Today in History: May 3, Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain’s first female prime minister

Today in History

Today is Friday, May 3, the 124th day of 2024. There are 242 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 3, 1979, Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the incumbent Labour government in parliamentary elections.

On this date:

In 1802, Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city.

In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, “Gone with the Wind.”

In 1947, Japan’s postwar constitution took effect.

In 1948, the Supreme Court, in Shelley v. Kraemer, ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to Blacks or members of other racial groups were legally unenforceable.

In 1960, the Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical “The Fantasticks” began a nearly 42-year run at New York’s Sullivan Street Playhouse.

In 1987, The Miami Herald said its reporters had observed a young woman spending “Friday night and most of Saturday” at a Washington townhouse belonging to Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart. (The woman was later identified as Donna Rice; the resulting controversy torpedoed Hart’s presidential bid.)

In 2006, a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, rejected the death penalty for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee), deciding he should spend life in prison for his role in 9/11.

In 2009, Mexican President Felipe Calderon told state television that a nationwide shutdown and an aggressive informational campaign appeared to have helped curtail an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico.

In 2011, Chicago’s Derrick Rose became at age 22 the NBA’s youngest MVP.

In 2015, two gunmen were shot and killed by a police officer in Garland, Texas, after they opened fire outside a purposely provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.

In 2016, in a stunning triumph for a political outsider, Donald Trump all but clinched the Republican presidential nomination with a resounding victory in Indiana that knocked rival Ted Cruz out of the race.

In 2018, a federal grand jury in Detroit indicted former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn on charges stemming from the company’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. (Under Germany’s constitution, he could not be extradited to the U.S. to face charges.)

In 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates said they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage; the Microsoft co-founder and his wife said they would continue to work together at the world’s largest private charitable foundation.

In 2022, President Joe Biden blasted as “radical” a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion throwing out the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling after 50 years. Chief Justice John Roberts said he had ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Frankie Valli is 90. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, is 81. Sports announcer Greg Gumbel is 78. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is 75. Pop singer Mary Hopkin is 74. Singer Christopher Cross is 73. Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) is 65. Country singer Shane Minor is 56. Actor Amy Ryan is 56. Actor Bobby Cannavale (ka-nuh-VAL’-ee) is 54. Music and film producer-actor Damon Dash is 53. Country musician John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band) is 53. Country-rock musician John Neff is 53. Actor Marsha Stephanie-Blake is 49. TV personality Willie Geist (TV: “Today”) is 49. Actor Christina Hendricks is 49. Actor Dule (doo-LAY’) Hill is 49. Country singer Eric Church is 47. Actor Tanya Wright is 46. Dancer Cheryl Burke is 40. Soul singer Michael Kiwanuka is 37. Actor Zoe De Grand Maison is 29. Rapper Desiigner is 27.