What Happened in May 1931

Historical Events

  • May 1 Empire State Building opens in New York City
  • May 1 Norway claims Peter I Island
  • May 1 Singer Kate Smith begins her long-running radio program on CBS
  • May 4 Mustafa Kemal Pasja becomes Turkish president
  • May 8 Operette "Land of Smiles" premieres in London
  • May 9 56th Preakness: George Ellis aboard Mate wins in 1:59
  • May 10 Golf ball size hail falls in Burlington, NJ
  • May 11 Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, fails, beginning financial collapse of Central Europe
  • May 13 Paul Doumer elected president of France
  • May 14 Ådalen shootings: five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration.
  • May 15 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno
  • May 16 57th Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on Twenty Grand wins 2:01.8
  • May 19 Cruiser Deutschland launched in Kiel
  • May 21 Belgian government of Jaspar falls
  • May 22 Canned rattlesnake meat 1st goes on sale in Florida
  • May 23 Whipsnade Zoo opens in Bedfordshire, England
  • May 24 1st air-conditioned train installed-B&O Railroad
  • May 27 1st full scale wind tunnel for testing airplanes, Langley Field Va
  • May 27 Piccard & Knipfer make 1st flight into stratosphere, by balloon
  • May 30 Phillies Chuck Klein homers off Ben Cantwell (Braves) in both ends DH
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Schneider wins in 5:10:27.948 (155.509 km/h)
  • May 31 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan: 40,000 dead.
  • May 31 36th Men's French Championships: Jean Borotra beats Christian Boussus (2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4)

Sport awardTennis Open

May 31 36th Women's French Championships: Cilly Aussem beats Betty Nuthall (8-6, 6-1)

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Phil Bruns, American actor and writer (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman), (d. 2012)
  • May 2 Richard "Groove" Holmes, American jazz musician (Misty), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 1991)
  • May 3 Joseph Lichtman Layton, dancer
  • May 3 Thomas Sutherland, American hostage (Lebanon) and academic, born in Falkirk, Scotland (d. 2016)
  • May 4 Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Russian conductor (USSR State Radio), born in Moscow, Russia
  • May 4 Thomas Stuttaford, British doctor and writer
  • May 5 Greg, Belgian comic-book writer (Achille Talon) (d, 1999)
  • May 6 Marvin Leath, (Rep-D-TX, 1979- )

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 6 Willie Mays, American baseball centerfielder (Giants, NY Mets), "Say Hey Kid" (660 HRs, MVP 1954), born in Westfield, Alabama

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • May 7 Gene [Rodman] Wolfe, US, sci-fi author (Soldier of Arete)
  • May 7 Nel J Ginjaar-Maas, Dutch under-secretary of Education (VVD)
  • May 7 Teresa Brewer, singer (Put Another Nickel In), born in Toledo, Ohio
  • May 8 Charles M Wilson, composer
  • May 9 Vance DeVoe Brand, astro (Apollo 18, STS-5, 41B, 35), born in Longmont, Colorado
  • May 10 Lord Michael Mustill, of Pateley Bridge, Lord Justice of Appeal
  • May 10 Ettore Scola, Italian director and screenwriter (A Special Day), born in Trevico, Campania (d. 2016)
  • May 11 Stephen Smalley, rev/dean (Chester)
  • May 12 Johan Fleerackers, Flemish vice-president of Dutch One
  • May 13 Eileen Diss, theatrical designer (August, Secret Places, Betrayal)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 13 Jim Jones, American Leader of Peoples Temple cult (Jonestown Massacre), born in Randolph County, Indiana (d. 1978)

Founder of the Peoples Temple cult Jim Jones
Founder of the Peoples Temple cult
Jim Jones
  • May 13 Sydney Lipworth, CEO (Monopolies & Mergers Commission)
  • May 13 William Utting, chief inspector (British Social Services)
  • May 14 Alvin Augustus Lucier Jr, composer
  • May 15 David Healy, actor (Supergirl, Doomsday Gun, Patton, Be My Guest)
  • May 15 F Korthals Altes, Dutch minister of Justice (VVD)
  • May 15 Ken Venturi, American golfer, (d. 2013)
  • May 16 Donald James Martino, composer (Noturnno-Pulitzer 1974), born in Plainfield, New Jersey
  • May 16 Jack Dodson, actor (Howard Sprage- "The Andy Griffith Show"), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • May 16 Lowell P Weicker, (Sen-R-CT, 1971-88/Gov-D-CT)
  • May 16 Peter Levi, poet/writer
  • May 16 Denise Filiatrault, French Canadian actress and director
  • May 16 Natwar Singh, Indian politician
  • May 16 Hana Brady, Jewish Czech Holocaust victim (Hanna's Suitcase), born in Prague (d. 1944)
  • May 17 Dewey Redman, jazz musician
  • May 18 Robert Morse, Newton Mass, actor (That's Life, Jack Frost)
  • May 18 Don Martin, American cartoonist (d. 2000)
  • May 19 Eric Davidson, comedy scriptwriter
  • May 19 Ruben Radica, composer
  • May 19 Eric Tappy, Swiss tenor
  • May 19 Bob Anderson, British racing driver (d. 1967)
  • May 20 Chiharu Igaya, Japan, slalom (Olympic-silver-1956)
  • May 20 Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
  • May 21 Desmond Wilcox, broadcaster
  • May 21 George Vassiliou, president of Cyprus (1988-93)
  • May 23 Barbara Barrie, actress (Breaking Away, Barney Miller), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 24 Michael Lonsdale, French actor
  • May 25 John Gabriel, actor (Cat Gang, Fantasies), born in Niagara Falls, New York
  • May 25 Aili Jõgi, Estonian freedom fighter
  • May 25 Donald Phelps, American actor (Ghost Ship), born in Indiana (d. 1993)
  • May 27 Florence Sharples, director (British YWCA)
  • May 27 John Chapple, British chief of General Staff
  • May 27 Kenny Price, Florence Ky, country singer (Midwestern Hayride, Hee Haw)
  • May 27 Veroslav Neumann, composer
  • May 27 James Wilson, criminologist ('Zero Tolerance' policing), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2012)
  • May 28 Carroll Baker, Penn, actress (Andy Warhol's Bad, Babydoll, Harlow)
  • May 28 Ervin Junger, composer
  • May 28 Peter Talbot Westergaard, composer
  • May 28 Raymond Miquel, chairman (Scottish Sports Council)
  • May 28 Stephen Birmingham, American author (Real Lace: America's Irish Rich), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2015)
  • May 29 Carl Toms, stage designer
  • May 31 John Schrieffer, US physicist (Nobel 1972)
  • May 31 Shirley Verrett, mezzo-soprano (Cassandra-Les Troyens), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • May 31 Steve Horn, (Rep-R-California)
  • May 31 Huby Heard, singer-songwriter (The God Squad), born in Hamilton, Ohio (d. 2004)

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Frank Hoyt Losey, composer, dies at 59
  • May 3 Otto Winter-Hjelm, composer, dies at 93
  • May 5 Glen Kidston, British aviator and racing driver (b. 1899)
  • May 9 A[lbert] A[braham] Michelson, US physicist (1907 Nobel), dies at 78
  • May 12 Eugene Ysaye, Belgian composer and violinist, dies at 72
  • May 13 Josif Marinkovic, composer, dies at 79
  • May 14 David Belasco, American theatrical producer (b. 1853)
  • May 14 Denys Finch Hatton, English big-game hunter (b. 1887)
  • May 17 Johan [Eliza J] de Master, art critic/writer, dies
  • May 17 Timothy Cole, wood engraver, dies
  • May 31 Felix-Raymond-Marie Rouleau, French Canadian cardinal, archbishop of Quebec (b. 1866)