On This Day

What Happened in May 1817

Historical Events

  • May 7 Japanese Emperor Kōkaku abdicates in favour of his son Emperor Ninkō
  • May 15 Ambonese uprising against Dutch authority (modern Indonesia), under Thomas Matulesia (aka Kapitan Pattimura)
  • May 15 First private mental health hospital opens in the US, Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 16 Mississippi River steamboat service begins

Famous Birthdays

  • May 2 Zikmund Kolešovský, Czech composer, born in Prague, Czech Republic (d. 1868)
  • May 5 George Washington Julian, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, born in Centerville, Indiana (d. 1899)
  • May 11 Fanny Cerrito, Italian ballet dancer (d. 1909)
  • May 14 Alexander Kaufmann, German poet (d. 1893)
  • May 15 Debendranath Tagore, Indian religious reformer (d. 1905)
  • May 18 James William Denver, American lawyer, politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Winchester, Virginia (d. 1892)
  • May 31 Édouard Deldevez, French violinist and composer, born in Paris (d. 1897)
  • May 31 Georg Herwegh, German poet, born in Stuttgart (d. 1875)

Famous Deaths

  • May 21 Johann Friedrich Christmann, German composer, dies at 64