On This Day

What Happened in May 1824

Historical Events

  • May 2 Goethe visits Ettersberg (Buchenwald)

Music Premiere

May 7 Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th (Choral) Symphony, often regarded as his greatest work, premieres in Vienna

  • May 10 The National Gallery in London opens to the public in its temporary home in a townhouse on Pall Mall

Historic Event

May 17 The diaries of Lord Byron are burnt by six of the poet's friends at the office of John Murray in London, sometimes described as “the greatest crime in literary history”

  • May 24 Pope Leo XII proclaims a universal jubilee
  • May 26 Brazil is recognized by the US

Famous Birthdays

  • May 8 William Walker, American physician and president of Nicaragua (1856-57), born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 1860)
  • May 9 William Edmonson "Grumble" Jones, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Washington County, Virginia (d. 1864)
  • May 10 Charles Henry Van Wyck, American politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Poughkeepsie, New York (d. 1895)
  • May 11 Jean-Léon Gérôme, French painter and sculptor, born in Rome, Italy (d. 1904)
  • May 16 Edmund Kirby Smith, American General (Confederate Army), born in St Augustine, Florida (d. 1893)
  • May 16 Levi Parsons Morton, (R) 22nd US VP (1889-93)

Ambrose Burnside

May 23 Ambrose Burnside, American soldier, industrialist and politician (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69) who popularized sideburns, born in Liberty, Indiana (d. 1881)

  • May 29 Cadmus M. Wilcox, American Major General (Confederate Army - American Civil War), born in Wayne County, North Carolina (d. 1890)

Famous Deaths

  • May 4 Joseph Joubert, French essayist and moralist (b. 1754)
  • May 15 Alexander Campbell, composer, dies at 60
  • May 26 Capel Lofft, English writer (b. 1751)