and misinformed. They were not told what was going to happen to them. Forced sterilization laws were repealed in 1974.

1908, 1909, 1920, and 1923 – May 2 Was a Big Day in Baseball History

May is baseball season, so it should come as no surprise that some notable events in baseball history occurred on May 2. For example, in 1909 Honus Wagner stole his way around the bases in a game against the Chicago Cubs. On May 2, 1923, Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson threw his 100th shutout.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

May 2, 1920, marked the first game in the newly established National Negro Baseball League. Lastly, on May 2, 1908, Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer copyrighted their baseball-themed song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” a tune that Chicago Cubs announcer famously sang during broadcasts.

1536 – Anne Boleyn Was Arrested and Imprisoned in the Tower of London

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, had a short reign as Queen of England. Henry VIII was dismayed that she had not given him a male heir and had, in fact, miscarried. Plus, he had grown tired of her and moved on to another woman, Jane Seymour.

Source: Quora

On May 2, 1536, the king had Anne Boleyn arrested and tossed into the Tower of London where she awaited trial on charges of adultery, incest, and high treason. She was found guilty and beheaded. About a week later, Henry married Jane Seymour and later, three more women.

1946 – The Battle of Alcatraz Broke Out

San Francisco’s Alcatraz Prison had a reputation for being escape proof, but that didn’t stop inmates from trying to break out of the maximum-security federal penitentiary on a desolate, rocky island. During one such escape attempt on May 2, 1946, inmates overpowered the guards and took control of the prison.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The siege lasted two days. U.S. Marines were sent to Alcatraz to capture the inmates and guard the rest of the prison population. By the time the dust settled on May 4, two guards and three inmates were dead, and fourteen officers were injured.

1933 – An Article About the Loch Ness Monster Sparked a Frenzy of Sightings

On May 2, 1933, The Inverness Courier newspaper published a report of an eye-witness encounter with a strange, unknown creature in the waters of Scotland’s Loch Ness. The article, written by Alex Campbell, related a recent sighting by local resident Aldie Mackay and her husband John. The couple reported seeing a “whale-like fish” rolling and diving in the water.

Source: Britannica

Even though reports of a beast living in the lake go back centuries, this article caused a stir … and more sightings. In July of that year, a motorist claimed to have seen the lake monster lumber across the road in front of his car. In early 1934, a motorcyclist also reported seeing the beast in the road. The first photo of the Loch Ness Monster was snapped in November 1933, but it is so blurry it is hard to make out the details. In April 1934, however, Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson took what has become the most iconic photograph of the legendary beast … this one. 

2011 – Osama bin Laden Was Located and Killed

The mastermind behind the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden was the most wanted man in the world for nearly ten years. The founder of al-Qaeda hid out in Afghanistan and Pakistan, thanks to the efforts of the Taliban, while the United States military gathered intelligence to track him down.

Source: Fox Business

During a late-night, covert operation at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011, U.S. Navy SEALs and special forces engaged in a gun fight with al-Qaeda members. The SEALs were able to discover bin Laden’s hiding place and the terrorist leader was killed. The death of Osama bin Laden was a victory in the fight against terrorism.