What Happened in May 1956

Historical Events

  • May 1 A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.
  • May 2 US Lab detects high-temperature microwave radiation from Venus
  • May 2 US Methodist church disallows racial separation
  • May 3 Frank Loesser's musical "Most Happy Fella" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 678 performances
  • May 3 A new range of mountains discovered in Antarctica (2 over 13,000')
  • May 4 Queen Juliana unveils National Monument to Dams in Amsterdam
  • May 4 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • May 5 82nd Kentucky Derby: David Erb aboard Needles wins in 2:03.4
  • May 5 Broekster Boys soccer team forms in Damwoude
  • May 5 Jim Bailey (US) runs mile a record 3:58.6 in LA Calif
  • May 5 World championships of judo are 1st held, in Tokyo
  • May 6 Gus Bell (Reds) homers off Bob Miller in both ends of a double header
  • May 6 WRCB TV channel 3 in Chattanooga, TN (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 7 Battle at Oran, Algeria, kills 300
  • May 7 NY Giant Bill White, homers in his 1st at bat
  • May 7 Pulitzer prize awarded to Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett
  • May 8 John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" premieres in London
  • May 9 First ascent of Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest mountain.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 9 War Reparations and Peace Settlement between Philippines and Japan was finally signed at Malacañang Palace under Magsaysay administration.

7th President of the Philippines Ramon Magsaysay
7th President of the Philippines
Ramon Magsaysay
  • May 10 French government sends 50,000 reservists to Algeria
  • May 10 KFSN TV channel 30 in Fresno, CA (ABC/CBS) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 10 9th Cannes Film Festival: "The Silent World" directed by Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle wins the Palme d'Or

Oceanographer, Explorer and Scientist Jacques Cousteau
Oceanographer, Explorer and Scientist
Jacques Cousteau
  • May 11 Pinky Lee Show last airs on NBC-TV

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 Elvis Presley's 1st entry on UK charts with "Heartbreak Hotel"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley
  • May 12 Bkln Dodger Carl Erskine's 2nd no-hitter, beats NY Giants, 3-0
  • May 12 East Pakistan struck by cyclone & tidal waves
  • May 13 Pachyderm Building at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo opens
  • May 16 Egypt recognizes People's Republic of China
  • May 16 Great Britain performs nuclear Test at Monte Bello Is Australia
  • May 16 Kraft Theater presents an act from "Profiles in Courage"
  • May 16 Laker takes 10-88 for Surrey v Australians at the Oval
  • May 18 Hungarian party leader Matyas Rákosi enforces his own policy

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 18 Mickey Mantle hits HR from both sides of plate for record 3rd time

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • May 18 Queen Juliana opens Rembrandt fairs in Amsterdam
  • May 19 81st Preakness: Bill Hartack aboard Fabius wins in 1:58.4
  • May 19 Pirate Dale Long hits 9th-inning HR, 1st HR in 8 straight games
  • May 20 Atomic fusion (thermonuclear) bomb dropped from plane-Bikini Atoll
  • May 20 Jordan government of Samir resigns
  • May 21 Jordan government of Said el-Mufti forms
  • May 21 US explodes 1st airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll
  • May 21 WITI TV channel 6 in Milwaukee, WI (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 22 "Bob Hope Show" last airs on NBC-TV

Entertainer Bob Hope
Bob Hope
  • May 22 KRIS TV channel 6 in Corpus Christi, TX (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • May 23 World Trade Center dedicated in Ferry Building, SF
  • May 24 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbāna.
  • May 24 1st Eurovision Song Contest: Lys Assia for Switzerland wins singing "Refrain" in Lugano
  • May 25 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Haurietis aquas
  • May 26 A fire on board the aircraft carrier USS Bennington in Narragansett Bay, off Rhode Island, kills 103 crew
  • May 26 Reds' John Klippstein, Hershel Freemman & Joe Blacks no-hitter, broken up with 2 outs in 10th & lose to Braves in 11th, 2-1
  • May 26 55th Men's French Championships: Lewis Hoad beats Sven Davidson (6-4, 8-6, 6-3)
  • May 26 55th Women's French Championships: Althea Gibson beats Angela Mortimer (6-0, 12-10)
  • May 27 French raid in Algiers
  • May 27 US performs nuclear test at Enwetak (atmospheric tests)
  • May 28 Dale Long becomes 1st to hit HRs in 8 straight games

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 28 Eisenhower signs farm bill allows government to store agricultural surplus

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 29 Arnold Schoenberg's "Modern Psalm" premieres

Composer and Painter Arnold Schoenberg
Composer and Painter
Arnold Schoenberg
  • May 29 WESH TV channel 2 in Daytona Beach-Orlando, FL (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • May 30 Bus boycott begins in Tallahassee Florida
  • May 30 Mickey Mantle misses by 18" hitting 1st HR out of Yankee Stadium
  • May 30 US performs nuclear test at Enwetak (atmospheric tests)
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Pat Flaherty wins in 3:53:28.872 (206.785 km/h)
  • May 31 Mickey Mantle HR just misses clearing Yankee Stadium's roof

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 Byron Stewart, Baxter Springs Ks, actor (Warren Coolidge-St Elsewhere)
  • May 2 David Rhodes, English guitarist
  • May 3 Marc Bellemare, French Canadian lawyer and politician
  • May 4 Jackie Bertsch, LPGA golfer
  • May 4 Michael L Gernhardt, Mansfield OH, astronaut (STS 69, 83, 94, sk 100)
  • May 4 Ulrike Meyfarth, Frankfurt West Germany, high jumper (Olympic-gold-1972)
  • May 4 David Guterson, American author
  • May 4 Ken Oberkfell, American baseball player
  • May 4 Sharon Jones, soul/funk singer (Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • May 5 Dick Kemper, Amsterdam Neth, rock vocalist/bassist (Vandenberg)
  • May 7 Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • May 7 Anne Dudley, British composer
  • May 7 Jean Lapierre, Canadian politician and television host
  • May 8 Jeff Madrigali, Walnut Creek California, soling sailor (Olymp-bronze-96)
  • May 9 Wendy Crewson, Canadian actress
  • May 10 Vladislav Listyev, Russian television anchor and journalist (d. 1995)
  • May 11 Theresa Burke, Canadian journalist
  • May 11 Alex Lester, British broadcaster
  • May 12 Bernie Federko, Canadian ice hockey player
  • May 12 Glenn Robbins, Australian comedian

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 12 Homer Simpson, fictional character from the long running television show "The Simpsons", born in Springfield

Fictional TV Character Homer Simpson
Fictional TV Character
Homer Simpson
  • May 13 Aleksandr Yuriyevich Kaleri, Russia, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-14)
  • May 13 Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation
  • May 14 Gillian [Marucha] Bradshaw, US, sci-fi author (Hawk of May)
  • May 14 Steve Hogarth, Kendal England, vocals (Marillion-Clutching at Straws)
  • May 15 Alice Miller, Marysville CA, LPGA golfer (1985 Nabisco Dinah Shore)
  • May 15 Dan Patrick, American sportscaster
  • May 17 Bob Saget, comedian (Full House, America's Funniest Home Video), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 17 Sue Carpenter, TV presenter/journalist
  • May 17 Sugar Ray [Charles] Leonard, Rocky Mount North Carolina, boxer (Olympics-gold-76)
  • May 17 Dave Sim, Canadian cartoonist
  • May 18 Joe [Naomichi] Ozaki, Tekushima Japan, golfer (1995 Phoenix Open-8th)
  • May 19 Althea Gwyn, WBL center (NY Stars)
  • May 19 Martyn Ware, rocker (Heaven 17-Electric Dreams)
  • May 19 Steve Ford, actor (Young & Restless)/son of President Gerald Ford
  • May 20 Andrew Hilditch, cricketer (Australian opening bat 1979-85)
  • May 20 Tomas Smid, Czech, tennis star
  • May 20 Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Norwegian author
  • May 20 Dean Butler, American actor
  • May 20 William Michaelian, American novelist and poet
  • May 22 Douglas Heyes Jr, actor (Captains & Kings, Aspen), born in Los Angeles, California
  • May 22 Natasha Shneider, Russian-born musician
  • May 23 Ursula Plassnik, Austrian politician
  • May 23 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer
  • May 23 Buck Showalter, American baseball player and manager
  • May 24 Helen Terry, rocker (Now You're Mine)
  • May 24 Michael Jackson, Northern Irish clergyman
  • May 25 Tatsutoshi Goto, wrestler (WAR/NJPW)
  • May 25 Sugar Minott, Jamaican singer
  • May 25 David P. Sartor, American music composer
  • May 26 Frédéric Dutoit, French politician
  • May 27 Lisa Niemi, actress (Dirty Dancing, Will Rodgers Follies), born in Houston, Texas
  • May 27 Nick Lowery, NFL kicker (NY Jets)
  • May 27 Steve Pagano, horse trainer
  • May 27 Cynthia McFadden, American television anchor
  • May 28 Germaine Montenesdro, 2nd victim of NYC's Zodiac killer (survives)
  • May 28 Jeff Dujon, cricket wicket-keeper (WI 1981-91, their most successful)
  • May 28 Mark Alexander Lees, rowing Coach
  • May 28 Susie Diane Owens, Arkansas City Kansas, playmate (March, 1988)
  • May 28 Markus Höttinger, Austrian racing driver (d. 1980)
  • May 29 LaToya Jackson, American singer/model (If You Feel the Funk)/posed for Playboy, born in Gary, Indiana
  • May 29 Larry Blackmon, rocker (Cameo-Alligator Woman)
  • May 30 Jonathan Idema, Poughkeepsie, New York, torturer, kidnapper and con artist (d. 2012)
  • May 31 Bart van Poppel, Dutch bassist/guitarist/singer (Tambourine)
  • May 31 Yoshiko Sakakibara, Chiba Japan, actress (Sailor Moon, Vampire Hunter)
  • May 31 Fritz Hilpert, German musician and sound engineer (Kraftwerk)

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

May 12 NY Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner (25) weds Elizabeth Joan Zieg

New York Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
New York Yankees Owner
George Steinbrenner

HeartWedding of Interest

May 22 Actress Anita Ekberg (24) weds actor and singer Anthony Steel (36) in Florence, Italy

Actress Anita Ekberg
Anita Ekberg

Famous Deaths

  • May 5 Charles R Gallas, lexicographer (French Dictionary), dies at 88
  • May 11 Walter S Adams, US astronomer/director of Mount Wilson, dies at 79
  • May 12 Hendrik P Marchant, Dutch minister of Education, dies at 87
  • May 12 Louis Calhern, dies at 61
  • May 12 Vladimir Ambros, composer, dies at 65
  • May 13 Aleksandr A Fadejev, Russ author (Young Guard), commits suicide at 54
  • May 15 Austin Osman Spare, English magician (b. 1886)
  • May 16 H. B. Reese, American founder of Reese's (b. 1876)
  • May 18 Maurice Tate, cricketer (39 Tests for England, 155 wickets), dies
  • May 20 Andre Eugene Maurice Charlot, actor (Summer Storm), dies
  • May 20 Max Beerbohm, caricturist/writer (Yet Again), dies
  • May 24 Guy Kibbee, American actor (Capt Blood, Babes in Arms), dies at 74
  • May 26 Al Simmons, outfielder (A's)/lifetime batting avg of .334, dies at 54
  • May 29 Albert H Edelkoort, theologist (Christusverwachting), dies at 65
  • May 29 Hermann Abendroth, German conductor (Gewandhausorkest), dies at 73