May 2, 1670: England's King Charles II charters the Hudson's Bay Company. The king grants the company a virtual monopoly over the fur trade in much of central Canada. "The Bay" becomes a de facto government for the rural and native populations of much of Canada and its environment. The oldest corporation in North America, The Bay exists largely as Canada's largest chain of department stores, in addition to owning Lord & Taylor.
May 2, 2008: Cyclone Nargis roars through the Bay of Bengal and slams into Myanmar (Burma). Initial death tolls of 10,000 eventually climb to more than 100,000.
May 2, 2009: The last residents of the Pennsylvania "ghost town" of Centralia are dealt a setback when a state appeals court denied their request to postpone eviction. In its heyday, Centralia's 1,000 residents thrived on the coal seams deep beneath its streets. In 1962, the coal mines caught fire, baking and swallowing the homes of Centralia. The last holdouts — seven people as of the 2010 census — continued to fight on. At right, two city officials check the temperature of the mine in 1981.
May 2, 2011: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dynamites a Mississippi River levee to lower the record floodwaters in the town of Cairo, Illinois.
Photo: Paul Vathis/AP
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