On This Day

What Happened in May 1776

Historical Events

  • May 1 Adam Weishaupt founds secret society of Illuminati
  • May 2 France & Spain agreed to give weapons to American rebels
  • May 4 Rhode Island declares independence from Great Britain
  • May 12 French First Minister of State and Controller-General of Finances Anne Robert Jacques Turgot resigns after being ordered to do so

Famous Birthdays

  • May 4 Johann Friedrich Herbart, German philosopher and psychologist, born in Oldenburg, Germany (d. 1841)
  • May 10 George Thomas Smart, composer
  • May 13 Charles Ots, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1845)
  • May 13 Rodrigo Ferreira da Costa, Portuguese composer (d. 1825)

Famous Deaths

  • May 4 Jacques Saly, French sculptor, dies at 58
  • May 6 James Kent, English composer, dies at 76
  • May 13 Anton de Haen, Austrian medical expert (Ratio Medendi), dies at 71