Historical Events in May 1840

  • May 1 "Penny Blacks", first adhesive postage stamps issued by Great Britain
  • May 6 World's first postage stamp, the Penny Black, is issued in Great Britain
  • May 7 Tornado strikes Natchez, Miss, kills 317
  • May 8 Alexander Wolcott patents Photographic Process
  • May 20 York Minster badly damaged by fire
  • May 21 Captain William Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand; the North Island by treaty and the South Island by 'discovery'
  • May 22 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.