4 May 1959

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.

The Grammy Awards, often referred to simply as the Grammys, is one of the most prestigious honors in the music industry. Established by the Recording Academy, an organization of musicians, producers, engineers, and other recording professionals, the Grammys recognize outstanding achievements in the music industry across various genres and categories.

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959, and it has since become an annual event, typically held in February. The awards cover a wide range of categories, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and awards specific to different genres such as pop, rock, R&B, country, and jazz, among others.

The voting process for the Grammys involves members of the Recording Academy, who vote to determine the nominees and winners in each category. The nominations are typically announced several months before the ceremony, generating much anticipation and discussion within the music industry and among fans.

The Grammy Awards ceremony itself is a star-studded event, featuring performances by some of the biggest names in music, as well as presentations of the awards to the winners. Over the years, the Grammys have evolved to reflect changes in the music industry and popular culture, but they remain a symbol of excellence and achievement for musicians and industry professionals alike.

4 May 1869

The Naval Battle of Hakodate is fought in Japan.

The Naval Battle of Hakodate was a decisive battle fought between the naval forces of the newly-formed Meiji government of Japan and the remaining forces of the Tokugawa shogunate and their allies in the northern city of Hakodate, Hokkaido in Japan.

The battle took place from late 1868 to mid-1869, during the Boshin War, a civil war fought between the forces of the shogunate and those of the imperial court. The shogunate had retreated to Hokkaido and established the short-lived Ezo Republic in an effort to continue their fight against the imperial forces.

The Meiji government, determined to crush the last remnants of resistance, dispatched a fleet of ships led by Admiral Enomoto Takeaki to attack the rebel stronghold in Hakodate. The rebel forces, including former samurai and other loyalists, put up a fierce resistance, but were eventually defeated by the superior firepower and tactics of the imperial navy.

The battle ended with the surrender of the rebel forces and the capture of their leaders. The victory paved the way for the complete consolidation of imperial power and the establishment of the modern Japanese state under the Meiji government.

4 May 1979

Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
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4 May 1959

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards were held on May 4, 1959. They recognized musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Two separate ceremonies were held simultaneously on the same day; the first in The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, and the second in the Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City. Ella Fitzgerald & Ross Bagdasarian won most awards with 3 each, whereas Count Basie, Domenico Modugno, and Henry Mancini, each won 2 awards.

4 May 1836

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is formed.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization. Members must be Catholic and either born in Ireland or of Irish descent. Its largest membership is now in the United States, where it was founded in New York City in 1836. Its name was adopted by groups of Irish immigrants in the United States, its purpose to act as guards to protect Catholic churches from anti-Catholic forces in the mid-19th century, and to assist Irish Catholic immigrants, especially those who faced discrimination or harsh coal mining working conditions. Many members in the coal mining area of Pennsylvania had a background with the Molly Maguires. It became an important focus of Irish American political activity.

The order was founded in the United States on 4 May 1836, at St. James Church in New York City, near the old Five Points neighbourhood. A branch was formed the same year at Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The existence and activities of the order were concealed for some years.

During the late 1860s and early 1870s many of the lodges of the order in Pennsylvania were infiltrated by the Molly Maguires. However the Molly Maguires and their criminal activities were condemned at the 1876 national convention of the AOH and the order was reorganised in the Pennsylvania coal areas.

In 1884 there was a split in the organisation. The order had previously been governed by the Board of Erin, which had governed the order in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States, but was composed of officers selected exclusively by the organisations in Ireland and Great Britain. The majority left in 1884 and became the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America, while the small group called itself Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin. In 1897 the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Board of Erin, had approximately 40,000 members concentrated in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, while the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America had nearly 125,000 members scattered throughout nearly every state in the union. The two groups reunited in 1898.

A female auxiliary, the Daughters of Erin, was formed in 1894, and had 20,000 members in 1897. It was attached to the larger, “American” version of the order. The AOH had 181,000 members in 1965 and 171,000 in 736 local units of “Divisions” in 1979. John F. Kennedy joined the AOH in 1947.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians raised $50,000 to build the Nuns of the Battlefield sculpture in Washington, DC, which the United States Congress authorised in 1918. The Irish-American sculptor, Jerome Connor, ended up suing the order for non-payment.

AOH shield without flags
In 1982, in a revival of Hibernianism, the Thomas Francis Meagher Division No. 1 formed in Helena, Montana, dedicated to the principles of the order and to restoring a historically accurate record of Brigadier General Meagher’s contributions to Montana. Soon after, six additional divisions formed in Montana.

The order organised the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade for 150 years until 1993, when control was transferred to an independent committee amid controversy over the exclusion of Irish-American gay and lesbian groups.

The Brothers of St. Patrick Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America was established at Brother’s of St. Patrick in Midway City, California, in 1995.

In 2013, The Ancient Order of Hibernians raised and distributed over $200,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

In 2014, the AOH called for a boycott of the retailer Spencer’s for selling products the AOH says promote anti-Irish stereotypes and irresponsible drinking.

On 10 May 2014 a memorial to Commodore John Barry, an immigrant from Wexford who was a naval hero of the American Revolution and who holds commission number one in the subsequent U.S. Navy, was dedicated on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. The memorial and associated “Barry Gate” was presented to the academy by the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Several buildings of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places or are otherwise notable.

4 May 1959

The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held.

On May 4, 1959, many of music’s elite—including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Gene Autry, Johnny Mercer, Henry Mancini and André Previn—gathered for a black-tie dinner and awards presentation inside the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton. At the same time, other new Academy members were gathering at a function held simultaneously in New York City. “The GRAMMY Awards were a formal event from the beginning and very much in keeping with the times,” says Christine Farnon, who was instrumental in organizing the first show and would go on to become The Academy’s Executive Vice President. “As I recall, no one objected to dressing black-tie back then, though like so much else, that would change eventually.”

But this GRAMMY night, and several to follow, was held in hotel ballrooms on both coasts. The Los Angeles event was emceed by popular political comedian Mort Sahl and featured a musical sketch titled “How South Was My Pacific.” The night was by numerous accounts a significant success. Billboard—then actually still called The Billboard—ran its account of the first night of Music’s Biggest Night with a headline declaring that “Academy Smoothly Moves Into Orbit: First Awards Well-Organized Affair As Top Stars Go On Parade.” The trade magazine even favorably compared the GRAMMY’s debut to the far more established Oscars and Emmys: “It sharply contrasted similar affairs staged by the two older entertainment academies in its precision-like pace in handling the presentations.”

As well organized as the night may have been, from the very start at the GRAMMYs, there would be surprises on GRAMMY night. While Sinatra led all nominees with a grand total of six nominations, he would not turn out to be the night’s biggest winner. Rather the very first Record of the Year and Song of the Year awards both went to “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” by Domenico Modugno, while Album of the Year went to The Music from Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini.