On This Day

What Happened in May 1845

Historical Events

  • May 2 Argentinian Domingo Sarmiento publishes his anti-tyranny work "Facundo Civilización y Barbarie"
  • May 3 1st African American lawyer, Macon B Allen, admitted to the bar in Massachusetts
  • May 3 Fire kills 1,600 in popular theater in Canton, China
  • May 14 Utrecht-Arnhem Railway opens
  • May 20 1st legislative assembly convenes in Hawaii
  • May 20 HMS Erebus and HMS Terror with 134 men under John Franklin sail from the River Thames in England, beginning a disastrous expedition to find the Northwest Passage. All hands are lost.
  • May 23 New York City Police Department (NYPD) is formed, replacing an old night watch system
  • May 28 Fire in Quebec, Canada, 1,500 houses destroyed

Famous Birthdays

  • May 1 [Robert] Lawson Tait, Scottish-born pioneering surgeon performed first salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1899)
  • May 7 Jacob van Stolk Azn, timber merchant/art collector
  • May 12 Gabriel Fauré, French organist, composer (Requiem; Ballade), and educator (Paris Conservatoire, 1905-20), born in Pamiers, France (d. 1924)
  • May 15 Ilya Mechnikov, Russian zoologist and bacteriologist known as the "father of natural immunity" (Nobel 1908), born in Ivanovka, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire
  • May 25 Lip Pike, American baseball player, born in NYC, New York (d. 1893)
  • May 30 Amadeus/Amadeo I, duke of Aosta and King of Spain (1870-73), born in Turin, Italy (d. 1890)

Famous Deaths

  • May 2 August Pauly, German writer (Real Encyclopedia), dies at 48
  • May 3 Thomas Hood, English poet and composer (The Song of the Shirt), dies at 45
  • May 11 Carl Filtsch, Transylvanian composer & pianist child prodigy, dies of tuberculosis at 14
  • May 12 August Wilhelm Schlegel, German poet, translator and critic, dies at 77
  • May 12 János Bacsanyi, Hungarian poet (b. 1763)
  • May 15 Samuel I Wiselius, Dutch lawyer/businessman/writer, dies at 76
  • May 19 Maria EJ Versfelt, mistress of general Moreau/marshal Ney, dies at 68