What Happened in May 1941

Historical Events

Film release premierFilm Premier

May 1 "Citizen Kane", directed & starring Orson Welles, premieres in NY

  • May 1 General Mills introduces Cheerios
  • May 1 German assault on Tobruk
  • May 2 FCC approves regular scheduled commercial TV broadcasts to begin July 1

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 2 Martin Bormann succeeds Rudolf Hess as Hitler's deputy

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • May 2 Nazi occupied Netherlands layoff Jewish journalists

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 2 Ted Williams lowest average (.308) in year he hit over .400

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • May 3 -4] German air raid on Liverpool
  • May 3 67th Kentucky Derby: Eddie Arcaro aboard Whirlaway wins in 2:01.4
  • May 5 2 Fokker's employees flee Nazi occupied Netherlands to England
  • May 5 Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa
  • May 5 Pulitzer prize awarded to Robert E Sherwood (There shall be no night)
  • May 5 First modern perfume, Chanel No. 5 released

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 Joseph Stalin became Premier of Russia

Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin
Soviet Union Premier
Joseph Stalin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 At California's March Field, Bob Hope performs his first USO show.

Entertainer Bob Hope
Bob Hope
  • May 7 British House of Commons votes for Churchill (477-3)
  • May 7 Cornerstone of B of A building at 300 Montgomery laid
  • May 7 Glenn Miller records "Chattanooga Choo Choo" for RCA
  • May 8 German Q-ship Pinguin sinks in Indian Ocean
  • May 9 British intelligence at Bletchley Park breaks German spy codes after capturing Enigma machines aboard the weather ship Muenchen

MurderMurder of Interest

May 9 Louis Buchalter is arraigned in New York state court on the 1936 Joseph Rosen murder along with three other murders

  • May 10 66th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Whirlaway wins in 1:58.8
  • May 10 Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland
  • May 10 British House of Commons & Holborn Theatre damaged in an air raid
  • May 10 Queen Wilhelmina on Radio Orange warns against treason
  • May 11 1st Messerschmidt 109F shot down above England
  • May 12 British forces march into Alexandria
  • May 12 Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
  • May 13 Martin Bormann is named head of Nazi Chancellery in Germany
  • May 13 Trial against resistance fighter comte d'Estienne d'Orves begins
  • May 13 Willy Lewis' US jazz band performs in Switzerland
  • May 14 3,600 Parisian Jews arrested
  • May 15 1st British turbojet flies
  • May 15 British attack Halfaya-pass & Fort Capuzzo in Egypt & Libya

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 15 Joe DiMaggio starts 56-game hitting streak; Yanks lose 13-1

Baseball Player Joe DiMaggio
Baseball Player
Joe DiMaggio
  • May 15 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid Jewish music
  • May 16 1st US/radio performance of Bennett's "Symphony in D for the Dodgers"
  • May 16 Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi Ethiopia
  • May 16 Last great German air attack on Great Britain (Birmingham)
  • May 16 Nazis forbid Dutch Organization of Actors (NOT)
  • May 17 Pennsylvania declares legal holiday to honor A's manager Connie Mack
  • May 18 An Egyptian steamer sinks
  • May 18 Italian army in Ethiopia under general Aosta surrenders to Britain
  • May 18 Jewish veterans honor their dead
  • May 19 Germany occupiers in Holland forbid bicycle taxis
  • May 19 New Nazi battleship Bismarck leaves Gdynia, Poland
  • May 20 Archer's "Christian Calendar & Gregorian Reform" published
  • May 20 Former Dutch PM Colijn says Neth Indies not ready for independence
  • May 20 Germany begins airbourne invasion of Crete
  • May 20 White Sox Taft Wright sets AL record of RBIs in 13 consecutive games
  • May 21 SS Robin Moore is first US ship sunk by a U-boat
  • May 21 German airforce occupies airport at Maleme, Crete
  • May 21 Singer Johan Heesters visits Dachau concentration camp
  • May 22 British troops attack Baghdad

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

May 23 Joe Louis beats Buddy Baer on DQ in 7 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • May 23 Rudolf Harbig runs world record 1k (2:21.5)
  • May 24 German battleship Bismarck sinks the British battle cruiser HMS Hood; 1,416 die, 3 survive
  • May 25 5,000 drown in a storm at Ganges Delta region in India
  • May 25 Ted Williams raises his batting average over .400 for 1st time in 1941

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 26 American Flag House (Betsy Ross' Home) given to city of Phila

Seamstress Credited with Creating the First American Flag Betsy Ross
Seamstress Credited with Creating the First American Flag
Betsy Ross
  • May 26 Aircraft from HMS Ark Royal sights German battleship Bismarck
  • May 26 German occupiers begin youth labor
  • May 27 Allied troops begin evacuating Crete

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 27 FDR declares state of emergency due to Germany's sinking of Robin Moor

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • May 27 German battleship Bismarck sunk by British naval force
  • May 28 1st night game at Wash DC, Griffith stadium (Yanks 6, Senators 5)
  • May 28 British army begins evacuation of Crete
  • May 28 NY Yankees nip Wash Senators 6-5 in 1st night game at Griffith Stadium
  • May 30 1st anti semitic measures in Serbia
  • May 30 British Army enters Baghdad, chasing pro-German coup government
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Floyd Davis/Mauri Rose wins in 4:20:36.266 (185.263 km/h)
  • May 31 -June 1) 32.0 cm rain falls on Burlington Kansas (state record)
  • May 31 1st issue of "Parade" goes on sale
  • May 31 41 U boats sunk this month (325,000 ton)
  • May 31 British troops evacuate Crete
  • May 31 German occupiers forbids Jews access to beach & swimming pools
  • May 31 A Luftwaffe air raid in Dublin, in neutral Ireland, claims 38 lives.

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Barbara Barendrecht, [BHM Wurfbain], actress (Dirty Picture)
  • May 1 Juraj Hatrick, composer
  • May 2 Jules Wijdenbosch, premier Suriname
  • May 2 Clay Carroll, American baseball player
  • May 3 Nona Gaprindasvili, USSR, world women's chess champ (1962-78)
  • May 3 Edward "Monk" Malloy, American university president
  • May 4 David LaFlamme, Utah, electric violinist (It's a Beautiful Day)
  • May 4 George Will, Champaign, Illinois, American political analyst (Night Line)
  • May 5 Aleksandr Ragulin, USSR, ice hockey play (Olympic-gold-1964, 68, 72)
  • May 5 Howie Komives, NBA star (NY Knicks, Buffalo Braves)
  • May 6 Fred J Eckert, (Rep-D-NY, 1985-87)
  • May 6 Ghena Dimitrova, actress (Nabucco)
  • May 7 Grahame Bilby, cricketer (two Tests NZ v England 1966)
  • May 8 James A Traficant Jr, American politician (Rep-D-OH, 1985-2002), born in Youngstown, Ohio, (d. 2014)
  • May 8 Jim Mitchum, actor (Blackout, Invincible 6), born in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • May 8 John Fred [Gourrier], American performer (Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (d. 2005)
  • May 8 Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopian singer
  • May 9 Dorothy Hyman, England, sprinter (Oly-silver-60)
  • May 9 Jan Dibbets, sculptor/artist (Dutch Mountains)
  • May 9 Pete Birrell, rock bassist (Freddie & The Dreamers)
  • May 10 Danny Rapp, rocker (Danny & Juniors), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 10 Ken Berry, baseball player (White Sox, Angels, Brewers, Indians)
  • May 10 Win Bischoff, CEO (Schroders)
  • May 11 Eric Burdon, Walker-on-Tyne England, rock vocalist (Animals-House of the Rising Sun)
  • May 11 Ian Redpath, cricketer (dependable Australian opening batsman 1964-76)
  • May 11 Graham Miles, English snooker player
  • May 12 Anthony Newman, harpsichordist/organist (Bhajeb), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 12 Little Jayotis Washington, US R&B singer (Persuasions)
  • May 12 Ruud de Wolff, singer/guitarist (Blue Diamonds)
  • May 13 Joe Brown, singer/guitarist
  • May 13 Ritchie Valens, singer (Donna, La Bamba)
  • May 13 Senta Berger, actress (Cast a Giant Shadow), born in Vienna, Austria
  • May 14 Nasim-ul-Ghani, cricketer (Pakistani left-handed all-rounder 1958-73)
  • May 15 Cyril Cooray, cricketer (Sri Lankan Test umpire on intl panel)
  • May 15 K T Oslin, Crossett Ar, country singer (80's Ladies)
  • May 15 Lainie Kazan, singer/actress (Lust in the Dust, Beaches), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • May 15 Richard Edward Wilson, composer
  • May 16 Maurice Henry Weddington, composer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 16 Aldrich Ames, CIA officer and spy for the Soviet Union, born in River Falls, Wisconsin

Soviet Union Spy Aldrich Ames
Soviet Union Spy
Aldrich Ames
  • May 17 David Howell Cope, composer
  • May 17 Malcolm Hale, musician (Spanky and Our Gang), born in Butte, Montana (d. 1968)
  • May 17 Miriam Margolyes, actress (Will Be)
  • May 17 Ben Nelson. American politician
  • May 17 Grace Zabriskie, American actress
  • May 18 Diane McBain, actress (Surfside Six, Spinout, Donner Pass), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • May 18 M S Longair, astronomer
  • May 19 Jane Brody, writer/nutritionist
  • May 19 Jimmy Hoffa Jr, son of Jimmy Hoffa/Teamster union leader
  • May 19 Marc-Antonio Consoli, composer
  • May 19 Nora Ephron, NY, novelist/screenwriter/director (Michael, Heartburn), (d. 2012)
  • May 20 Goh Chok Sole, premier of Singapore (1990- )
  • May 20 John Strasberg, American actor
  • May 21 Anatoli Semyonovich Levchenko, USSR, cosmonaut (TM-4)
  • May 21 Ronald Isley, singer (Isley Brothers-Twist & Shout), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • May 21 Martin Carthy, English musician
  • May 22 Paul Winfield, LA, actor (Star Trek II, Huckleberry Finn, Mars Attack)
  • May 22 Sebastian Forbes, composer
  • May 22 Sir Menzies Campbell, British politician
  • May 22 Martha Langbein, German athlete
  • May 23 Jackson Hill, composer
  • May 23 General George Norman Johnson, US singer (Down at the Beach Club)
  • May 24 Andres Garcia, Santo Domingo Dom Rep, actor (Tiger Shark)
  • May 24 Baroness Hollis of Heigham, history lecturer (U of East Anglia)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 24 Bob Dylan [Robert Zimmerman], American singer-songwriter (Blowin' in Wind, The Times They Are a-Changin') and cultural icon, born in Duluth, Minnesota

Singer-Songwriter Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
  • May 24 Brian Dennis, composer
  • May 24 Konrad Boehmer, composer
  • May 24 Martin Mogg, governor (British Durham Prison)
  • May 24 Tony Valentino, rocker (Standells-Dirty Water)
  • May 25 Bill Young, rocker, born in Daingerfield, Texas (d. 1999)
  • May 26 Imants Kalnins, composer
  • May 26 Reg Bundy, British performer (d. 2003)
  • May 26 John Kaufman, sculptor
  • May 27 Adriaan Venema, Dutch journalist/author (Mussert)
  • May 27 Allan Carr, Ill, director (Grease, Happiest Millionaire)
  • May 27 Davina Phillips, actress
  • May 28 Beth Howland, actress (Vera - Alice, Company), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 2015)
  • May 28 Guntram Vesper, writer
  • May 29 Douglas Scott, mountaineer
  • May 29 Roy Crewsdon, Manchester, rocker (Freddie & The Dreamers)
  • May 31 Gil [Walter] Morgan, Haddock GA, PGA golfer (1990 Kemper Open)
  • May 31 Johnny Paycheck, Greenfield OH, singer (Take This Job & Shove It)
  • May 31 June Clark, British Professor of Nursing (Middlesex U)
  • May 31 Kenneth Cooper, harpsichordist/professor (Barnard, Bkln), born in NYC, New York
  • May 31 Louis J. Ignarro, American pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

May 4 Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley (23) weds Ethel Arnold

American Politician Tom Bradley
American Politician
Tom Bradley

Famous Deaths

  • May 1 John R Locksmith de Brown, vicar/CHU-politician, dies at 71
  • May 5 Natalija Obrenović, Queen of Serbia (b. 1859)
  • May 7 David Wijnkoop, revolutionary socialist, dies
  • May 7 Sir James George Frazer, Scottish anthropologist (b. 1854)
  • May 8 Heinrich Zollner, composer, dies at 86
  • May 12 Ruth Stonehouse, silent film actress and director, dies at 48
  • May 23 Lord Herbert Austin, motor manufacturer, dies
  • May 23 Slavko Osterc, composer, dies at 45
  • May 24 Lancelot Holland, British vice-admiral (WW II-Hood), dies in battle
  • May 27 AH Borgesius, tutor/experimentator/amateur astronomer, dies at 76
  • May 30 Prajadhipok, Rama VII, king of Thailand (b. 1893)