Famous and Fascinating Women in History

Frontiersmen and Women

The World's Greatest Composers

Famous Women Spies

Great Authors of the World

Generals and other Noteworthy People from the Civil War

The Presidents of the United States

The First Ladies of the United States

Homes and Monuments of and to Famous People

Historical People and Events by Month for Each Day of the Year!

Famous Figures in Black History

The Calvert Family and the Lords Baltimore

Understanding the American Revolution and its People

Everything Beatles!

Everything Maryland!





Historical People and Events for May

by John T. Marck

May 1

The first United States Postal Card was issued, 1873

The Empire State Building opened, 1931

The first United States Series "E" Savings Bond was issued, 1941

Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas, 1967

The opera "The Marriage of Figaro," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered in Vienna, 1786

May 2

Artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France, 1519

Captain John Smith landed at Jamestown, 1607

Good Housekeeping magazine first published in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1885

J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 77, 1972

Spiro T. Agnew was disbarred in Maryland, 1974

May 3

Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city, 1802

West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax, 1921

Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for "Gone With The Wind," 1937

Margaret Thatcher was chosen to become Britain's first female prime minister, 1979

May 4

Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on present-day Manhattan Island, 1626

Rhode Island declared its freedom from England, 1776

First Lady Julia Tyler was born, 1820

Four student anti-war protesters were killed at Kent State University by Ohio National Guardsmen, 1970

May 5

Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on St. Helena, 1821

John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, 1925

Damn Yankees opened on Broadway, 1955

Astronaut Alan Shepard went on the first manned space flight, 1961

May 6

Tennessee & Arkansas seceded from the Union, 1861

Babe Ruth hit his first home run as a player for the Boston Red Sox, 1915

The Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, N.J., 1937

May 7

The first inaugural ball was held in New York to honor President and Mrs. George Washington, 1789

A German torpedo sank the British liner Lusitania off the coast of Ireland, 1915

Germany surrendered to the United States, 1945

May 8

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River, 1541

President Harry S. Truman was born, 1884

First transatlantic flight, 1919

V-E Day, Victory in Europe (WWII), 1945

The Beatles UK album Let It Be, was released, 1970

May 9

First United States newspaper cartoon published in Benjamin Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette,1754

The Transcontinental Railroad was completed, 1869

First Lady Harriet Johnston was born, (James Buchanan's niece), 1903

The 17th amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, 1913

May 10

Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys captured the British-held fortress at Fort Ticonderoga, New York, 1775

Benedict Arnold was tried for treason, 1779

Paul Revere died in Boston, 1818

General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson died, 1863

The first Mother's Day observance took place in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1908

May 11

Minnesota entered the Union, 1858 (32nd)

Composer Irving Berlin was born Israel Baline in Temun, Russia, 1888

During WWII, American forces landed on Japanese-held Attu island in the Aleutians, 1943

B.F. Goodrich Company developed the tubeless tire, 1947

May 12

Last technical day of American Revolutionary War, 1784

Union forces captured Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1862

May 13

The English Colony at Jamestown, Virginia, was settled, 1607

Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant, 1981

Boxing champion Joe Louis was born in Lafayette. Alabama, 1914

May 14

The first vaccination against smallpox was administered by English doctor Edward Jenner, 1796

Lewis & Clark's expedition began, 1804

First Lady Louisa Adams died, 1852

The first Olympic Games were held in the United States in St. Louis, Missouri, 1904

May 15

First Lady Ellen Wilson was born, 1860

The Truman Doctrine was approved, 1947

Alabama Governor George Wallace was shot and wounded in Laurel, Maryland, 1972

May 16

Issuance of the nickel coin was authorized by Congress, 1866

The first Academy Awards were held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 1929

Annie Get Your Gun opened on Broadway, 1946

Astronaut Cooper orbited the Earth 22 times, 1963

May 17

The New York Stock Exchange was established, 1792

The first Kentucky Derby was held; the winner was "Aristides" 1875

Godspell opened on Broadway, 1971

The Senate opened its hearings into the Watergate scandal, 1973

May 18

Alexander the Great died, 323 BC

The French Senate proclaimed Napoleon Bonaparte emperor, 1804

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created, 1933

The Beatles US Album, "Let It Be," was released, 1970

 Mt. St. Helen's volcano in Washington state erupted, 1980

May 19

Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII was beheaded, 1536

T.E. Lawrence, also known as "Lawrence of Arabia" died in England from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash, 1935

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died, 1994

May 20

Christopher Columbus died in poverty in Spain, 1506

First Lady Dolley Madison born, 1768

The first railroad timetable was published in the newspaper the Baltimore American, 1830

Charles Lindbergh began his historic solo flight, 1927

May 21

Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River, 1542

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross, 1881

Charles Lindbergh arrived in Paris, 1927

Gypsy opened on Broadway, 1959

The Beatles released their German version of "She Loves You - Sie Liebt Dich," 1964

A Chorus Line opened on Broadway, 1975

May 22

The first life insurance policy in the United States was issued, in Philadelphia, 1761

First Lady Martha Washington died, 1802

Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a "Pact of Steel'" committing Germany and Italy to a military alliance, 1939

First Lady Helen Taft died, 1943

May 23

Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, 1430

South Carolina entered the Union, 1788 (8th)

Gangsters Bonnie & Clyde were killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, 1934

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, 1994

May 24

The first passenger railroad in the United States began service in Maryland, between Baltimore & Elliott's Mills, 1830

Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the first message as America's first telegraph line was opened, 1844

The Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, opened to traffic, 1883

Mame opened on Broadway, 1966

May 25

The Constitutional Convention opened, 1787

The first telegraphed news dispatch, sent from Washington to Baltimore appeared in the Baltimore Patriot, 1844

Babe Ruth hit his 714th and last home run, 1935

The Gateway Arch was dedicated in St. Louis, 1968

May 26

Confederate forces west of the Mississippi River made surrender arrangements, 1865

First Lady Ida McKinley died, 1907

The first legal casino opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1978

May 27

The first recorded American execution of a witch took place in Massachusetts, 1647

Wild Bill Hickok was born in Troy Grove, Illinois, 1837

The Golden Gate Bridge was opened to the public, 1937

The German battleship Bismarck sank off France, 1941

May 28

Hernando de Sota landed in Florida, 1541

The first black regiment from the North left Boston to fight in the Civil War, 1863

United States Customs Court created, 1926

Neville Chamberlain became the prime minister of Britain, 1937

May 29

Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act, 1765

Rhode Island became the13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution, 1790

Wisconsin entered the Union, 1848 (30th)

President John F. Kennedy was born, 1917

May 30

Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in France, 1431

The first Indianapolis 500 road race was held, 1911

The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated, 1922

May 31

Walt Whitman was born in West Hill, New York, 1819

Two Thousand people perished when a dam break created a flood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889

The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution was declared in effect, 1913

The last Ford Model T automobile was made, 1927


Copyright 1993-2022 by  John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.