On This Day

What Happened in May 1844

Historical Events


Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

May 1 Whig convention nominates Henry Clay as presidential candidate

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • May 6 Johan Thorbecke argues general right to vote
  • May 23 Declaration of Bab (Baha'i festival) ('Azamat 7, 1)

CommunicationHistoric Communication

May 24 Samuel Morse taps out "What hath God wrought" in the world's first telegraph message

Inventor Samuel Morse
Inventor
Samuel Morse
  • May 25 1st telegraphed news dispatch is published in Baltimore Patriot

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestElijah McCoy

May 2 Elijah McCoy, Canadian-American inventor of African descent, notable for his 57 US patents (lubrication of steam engines), born in Colchester, Ontario (d. 1929)

Inventor Elijah McCoy
Inventor
Elijah McCoy
  • May 3 Édouard Drumont, French anti-semitic journalist, born in Paris (d. 1917)
  • May 3 Richard D'Oyly Carte, English opera impresario (Gilbert & Sullivan operas), born in London (d. 1901)
  • May 8 Hermann Gradener, German composer, born in Kiel, Germany (d. 1929)
  • May 9 [Maria] Catharina Beersmans, Belgian actress (Bad Herders), born in Turnhout, Belgium (d. 1899)
  • May 17 Julius Wellhausen, German biblical scholar (analysis of the structure and dating of the Pentateuch), born in Hamelin, Hanover, Germany (d. 1918)
  • May 21 Henri Rousseau, French post-impressionist painter (The Dream, The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope), born in Laval, France (d. 1910)
  • May 22 Mary Cassatt, American impressionist painter (Woman Bathing), born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (d. 1926)
  • May 23 `Abdu'l-Bahá, Successor to Prophet of the Bahá'í Faith (d. 1921)
  • May 28 Léon Vasseur, French composer, born in Bapaume, France (d. 1917)
  • May 30 Louis Varney, French composer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1908)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 William Beckford, British writer (Epsiodes of Vathek), dies at 83
  • May 18 Richard McCarty, American politician, dies at 64
  • May 21 Guiseppi Baini, composer, dies at 68
  • May 24 William Crockford, clubman/gambler, dies