What Happened in May 1881

Historical Events

  • May 5 Anit-Jewish rioting in Kiev Ukraine

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 8 Henry Morton Stanley signs the first of many contracts with the Congolian monarch

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • May 10 Lighthouse on Ameland begins operation
  • May 11 Bedrich Smetana's opera "Libusa" premieres in Prague
  • May 12 Treaty of Bardo, Tunisia becomes a French protectorate
  • May 16 World's 1st electric tram enters service in Lichterfelder (near Berlin)
  • May 17 7th Kentucky Derby: Jim McLaughlin aboard Hindoo wins in 2:40

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 17 Frederick Douglass appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
Abolitionist
Frederick Douglass
  • May 17 Revised version of New Testament

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton

Humanitarian Clara Barton
Humanitarian
Clara Barton
  • May 21 US Nation Lawn Tennis Association forms
  • May 24 Canadian ferry Princess Victoria sinks near London Ontario, 200 die
  • May 24 Turkey cedes Thessaly and Arta back to Greece.
  • May 27 9th Preakness: T Costello aboard Saunterer wins in 2:40.5

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, France, philosopher/paleontologist
  • May 4 Aleksandr F Kerenski, Russian premier (1917-Prelude to Bolshevism)
  • May 11 Jan van Gilse, composer/resistance fighter (Frau Helga von Staveren)
  • May 11 Pascual Rogatis, composer
  • May 11 Al Cabrera, Spanish-born Cuban baseball player (d. 1964)
  • May 11 Theodore von Kármán, Hungarian physicist (d. 1963)
  • May 13 Ilona Durigo, Hungarian singer
  • May 14 Ed Walsh, American baseball pitcher, lowest lifetime ERA (1.82)
  • May 14 G. Murray Hulbert, American politician (d. 1950)
  • May 18 Georgi Atanasov, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 19 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of Turkey (1923-38) and founder of the Republic of Turkey, born in Salonica, Ottoman Empire (d. 1938)

President and founder of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
President and founder of the Republic of Turkey
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • May 20 Wladyslaw Sikorski, premier Poland (WW II general)
  • May 24 Mikulas Schneider-Trvavsky, composer
  • May 27 Rudolf Pannwitz, German writer
  • May 29 Frederik Septimus Kelly, composer
  • May 30 Georg von Küchler, German field marshal (d. 1968)

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

May 1 Physiologist Ivan Pavlov (32) weds Seraphima Karchevskaya

Physiologist Ivan Pavlov
Physiologist
Ivan Pavlov

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Josip Jurcic, Slovic writer (Schone Vida), dies
  • May 11 Henri-Frederic Amiel, Swiss/French writer (Journal Intime), dies at 59
  • May 23 Leopold von Ranke, historian, dies
  • May 24 Samuel Palmer, British landscape painter, dies at 76
  • May 26 Jakob Bernays, German philologist (b. 1824)