What Happened in May 1844

Historical Events

Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

May 1 Whig convention nominates Henry Clay as presidential candidate

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • May 6 Johan Thorbecke argues general right to vote
  • May 23 Declaration of Bab (Baha'i festival) ('Azamat 7, 1)

CommunicationHistoric Communication

May 24 Samuel Morse taps out "What hath God wrought" in the world's 1st telegraph message

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • May 25 1st telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot

Famous Birthdays

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 2 Elijah McCoy, Canadian-American inventor of African descent, notable for his 57 US patents (lubrication of steam engines), born in Colchester, Ontario (d. 1929)

Inventor Elijah McCoy
Elijah McCoy
  • May 3 Edouard A Drumont, French anti-semitic journalist
  • May 3 Richard D'Oyly Carte, England, opera impresario (Ivanhoe)
  • May 8 Hermann Gradener, composer
  • May 9 [Maria] Catharina Beersmans, Belgian actress (Bad Herders)
  • May 17 Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (d. 1918)
  • May 20 Henri Julien Felix Rousseau, French ambassador/painter (Dream)
  • May 22 Mary Cassatt, US, Impressionist painter (Woman Bathing)
  • May 23 `Abdu'l-Bahá, Successor to Prophet of the Bahá'í Faith (d. 1921)
  • May 28 Leon Felix Augustin Joseph Vasseur, composer
  • May 30 Louis Varney, composer

Famous Deaths

  • May 8 Charles XIV Johan, [Jean B Bernadotte], King of Sweden/Norway, dies
  • May 18 Richard McCarty, American politician (b. 1780)
  • May 21 Guiseppi Baini, composer, dies at 68
  • May 24 William Crockford, clubman/gambler, dies