May 05

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1821 Napoleon Bonaparte (51), outstanding military leader and emperor of the French (1804–14), died from cancer as a prisoner of the British on the island of St Helena.
  • 1980 The Iranian Embassy siege in London ended after five days when the SAS stormed the building, killing all but one of the six members of an Arab terrorist group who had taken 26 people, mainly embassy staff, hostage.
  • 1916 Major John MacBride (47) executed.
  • 1966 In Britain the ‘Moors murders’ trial ended with the sentencing of Ian Brady and his accomplice Myra Hindley to terms of life imprisonment.
  • 1808 Sarah Curran, aged 26, youngest daughter of the lawyer John Philpot Curran (1750–1817) and lover of Robert Emmet, died in Hythe, Kent, from tuberculosis.
  • 1879 Isaac Butt, barrister, writer and politician who founded the Home Rule movement (1870), died.
  • 1818 Karl Marx, German philosopher, author notably of the pamphlet The Communist Manifesto (1848) and the three-volume Das Capital (1867), born in Trier, south-west Germany.
  • 1999 Taoiseach Bertie Ahern apologised on behalf of the Irish people to those who had spent their childhoods in residential institutions run by eighteen religious orders, an apology that came before the broadcast of the final episode of the three-part ‘States of Fear’ series by Mary Raftery, which detailed the abuse of children in such institutions. He also announced the setting up of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the establishment of a Redress Board.

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