On This Day

What Happened in May 1787

Historical Events

  • May 6 1st African American Masonic Lodge (African # 459) forms Prince Hall, Boston
  • May 8 First US prison reform society formed, the Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons led by Dr. Benjamin Rush
  • May 10 British Parliament impeaches Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal

Historic Event

May 13 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia

  • May 17 English slave ship Sisters, en route from Africa to Cuba, capsizes killing hundreds

Historic Event

May 25 Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia, George Washington presiding

Historic Event

May 29 "Virginia Plan" by Thomas Jefferson proposed to the Constitutional Convention advocating for a national government with three branches - legislative, executive, and judicial


Famous Birthdays

  • May 7 Jacques Viger, French Canadian politician, 1st mayor of Montreal (1833-36), born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 1858)

Famous Deaths

  • May 10 William Watson, English physician and scientist, dies at 72
  • May 13 Johann Michael Malzat, Austrian composer, dies at 38
  • May 28 Johann Georg Leopold Mozart, Austrian composer, dies at 67