May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). There are 242 days remaining.

  1. 1494 - Christopher Columbus first sights land that will be called Jamaica.
  2. 1791 - The May Constitution of Poland (first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Polish Diet.
  3. 1808 - Finnish War: Sweden loses the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.
  4. 1808 - Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels who rose up on May 2 are fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.
  5. 1810 - Lord Byron swims the Hellespont.
  6. 1849 - The May Uprising in Dresden begins - the last of the German revolutions of 1848.
  7. 1860 - Charles XV of Sweden-Norway is crowned king of Sweden.
  8. 1867 - The Hudson's Bay Company gives up all claims to Vancouver Island.
  9. 1901 - Great Fire of 1901 begins in Jacksonville, FL.
  10. 1916 - Easter Rising leaders are executed in Dublin.
  11. 1923 - Lieutenants John Macready & Oakley Kelly land their Fokker T-2 aircraft in San Diego, California. This is the first non-stop transcontinental flight. It took nearly 27 hrs.
  12. 1928 - Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.
  13. 1933 - Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman to head the United States Mint.
  14. 1937 - Gone with the Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
  15. 1939 - The All India Forward Bloc is formed by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  16. 1942 - Japanese naval troops invade Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo that resulted in the Battle of the Coral Sea between Japanese forces and forces from the United States and Australia.
  17. 1945 - World War II: Sinking of the floating-jails Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the RAF in Lübeck Bay.
  18. 1946 - World War II: The International Military Tribunal for the Far East begins in Tokyo against 28 Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
  19. 1947 - New post-war Japanese constitution goes into effect.
  20. 1951 - London's Royal Festival Hall opens.
  21. 1951 - The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
  22. 1952 - U.S. Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict land a plane at the North Pole.
  23. 1956 - The judo World Championships are first held.
  24. 1957 - Walter O'Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, agrees to move the team from Brooklyn, New York, to Los Angeles, California.
  25. 1959 - The first Grammy Awards are announced.
  26. 1960 - The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opens in New York City's Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.
  27. 1960 - The Anne Frank House opened in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  28. 1973 - The Sears Tower in Chicago is topped out as the world's tallest building.
  29. 1991 - The Declaration of Windhoek is signed.
  30. 1997 - In Dublin, Ireland, Katrina and the Waves win the forty-second Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom singing "Love Shine A Light".
  31. 1999 - Oklahoma City is slammed by an F5 tornado killing 42 people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. The tornado was one of 66 from the Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak.
  32. 1999 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 11,000 for the first time in its history at 11,014.70.
  33. 2000 - The sport of Geocaching begins, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.
  34. 2003 - New Hampshire's famous Old Man of the Mountain collapses.
  35. 2006 - Armavia Flight 967 crashes into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.
  36. 2006 - Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in prison in Alexandria, Virginia.