What Happened in May 1851

Historical Events

  • May 1 Great Exhibition opens in the Crystal Palace, London
  • May 3 Most of San Francisco destroyed by fire; 30 die
  • May 4 First major San Francisco fire destroys a quarter of the city
  • May 6 Dr John Gorrie patents a "refrigeration machine"
  • May 6 Linus Yale patents Yale lock
  • May 6 New slave regulations go into effect in Suriname
  • May 6 San Francisco Chamber of Commerce starts
  • May 15 Rama IV, [Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua], king of Thai (1851-68), crowned
  • May 18 Amsterdam-Nieuwediep telegraph connection linked

Conference meetingConference of Interest

May 29 Sojourner Truth addresses 1st Black Women's Rights Convention (Akron)

Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate Sojourner Truth
Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate
Sojourner Truth

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Laza Lazarević, Serbian writer and psychiatrist (d. 1891)
  • May 18 James Budd, Governor of California (d. 1908)
  • May 20 Emile Berliner, Germany, inventor (flat phonograph record)
  • May 20 Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, US, nun/daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • May 21 Leon Bourgeois, France, politician, internationalist (Nobel 1920)
  • May 23 Antoni Stolpe, composer
  • May 28 Dick Barlow, cricketer (immortal England all-rounder of 1880s)
  • May 29 Leon VA Bourgeois, French premier (1895-96, Nobel 1920)

Famous Deaths

  • May 17 Jean E "Adrian" van Bevervoorde, journalist (Treason), dies at 31
  • May 22 Mordecai Manuel Noah, American writer, journalist (b. 1755)
  • May 23 Lucas Pieter Roodbaard, architect, dies at 69
  • May 24 Stanko Vraz, [Jakob Frass], Slavic poet (Grammatica), dies at 40