Today in history- May 2nd- Treaties, public holiday, HBC, first nonstop transcontinental flight and much more


Treaty of Vervins signed

The representatives of Henry IV of France and Philip II of Spain signed the Peace of Vervins or the Treat of Vervins on May 2nd 1598 in Picardy, northern France, under auspices of the papal legates of Clement VIII, the “architect of the treaty”, Alessandro de’ Medici. Respecting the terms of this treaty, Calais, Risban’s Coastal Fortress, was returned to the French and was no longer captured or interfered by Spaniards.


Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

Achen or the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed in Aachen on May 2nd in 1668 and it led to the end of the War of Devolution between Spain and France. Respecting the terms of this treaty, Louis XIV returned Cambrai, Aire and Saint-Omer to Spain but on the other hand he kept Douai, Bergues, Lille, Charleroi, Courtrai, Douai, Furnes, Oudenard, Tournai and Armentières.


Hudson’s Bay Company founded

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), a Canadian retail business group trading fur for much of its existence, was founded on 2nd May 1670 in London, England. This 350 years old company has sold most of its operations and stores in the United States and Canada and has its headquarters in Ontario, Canada.


Madrid, Napolean and the public holiday

In the Autonomous community of Madrid, 2nd May is a public holiday that commemorates the Madrileños’ rebellion against Napolean Bonaparte’s troops in 1808. On this day, the heroic rebels gathered in front of the Royal Palace and expressed their disagreement and anger against the French troops because of whom the Spanish Royal Family had to quit the palace. To oppress them, Napolean Bonaparte’s brother-in-law sent a battalion to the palace with grenades that set the place on fire. This day holds a patriotic connotation because of those citizens who were ready to fight to the death against their foreign enemy and thousands sacrificed their lives.


Establishment of the Congo Free State

King Leopold II of Belgium established the Congo free state on 2nd May, 1885. It was a large region in central Africa and occupies most of the Congo River basin. It gained independence in 1960 and was not run by the king anymore. It was renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Oklahoma’s territory created

After the five civilized tribes were decided for the Indian Territory in 1889 namely Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole and Creek, the Territory of Oklahoma was created on 2nd May 1890. Later, after the division into districts was done, Oklahoma and Indian Territories were merged on 27th May 1902, finally forming the State of Oklahoma.


The first nonstop transcontinental flight of the U.S.

The two pilots of the U.S. Army Air Service- Lt. Oakley G. Kelly and Lt. John A. Macready, made the first non-stop transcontinental flight on May 2-3, 1923. The Army Air Service approved the new T-2 transport, the capability of the flight, the Liberty engine and endurance of the two pilots for the journey. The pilots took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island on May 2nd and were headed for the West Coast. They traveled 2,470 miles in almost 27 hours and landed at Rockwell Field, San Diego. They had to fly through the storms and the rain at night over unknown territories.


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