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Highlights of this day in history: Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space; France's Napoleon Bonaparte dies; Philosopher Karl Marx born; IRA member Bobby Sands during a prison hunger strike; Carnegie Hall opens in New York. (May 5)
CAMILLE BOHANNON: May 5, 1961. Alan Shepard becomes America's first space traveler, blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- Three, two, one, zero. Ignition.
CAMILLE BOHANNON: Shepard makes a 15-minute suborbital flight on board his Mercury capsule, dubbed "Freedom 7."
1821. France's former ruler Napoleon Bonaparte, whose armies once swept across Europe, dies in exile on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena.
1818. Karl Marx, the philosopher whose ideas bore fruit in communist regimes worldwide during the 20th century, is born in what's now Germany.
1981. Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands dies at Northern Ireland's Maze Prison during the 66th day of his hunger strike. And 1891.
Composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducts at the opening concert at Carnegie Hall, then known as Music Hall, in New York City. Today in history, May 5. Camille Bohannon, the Associated Press.