On This Day

What Happened in May 1819

Historical Events

  • May 21 1st bicycles (swift walkers) in US introduced in NYC

'Ship in Distress' Sails Into History Books

May 22 The SS Savannah sets sail from Savanah Harbor in Georgia on an historic journey to become the 1st steam propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 William Steele, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Albany, New York (d. 1885)
  • May 3 Nicola De Giosa, Italian composer, born in Bari, Italy (d. 1885)
  • May 5 Stanisław Moniuszko, Polish conductor, composer (Straszny dwór - The Haunted Manor), and teacher, born in Ubiel, Minsk Governate, Russian Empire (now Belarus) (d. 1872)
  • May 15 Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, American lawyer, politician, and Major General (Union Army), born in Russellville, Kentucky (d. 1893)
  • May 16 Daniel Ammen, Capt (Union Navy), (d. 1898)
  • May 17 Johann Nepomuk Kafka, Bohemian pianist and composer, born in Neustadt an der Mettau (d. 1886)
  • May 18 Julius Hopp, Austrian composer, born in Vienna (d. 1885)

Queen Victoria

May 24 Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Ireland (1837-1901), born in London (d. 1901)

  • May 27 Julia Ward Howe, American poet and author (Battle Hymn of the Republic), born in NYC, New York (d. 1910)
  • May 28 William Birney, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Huntsville, Alabama (d. 1907)
  • May 30 William McMurdo, British army officer (d. 1894)

Walt Whitman

May 31 Walt Whitman, American poet (Leaves of Grass) and volunteer nurse during the Civil War, born in West Hills, New York (d. 1892)


Famous Deaths

  • May 2 Mary Moser, English painter (Flowers Still Life), dies at 74
  • May 11 Kaspar Furstenau, German composer, dies at 47
  • May 16 Alexander van Bylandt, military, dies at 75
  • May 22 Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen, Dutch naval officer and founder of Dutch Marines Corp, dies at 84