On This Day

What Happened in May 1778

Historical Events

  • May 1 American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet begins in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 5 George Washington appoints Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben Inspector General of the Continental Army

Major General of the Continental Army Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Major General of the Continental Army
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington

Famous Birthdays

  • May 8 Johann Baptist Gansbacher, Austrian composer, born in Sterzing, Tyrol, Italy (d. 1844)
  • May 18 Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (d. 1854)
  • May 28 Friedrich Westenholz, German composer, born in Ludwigslust, Germany (d. 1840)

Famous Deaths


Person of interestWilliam Pitt the Elder

May 11 William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister (Whig, 1756-61, 66-68) known as the `Great Commoner', dies at 69

British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner) William Pitt the Elder
British Prime Minister (The Great Commoner)
William Pitt the Elder
  • May 16 Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness, English diplomat and politician, dies at 59

Person of interestVoltaire

May 30 Voltaire [Francois-Marie Arouet], French writer, philosopher and playwright (Candide), dies at 83

Enlightenment Philosopher Voltaire
Enlightenment Philosopher
Voltaire