What Happened in May 1780

Historical Events

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

May 2 William Herschel discovers 1st binary star, Xi Ursae Majoris

Astronomer William Herschel
William Herschel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 4 American Academy of Arts & Science founded in Boston, James Bowdoin, John and Samuel Adams founding members

US Revolutionary Samuel Adams
US Revolutionary
Samuel Adams
  • May 4 Charles Bunbury on Diomed wins 1st Epsom Derby
  • May 12 British troops occupy Charleston, South Carolina (Revolutionary War)
  • May 19 About midday, near-total darkness descends on New England, now known to be caused by forest fires in Canada
  • May 29 Battle of Waxhaw Creek: alleged massacre of 113 of Colonel Abraham Buford's continentals by Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton's troops after the continentals raised a white flag

Famous Birthdays

  • May 10 Peter Lichtenthal, composer

Person of interestElizabeth Fry

May 21 Elizabeth Fry, English prison reformer, social reformer and Quaker Minister who is depicted on the British £5 note, born in Norwich, England (d. 1845)

English Social Reformer Elizabeth Fry
English Social Reformer
Elizabeth Fry
  • May 22 Jan Emmanuel Dulezalek, composer
  • May 28 Joseph Frohlich, composer

Famous Deaths

  • May 18 Charles Hardy, British governor of Newfoundland