1772 — Novalis (pseudonym) lives (1772 — 1801). Early German Romantic poet, who influenced later Romantic thought. The central image of his visions, a blue flower, became a symbol of longing among Romantics. 
1886 — United States of America: Twenty-five hundred workers march in Milwaukee for the 8-hour day. Demonstrators carry red Socialist flags and the tricolor banners of the Eight Hour League. In response, the Governor Jeremiah Rusk supplies the Milwaukee National Guard headquarters with increased ammunition and the entire city police force with four companies of infantry and artillery. Despite the threat, the workers parade and this threatened violence.
1895 — Italy: In Florence, the trial of Oreste Lucchesi and Amerigo Franchi begins. They are on trial (-May 22) for assassinating Giuseppe Bandi, editor of "Il Telegrafo," on 1894 July 1. His articles resulted in the repression and arrest of numerous anarchists. 
1915 — England: This month the "International Anarchist Manifesto on the War" is issued from [London]]; Emma Goldman is among over 30 anarchist signatories from the United States of America, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Russia. Emma lectures on the war, drama (see her The Social Significance of the Modern Drama), birth control, and sexuality in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Denver. Topics include "Jealousy, Its Cause and Possible Cure," the Modern School, and feminism. She finds audiences are most receptive to her lectures on war and birth control, although Catholic socialists harass her in Washington, D.C.
1920 — United States of America: Boston radicals, including Sacco, Vanzetti, Mario Buda (aka Mike Boda), Aldino Felicani, and others meet to discuss support for Roberto Elia and Andrea Salsedo and to plan a protest against their illegal imprisonment. Salsedo is killed in custody tomorrow.
1921 — Russia: Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman begin receiving visits from many foreign delegates, during this month, for the International Congress of the Third International. Visitors include Americans "Big" Bill Haywood, Agnes Smedley, Bob Robins, Mary Heaton Vorse, Ella Reeve Bloor, William Z. Foster, and Robert Minor. Emma is disparaging of Haywoodʼs flight from the US, comparing his action to a "captain leaving the ship," for abandoning fellow IWW members who remain imprisoned.
1921 — France: Roger Boussinot lives (1921 — 2001). Humaniste libertaire, écrivain, scénariste, et historien du cinéma. "LIBERTE. Principe fondamental de l'anarchie, opposé de façon irréductible au principe d'autorité…" 
1935 — Canada: Telegrams of tribute greet Emma Goldman at a farewell event hosted by Rabbi Stern of Montreal. On May 4—14 Emma sails from Canada to Le Havre, France; she reaches Paris on May 15. On May 18 is back homein St. Tropez in time to celebrate the anniversary of Alexander Berkmanʼs release from prison in 1906; Emma finds him in better health than she expected.
1936 — The "Sterilizers of Bordeaux" trial in France. In 1935 April, lacking specific laws against voluntary vasectomies, the government charged Dr. Norbert Bartosek, an anarchist Austrian, and others (among them Aristide Lapeyre and both Andrée Prevotel and André Prévotel) with the "crime of castration" and "aggravated assault." Charges against Andrée are dropped; Bartosek received three years in prison and the others 16 months.
1937 — Spain: Friends of Durruti rally at the Goya Theater, where the film 19 de julio is screened to comments from Jaume Bali. United States of America: there are speeches by Liberto Callejas and Francisco Carreño as well. Anarchist militants from the C.N.T. also interrupt a telephone conversation between Companys and Azana. [Source: Agustin Guillamón, AK Press]
1938 — At the beginning of the month, Emma Goldman is reading George Orwellʼs Homage to Catalonia and writing "Trotsky Protests Too Much," a reply to two articles on the Kronstadt rebellion that appeared in the New York Trotskyist journal "New International" (Trotsky was responsible for the infamous slaughter at Kronstadt, "the butcher of Kronstadt and murderer of anarchists"). Also, Herrera announces his intention to leave his position as secretary of the General Council of the S.I.A. (International Antifascist Solidarity); his replacement is Lucia Sanchez Saornil, the Spanish poet and artist, and founder of Mujeres Libres.
1945 — Colette becomes first female member of the Académie Goncourt, high tribute for literary merit in France.
1945 — United States of America: James F. Byrnes lives. US secretary of state (D, 1945-57), US senator, US Supreme Court judge, governor of South Carolina. He once declared that SC would abolish the stateʼs school system rather than abolish school segregation. [Source: Robert Braunwart]
1948 — United States of America: 75th Birthday Anniversary Celebration of Rudolf Rocker. May 2, 1948. Amalgamated Center. Contributions from F.W. Roman, A.E. Briggs, W.E. Holloway. (Chicago, Rudolf Rocker 75th Jubilee Committee, 48 pages). [I donʼt know if this was the date of the celebration, or date of publication. — ed.]
1954 — First commercial jet plane, BOAC Comet, goes into service. Soon grounded, for the structural defeat of exploding in the air, coming down like a comet.
1956 — For the first time in Billboard history, five records appear in both the pop and RandB Top 10. They are: Elvis Presleyʼs "Heartbreak Hotel" , Carl Perkinʼs "Blue Suede Shoes", Little Richardʼs "Long Tall Sally", the Platters' "Magic Touch" and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." Presleyʼs and Perkins' hits are also in the country and western Top Ten at #1 and #2 respectively. I was goin' pretty fast, I looked behind, a'here come the devil doin' ninety-nine. — From "Race With the Devil" by Gene Vincent
1957 — United States of America: Joseph McCarthy Commie-hunting senator, dies at 47. About 40 years to late. "I killed more people tonight than I have fingers on my hands. I shot them in cold blood and enjoyed every minute of it . . . They were commies, Lee. They were red sons of bitches who should have died long ago . . . They never thought that there were people like me in this country. They figured us all to be soft as horse manure and just as stupid." — Mickey Spillane, Atlas Shrugged 
1963 — United States of America: In the American citadel of freedom and Christianity, Birmingham, Alabama jails 958 children. Tomorrow those not jailed get free showers and doggies, courtesy of "Bull" Connors.
1968 — France: Protest at University of Nanterre escalates into French student strike. By May 20 six million workers are on strike; within a few days the number is up to ten or eleven million. 2 mai 68 Pompidou part pour l'Iran et l'Afghanistan / Prime Minister Georges Pompidou leaves for official visits to Iran and Afghanistan. Courses at the faculty of letters are suspended at Nanterre after incidents there. Les cours sont suspendus à la faculté de Nanterre. "The largest general strike that ever stopped the economy of an advanced industrial country, and the first wildcat general strike in history; revolutionary occupations and the beginnings of direct democracy; the increasingly complete collapse of state power for nearly two weeks; the resounding verification of the revolutionary theory of our time and even here and there the first steps toward putting it into practice; the most important experience of the modern proletarian movement that is in the process of constituting itself in its fully developed form in all countries, and the example it must now go beyond — this is what the French May 1968 movement was essentially, and this in itself already constitutes its essential victory." — “The Beginning of an Era,” translated by Ken Knabb 
1968 — United States of America: Despite the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., his Poor Peoples' March on Washington, D.C. begins, led by successor Ralph Abernathy. 3,000 erect Resurrection City, a tent city on the Mall until the 17th.
1971 — United States of America: Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland address a "G.I. Anti-War Rally" in Tacoma. Tacoma, near Fort Lewis, had one of the countryʼs early and active G.I. Coffee houses, involving, among many others, Auntie Daveʼs long-time acquaintance, Stan Anderson.
1971 — United States of America: The last surviving member of the Pioneer Aid and Support Society, Irving Abrams, presents the deed to the Haymarket monument to the Illinois Labor History Society. Every year on the Sunday closest to May 4, and the anniversary of Black Friday, November 11th, labor organizations come to this monument to pay tribute to these anarchist heroes by stressing their labor activism and ignoring their anarchist ideas.
1974 — United States of America: Former Vice-President (during Nixonʼs 'Lawn Order' administration) Spiro Agnew is disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals. While Dick M proclaimed he was not a crook, Spiro never did. But then Dick M also claimed to be a pacifist. Spiro never did. "It is difficult to feel compassion," said the Court in its unanimous opinion, "for an attorney who is so morally obtuse that he consciously cheats…that government that he has sworn to serve."
1980 — Pink Floydʼs hit single "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)", with its chorus of kids chanting "We donʼt need no education", is banned by the South African government. Black children, upset about inferior education, adopt the song as their anthem. The government says the song is "prejudicial to the safety of the state."
1982 — High Seas: British Navy kills 368 in sinking of Argentinean ship General Belgrano, South Atlantic.
1985 — United States of America: Crime Pays. E.F. Hutton, one of the USʼs largest brokerage companies, pleaded guilty to 2,000 federal charges related to the manipulation of its checking accounts. The company agreed to pay $2 million in fines and to pay back up to $8 million to banks it had defrauded. E.F. Hutton sez "Prison is Hell," and when E.F. speaks…
1986 — United States of America: 38 anarchists gathered in Chicago to commemorate victims of the Haymarket Massacre arrested and charged with the high crime of "Mob Action." See Mob Action Against the State: Haymarket Remembered…An Anarchist Convention, a broad ranging collection of essays from 70 anonymous contributors, with graphics and photographs,