On This Day

What Happened in May 1791

Historical Events

  • May 3 Constitution of May 3 is proclaimed by the Great Sejm (Parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, becoming the 1st modern constitution in Europe

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 15 Maximilien Robespierre proposes the self-denying ordinance, making it so that no deputy who sat in the Constituent Assembly could sit in the succeeding Assembly

Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre

Famous Birthdays

  • May 11 Jan Vaclav Hugo Vorisek, composer
  • May 15 Baron Floris A van Hall, Dutch minister of Justice/Finance
  • May 29 Pietro Romani, Italian conductor and composer, born in Rome (d. 1877)

Famous Deaths

Person of interestFrancis Hopkinson

May 9 Francis Hopkinson, American author and composer (designed the first American flag), dies from an apoplectic seizure at 53

Designer of the American Flag Francis Hopkinson
Designer of the American Flag
Francis Hopkinson
  • May 28 Joseph Schmitt, German Dutch composer, dies at 57
  • May 30 Ildephons Haas, German composer, dies at 56