On This Day in History for May 19

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 127

  • 715 St Gregory II begins his reign as Catholic Pope

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1506 Columbus selects his son Diego as sole heir

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus
  • 1515 George van Saksen-Meissen sells Friesland for 100,000 gold guilders to arch duke Charles
  • 1517 Philip van Bourgondie installed as bishop of Utrecht


1536 Ann Boleyn, second wife of English King Henry VIII is beheaded at the Tower of London on charges of adultery, incest and treason

King of England Henry VIII
King of England
Henry VIII
  • 1547 Monarch Johan Frederik surrenders to Karel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1568 English Queen Elizabeth I arrests Mary, Queen of Scots

Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1571 Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi founded Manilla in the Phillipines
  • 1585 Spain confisquates English ships
  • 1608 Matthias von Habsburgs army reaches Lieben, at Prague
  • 1635 France's First Minister, Cardinal Richelieu declares war on Spain (Franco-Spanish War 1635–59)
  • 1643 Battle at Rocroi/Allersheim: French army destroys Spanish army
  • 1643 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England
  • 1649 England is declared a Commonwealth by an act of the Long Parliament making England a republic for the next 11 years
  • 1652 Spanish troops occupy Grevelingen
  • 1662 Uniformity Act of England goes into effect
  • 1749 George II grants charter to Ohio Company to settle Ohio Valley
  • 1780 About midday, near-total darkness descends on New England, now known to be caused by forest fires in Canada
  • 1792 Russian army enters Poland
  • 1793 Netherlands captures French island of St Maarten (held until 1795)
  • 1796 Game protection law restricts encroachment on Indian hunting grounds
  • 1802 French Order of Legion d'Honneur forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1828 U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828/Tariff of Abominations into law to protect industry in the North

6th US President John Quincy Adams
6th US President
John Quincy Adams
  • 1848 1st department store opens
  • 1848 Mexico gives Texas to US, ending the war
  • 1856 Sen Charles Sumner, Mass, spoke out against slavery
  • 1857 William Francis Channing & Moses G Farmer patents electric fire alarm
  • 1863 Siege of Vicksburg, investment of city complete
  • 1864 Battle of Port Walthall Junction, VA (Bermuda Hundred)
  • 1864 Last engagement in series of battles known as Spotsylvania
  • 1864 Skirmish at Cassville Georgia
  • 1878 Blanche Kelso Bruce appointed register of treasury by President Garfield
  • 1884 Ringling Brothers circus premieres
  • 1885 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn, Massachusetts)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1885 German chancellor Bismarck takes possession of Cameroon and Togoland

German Statesman Otto Von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto Von Bismarck
  • 1891 Rice Institute, which became Rice University, is chartered
  • 1892 Charles Brady King invents pneumatic hammer
  • 1892 National Society of Colonial Dames of America founded
  • 1893 Heavy rain wash "quick clay" into a deep valley, kills 111 (Norway)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1896 1st auto (Karl Benz) to arrive in Netherlands

Automobile Engineer and Inventor Karl Benz
Automobile Engineer and Inventor
Karl Benz

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1897 Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol.

Writer/Poet Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
  • 1898 US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards though they had to be labelled "Private Mailing Cards" until 1901 and become known as "souvenir cards"
  • 1900 Great Britain annexes Tonga archipelago
  • 1900 World's longest railroad tunnel (Simplon) links Italy & Switz, opens
  • 1902 Great Britain & Boers resume peace talks in Pretoria
  • 1906 Federated Boys' Club (Boys' Club of America) organizes
  • 1906 Portugal's King Carlos I names Joao Franco premier
  • 1910 Passage of Earth through tail of Halley's Comet causes near-panic
  • 1913 Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill passes, forbidding Japanese from owning land
  • 1916 Escadrille Américaine (Lafayette) transfered to Verdun
  • 1918 Wash 1st Sunday game, Senators beat Cleveland 1-0 in 18 innings

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lands at Samsun on the Black Sea coast, beginning the Turkish War of Independence

President and founder of the Republic of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
President and founder of the Republic of Turkey
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • 1921 Congress sharply curbs immigration, setting a national quota system
  • 1923 KPD (communist revolts) in German Ruhr cities occupied by Allies
  • 1926 French air force bombs Damascus Syria
  • 1928 "Firedamp" explodes in Mather Pa coal mine killing 195 of 273 miners
  • 1928 51 frogs enter 1st annual "Frog Jumping Jubilee" (Angel's Camp, Cal)
  • 1929 Cloudburst causes stampede in Yankee Stadium crushes 2 people to death

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1929 General Feng Yu-Xiang of China declares war on Chiang Kai-shek government

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • 1930 White women win voting rights in South Africa
  • 1931 Cruiser Deutschland launched in Kiel
  • 1934 Military coup by Col Damian Veltsjev in Bulgaria
  • 1934 Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle in "Sat Review of Lit" Males who solved puzzle became members of Baker Street Irregulars
  • 1937 John Murray/Allen Boretz's "Room Service" premieres in NYC
  • 1939 Churchill signs British-Russian anti-Nazi pact
  • 1940 Amsterdam time becomes MET (Middle European Time)
  • 1940 French counter attack at Pronne under Gen De Gaulle
  • 1941 New Nazi battleship Bismarck leaves Gdynia, Poland
  • 1943 Berlin is declared "Judenrien" (free of Jews)
  • 1943 Churchill pledges Britain's full support to US against Japan
  • 1944 240 gypsies transported to Auschwitz from Westerbork, Netherlands
  • 1944 German defense line in Italy collapsed
  • 1946 Dutch Cooperation for Sexual Reform (NVSH) forms in Amsterdam
  • 1950 NY Times reports of worlds smallest & dumbest mechanical brain
  • 1953 Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)
  • 1954 Postmaster General Summerfield approves CIA mail-opening project
  • 1955 Atkinson & Depeiaza make 347 stand for 7th wkt WI v Australia
  • 1956 Pirate Dale Long hits 9th-inning HR, 1st HR in 8 straight games
  • 1957 Adone Zoli forms Italian government
  • 1958 Premiere of Harold Pinter's play "Birthday Party" in London
  • 1958 South Pacific soundtrack album goes #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks
  • 1958 US & Canada form North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)
  • 1959 Jan de Quay becomes premier of Netherlands
  • 1959 The USS Triton, the first submarine with two nuclear reactors, is completed
  • 1960 Alan Freed & eight other DJs accused of taking radio payola
  • 1960 Belgian parliament requires rest day for self employed
  • 1960 USAF Maj Robert M White takes X-15 to 33,222 m
  • 1961 New pier opens in Scheveningen
  • 1962 Indonesian paratroopers land in New Guinea
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)
  • 1964 US diplomats find at least 40 secret microphones in Moscow embassy
  • 1965 Patricia R Harris named 1st US black female ambassador (Luxembourg)
  • 1967 US bombs Hanoi (Vietnam War)
  • 1967 USSR ratifies treaty with Britain & US banning nuclear weapons in space
  • 1968 Frank Howard fails to homer, after hitting 10 in 6 consecutive games
  • 1968 Pirate Radio Brumble of Northern England 1st heard
  • 1971 USSR launches Mars 2, 1st spacecraft to crash land on Mars
  • 1972 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1974 Valeri Giscard d'Estaing wins French presidential election
  • 1975 Farm truck packed with wedding party struck by a train, killing 66 in truck, 40 miles south of Poona, India

Birthdays in History

  • 1469 Giovanni della Robbia, Italian sculptor
  • 1611 Innocent XI, [Benedetto Odescalchi], Italy, 240th Pope (1676-89)
  • 1700 José de Escandón, Spanish colonial governor (d. 1770)
  • 1724 Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol, British admiral and politician (d. 1779)
  • 1744 Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (d. 1818)
  • 1762 Johann G Fichte German philosopher (Wissenschaftslehre)
  • 1773 Arthur Aikin, English mineralogist (d. 1854)
  • 1795 Johns Hopkins, philanthropist, founded Johns Hopkins University
  • 1797 Maria Isabel of Portugal, queen of Spain (d. 1818)
  • 1808 Samuel Jameson Gholson, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1883)
  • 1812 Felix Kirk Zollicoffer, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1862)
  • 1815 John Gross Barnard, Bvt Major General (Union Army), (d. 1882)
  • 1827 Paul-Armand Challemel-Lacour, French statesman (d. 1896)
  • 1828 Adin Ballou Underwood, Bvt Major General (Union volunteers)
  • 1857 John Jacob Abel, American Pharmacologist (endocrine glands), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1858 Roland Napoleon Bonaparte, French officer/traveller (Surinam)
  • 1860 Victor E Orlando, Italy's premier (1917-19)
  • 1862 Mikhail Nesterov, Russian painter (d. 1942)
  • 1864 Carl Ethan Akeley, US, naturalist, devoleped animal mount process
  • 1868 John Fillmore Hayford, Rouses Point New York, American Geodesist who established the theory of isostasy and founded the modern science of geodesy (precise measurements of the shape of the earth)
  • 1869 Jules Poncelet, Belgian minister of State
  • 1869 Henry Horatio Dixon, Irish Biologist who originated the cohesion-tension theory of water and mineral movement in plants, born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1870 Albert Fish, American serial killer (d. 1936)
  • 1871 Reginald Aldworth Daly, Napanee Ontario, Canadian-American Geologist who independently developed the theory of magmatic stopping
  • 1876 William King Gregory, Greenwich Village New York, American palaeontologist (mammalian teeth, evolutionary theory)
  • 1879 Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, US/Eng's feminist/ex of Waldorf Astor
  • 1880 Allard R Hulshoff, architect of Amsterdam (1924)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1881 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
  • 1882 Mohammed Mosaddeq, Prime Minister of Iran (d. 1967)
  • 1883 Henricus WJM Keuls, Dutch lawyer/poet (Dancing Lamp)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1890 Ho Chi Minh [Nguyễn Sinh Cung], Vetnamese communist revolutionary and President of North Vietnam (1946-69), born in Nghệ An Province, French Indochina (d. 1969)

Vietnamese Communist Revolutionary Ho Chi Minh
Vietnamese Communist Revolutionary
Ho Chi Minh
  • 1891 Oswald Boelcke, German World War I pilot (d. 1916)
  • 1892 Konstatin G Paustovski, Russian author (Povestj Zjizni) [OS]
  • 1896 Michael Balcon, producer/father of Jill Balcon, born in Birmingham, England
  • 1897 Frank Luke, American World War I pilot (d. 1918)
  • 1898 Julius Evola, Italian philosopher (d. 1974)
  • 1909 Nicholas Winton, English Humanitarian ('British Schindler' - saved 600 children from Nazis), born in London (d. 2015)
  • 1913 Albert Hardy, photographer
  • 1913 Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, president of India
  • 1914 Max Perutz, Austrian-born molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 2002)
  • 1914 Go Seigen, Japanese Go player
  • 1918 Abraham Pais, Dutch-born American physicist (d. 2000)
  • 1919 Mitja Ribičič, Trieste, Italy, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1969-71), (d. 2013)
  • 1920 Tina Strobos, Netherlands, physician and resistor to Nazi occupation, (d. 2012)
  • 1921 Charles van de Reve, slavic (Belief of Kameraden)
  • 1921 Karel van het Reve, Dutch Slavist (Comrade's Religion)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1925 Malcolm X [Little], African American human rights activist and Muslim minister, born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1965)

African American Activist Malcolm X
African American Activist
Malcolm X
  • 1926 Swami Kriyananda, Indian teacher and author
  • 1928 Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator (d. 1998)
  • 1928 Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars (d. 1982)
  • 1929 Harvey Cox, US theologist (Secular City)
  • 1929 John Stroger Chicago politician
  • 1930 Lorraine Hansberry, playwright (Raisin in the Sun)
  • 1932 Paul Erdman, American economist and author (d. 2007)
  • 1934 James Charles Lehrer, Wichita Ks, news anchor (McNeil-Lehrer Report)
  • 1934 Ruskin Bond, Indian author
  • 1935 Fritz Rudolf Fries, German writer, born in Bilbao, Spain (d. 2014)
  • 1937 Sanne Sannes, Dutch photographer
  • 1938 James H Bilbray, (Rep-D-Nevada)
  • 1938 Moisés da Costa Amaral, East Timorese leader (d. 1989)
  • 1939 Francis R Scobee, Wash, USAF/astronaut (STS 41C, 51L-Chal disaster)
  • 1940 Frank Lorenzo, airline executive (Continental, Texas Air, Eastern)
  • 1941 Jane Brody, writer/nutritionist
  • 1941 Jimmy Hoffa Jr, son of Jimmy Hoffa/Teamster union leader

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942 Gary Kildall, American computer scientist and entrepreneur who created the CP/M operating system, born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1994)

Computer scientist Gary Kildall
Computer scientist
Gary Kildall
  • 1942 James Topping, author of CP/M
  • 1946 Claude Lelièvre, Belgian commissioner for children's rights
  • 1948 Jean-Pierre Haignere, France, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-17)
  • 1953 Henry Lascelles, English grandson of princess Mary
  • 1953 Dawud M. Mu'Min, American convicted murderer (d. 1997)
  • 1955 Pierre J Thuot, Groton Conn, Lt Cmdr USN/astronaut (STS 36, 49, 62)
  • 1956 Althea Gwyn, WBL center (NY Stars)
  • 1959 Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of O.J. Simpson (murdered), born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1994)
  • 1961 Lisa Rathgber Wagner, bowler (3-time LPBT Player of Year, Bowler of Decade), born in Hillsboro Illinois
  • 1967 Massimo Taccon, Italian painter and sculptor
  • 1981 Georges St. Pierre, Mixed Martial Arts Fighter

Weddings in History

  • 1853 Dutch prince Henry marries princess Amalia of Saxony-Weimar

HeartWedding of Interest

1880 Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (29) weds Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne (40) in San Francisco

HeartWedding of Interest

1908 Prime Minister of Canada Louis St. Laurent (26) weds Jeanne Renault

12th Prime Minister of Canada Louis St. Laurent
12th Prime Minister of Canada
Louis St. Laurent

HeartWedding of Interest

1970 US Vice President Al Gore weds (22) weds author Tipper Aitcheson (21) at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC

US Vice President Al Gore
US Vice President
Al Gore
  • 2006 "Liverpool" goalkeeper Pepe Reina (23) weds Yolanda Ruiz in Cordoba, Spain

HeartWedding of Interest

2012 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (28) weds his longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan at a small ceremony in Palo Alto, California

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder
Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2013 Former Armor for Sleep frontman Ben Jorgensen (29) weds actress Katrina Bowden (24) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in NYC, New York

Deaths in History

  • 804 Alcuin of York, English scholar, dies in Tours France at 69
  • 988 Dunstan[us], English archbishop of Canterbury, dies
  • 1102 Stephen, Count of Blois (b. c. 1045)
  • 1125 Vladimir Monomakh, Russian prince (b. 1053)
  • 1296 Celestine V, [Pietro del Murrone], Pope (1294), dies
  • 1303 Ivo of Kermartin, catholic saint, patron of Brittany, dies at 49
  • 1319 Louis d'Évreux, son of Philip III of France (b. 1276)
  • 1389 Dmitri Donskoi, Grand Prince of Muscovy (b. 1350)
  • 1526 Emperor Go-Kashiwabara of Japan (b. 1464)
  • 1531 Jan Łaski, Polish statesman and diplomat (b. 1456)


1536 Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and wife of Henry VIII, beheaded

  • 1610 Thomas Sanchez, Spanish theologian (b. 1550)
  • 1637 Isaac Beeckman, Dutch scientist and philosopher (b. 1588)
  • 1647 Sebastian Vrancx, Flemish painter (captain of vigilante), dies
  • 1653 Carel Reyniersz, gov-gen of Neth East Indies, dies at 48
  • 1715 Charles Montagu, Chancellor of the Exchequer (b. 1661)
  • 1795 Josiah Bartlett, US physician/judge (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 65
  • 1795 James Boswell, Scottish biographer (b. 1740)
  • 1798 William Byron, 5th Baron Byron, English dueler (b. 1722)
  • 1800 French Bosbeeck, veterinarian/robber, hanged
  • 1801 Herman H Vitringa, politician (National Meetings), dies
  • 1821 Camille Jordan, French politician (b. 1771)
  • 1825 Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon, French political philosopher (b. 1760)
  • 1845 Maria EJ Versfelt, mistress of general Moreau/marshal Ney, dies at 68

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer (The Scarlet Letter), dies at 59

  • 1872 Johan van Dale, schoolmaster (New Dutch Language Wordbook), dies at 44
  • 1876 Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, Dutch historian/politician, dies at 74
  • 1885 Peter W. Barlow, English engineer (b. 1809)
  • 1895 Jose J Marti y Perez, Spanish/Cuban poet (Versos sencillos), dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1898 William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1809)

British Prime Minister William Gladstone
British Prime Minister
William Gladstone
  • 1901 Marthinus Wessels Pretorius, 1st pres Rep South-Africa, dies at 81
  • 1904 Auguste Molinier, French historian (b. 1851)
  • 1907 Benjamin Baker, English engineer (bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland and London underground)
  • 1912 Bolesław Prus, Polish writer (b. 1847)
  • 1912 Eduard Adolf Strasburger, German botanist (Angiosperms), dies at 68
  • 1915 John Simpson Kirkpatrick stretcher bearer with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli during World War I (b. 1892)
  • 1918 Raoul Lufbery, French-American World War I fighter pilot and flying ace (b. 1885)
  • 1922 Heinrich I Quincke, German internist (postural drainage), dies at 79
  • 1928 Max Scheler, German philosopher, dies at 53

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1935 T. E. Lawrence [Lawrence of Arabia], British author, soldier and diplomat famous for his liaison role in Arabia during WWI, dies at 46, in a motorcycle accident in Dorset, England

Soldier and Writer T. E. Lawrence
Soldier and Writer
T. E. Lawrence
  • 1942 [Nicoline] Magdalene Anchor-Roll, Norwegian author (Enken), dies at 69
  • 1943 Kristjan Raud, Estonian painter (b. 1865)
  • 1944 Godfrey Wilson, British Anthropologist of social change and colonial problems in Africa, commits suicide as a conscientious objector in WW II
  • 1945 Philipp Bouhler, German nazi leader (b. 1889)
  • 1946 Booth Tarkington, American novelist (b. 1869)
  • 1953 Damasco Berenguer y Fuste, Spanish gen/min of War, dies at 79
  • 1954 Aart A van Schelven, church historian (Willem of Orange), dies at 73
  • 1962 Gabriele Münter, German expressionist painter
  • 1965 Maria Dabrowska, Polish writer (Znaki Zycia), dies
  • 1966 Tortoise, reportedly given to Tonga's King by Captain Cook (1773), dies
  • 1970 Tadeusz Breza, Polish writer (The Bronze Gate), dies at 64
  • 1971 Ogden Nash, poet/TV panelist (Masquerade Party), dies at 68
  • 1983 Jean Rey, Belgian politician and President of the European Commission dies at 80
  • 1984 John Betjeman, poet (Mount Zion) and English Poet Laureate (1972-1984), dies at 77
  • 1987 Alice B[radley] Sheldon, sci-fi author (Byte Beautiful), dies at 71
  • 1987 James Tiptree, Jr, American author (b. 1915)
  • 1989 Able J Herzberg, Russ/Neth lawyer (Eichmann in Jerusalem), dies
  • 1989 E Galgoczi, writer, dies
  • 1989 CLR James, West Indian writer and journalist (b. 1901)
  • 1991 Douglas L Mays, cartoonist (Punch), dies
  • 1993 Nemesio Antunes, Chilean painter, dies at 75
  • 1993 Richard Murphy, director (3 Stripes in the Sun), dies of stroke at 81
  • 1994 Henry Morgan, TV panalist (To Tell the Truth), dies of cancer at 74

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1994 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American 1st lady (1961-63), dies of cancer at 64

  • 1994 Jacques Cesar Ellul, writer, dies at 82
  • 1995 Robert S. Dietz, American Geophysicist who proposed a theory of seafloor spreading in 1961, dies at 80
  • 1997 Millie, dog of US President George H. W. Bush (Millie's Book), dies at 12
  • 1998 Sōsuke Uno, Japanese prime minister (b. 1922)
  • 1999 James Blades, English percussionist (b. 1901)
  • 2000 Yevgeny Khrunov, cosmonaut (b. 1933)
  • 2002 John Gorton, nineteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1911)
  • 2002 Walter Lord, American writer (b. 1917)
  • 2007 Dean Eyre, New Zealand politician (b. 1914)
  • 2008 Vijay Tendulkar, Indian playwright, (b. 1928)
  • 2009 Robert F. Furchgott, American chemist, Nobel Laureate (b. 1916)
  • 2009 Herbert York, American physicist (b. 1921)
  • 2011 Garret FitzGerald, Irish politician and former Taoiseach (b. 1926)
  • 2014 Michael Aldrich, British inventor, dies at 72