The Week in History: Hindenburg Disaster, First American in Space

Hindenburg disaster, first U.S. inaugural ball, and Washington, D.C., becomes a city.

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May 1, 1931 The Empire State Building officially opens as the world's tallest building.

May 3, 1802 The city of Washington, D.C., is incorporated, with an elected council and a mayor appointed by the president.

May 5, 1961 Alan Shepard, piloting the Freedom 7 capsule, becomes the first American in space.

May 6, 1937 The German airship Hindenburg bursts into flames over Lakehurst, N.J.

May 7, 1789 President George Washington attends the first U.S. inaugural ball, in New York City.