On This Day

What Happened in May 1797

Historical Events

  • May 10 1st US Navy ship, the "United States," is launched

Victory in Battle

May 12 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice

  • May 12 Nore Mutiny: British Royal Navy sailors mutiny on the Thames, England and blockade London

Famous Birthdays

Abraham Gesner

May 2 Abraham Gesner, Canadian geologist (inventor of kerosene), born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia (d. 1864)

  • May 6 Joseph Brackett, American religious leader (Shakers) and composer (Simple Gifts), born in Cumberland, Maine (d. 1882)
  • May 12 Johann Hermann Kufferath, German composer, born in Mülheim an der Ruhr (d. 1864)
  • May 18 Frederick Augustus II, King of Saxony (1836-54)
  • May 19 Maria Isabel of Portugal, queen of Spain (d. 1818)
  • May 30 Johann Christian Lobe, German composer, born in Weimar, Germany (d. 1881)

Famous Weddings

  • May 5 Napoleon I's sister Elisa marries Felix Bacciochi

William Wilberforce

May 30 Abolitionist William Wilberforce (37) weds Barbara Spooner (25) at St Swithins Church in Walcot, Bath


Famous Deaths

  • May 17 Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (Le Philosophe sans le savoir), dies at 77
  • May 25 John Griffin Whitwell, 4th Baron Howard de Walden, British field marshal, dies at 78
  • May 27 Francois-Noal "Gracchus" Babeuf, French utopian socialist, dies at 36
  • May 30 Carl Ludwig Junker, German composer, dies at 48