May 1 in history

The Penny Black

On this day, in 1753, Carl Linnaeus published his pioneering Species Plantarum. In 1840, the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was introduced (above). In 1851, the Great Exhibition opened in the Crystal Palace in London (below).

In 1949, the Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper discovered Nereid, the second of Neptune’s moons. In 1960, a U-2 spy plane was shot down over Russia – proving that altitude alone did not guarantee safety, and prompting the development of the SR-71 Blackbird. And in 1964, the first computer program written in Dartmouth BASIC was run. On the whole, a day of significant events!

The Crystal Palace


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